How to create a dynamic sports photo composition in Affinity Photo for iPad

Affinity user and digital artist Tinashe Rusike walks us through his process for creating a high-impact photo composition featuring Rugby League legend Jason Taumalolo in Affinity Photo for iPad.

My name is Tinashe Rusike and I am a digital artist who specialises in creating conceptual sports designs for advertising, social media, posters, trading cards and editorial design. I have worked with organisations such as Kyros Sports and Old Glory DC of Major League Rugby as well as for Rugby Union South African Springbok legend Tendai ‘Beast’ Mtawarira.

I am a massive Rugby League fan and I love illustrating the stars as heroes with super-human powers. For this tutorial, I am honoured to be working on a high-impact photo composition featuring one of the best athletes on earth, Jason Taumalolo of the North Queensland Cowboys and the Mate Ma’a Tonga Rugby League national team, who compete in Australia’s National Rugby League.

The licensed image I will be using of Jason

If you’ve never seen him play, Jason Taumalolo is a wrecking machine that runs with great speed and power and usually leaves a trail of carnage in his wake. In this tutorial, that is exactly what I will be illustrating to showcase how I create movement, mood and energy in my compositions using various tools in Affinity Photo for iPad.

I recorded this time-lapse video to show you my process and I have provided some written steps to help you learn the techniques too.

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A time-lapse video of Tinashe’s process Step 1: Coming up with a concept

When I create my artwork, I like to get a solid understanding of the athlete I am working with. In this case, it is Jason Taumalolo who is one of the best Rugby League players in the world. He is dynamic and powerful so I want the artwork I create to reflect that. Whenever Jason goes on one of his big runs and breaks the defensive line he leaves a trail of carnage in his wake. So for my concept, I have come up with the idea of him wrecking through a downtown scene after breaking through the stadium. When planning scenes like this one I love that I am creating a fictional environment that does not exist. I am making my own rules and I want it to look unique.

Step 2: Finding photos for your composition

Alongside the licensed image of Jason Taumalolo, I will be using stock images to build up the rest of the composition. I have three free stock photo websites that I like to use when looking for stock photography for my compositions. These are, and which are accessible from Affinity Photo’s Stock panel. There is so much quality and variety on these sites, you are almost guaranteed to find the photos you need. Look for as many photos as possible to contribute to your composition because that is what makes your environment look unique. Once you have your shortlist, it helps to do a rough sketch of your scene to plan where your images will go.

Step 3: Cropping

At this stage, you want to bring most of your photographic elements into Affinity Photo and place them on the canvas. I love showing depth

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