Krita is a FREE and open source painting tool designed for concept artists, illustrators, matte and texture artists, and the VFX industry. Krita has been in development for over 10 years and has had an explosion in growth recently. It offers many common and innovative features to help the amateur and professional alike. See below for some of the highlighted features.
An intuitive user interface that stays out of your way. The dockers and panels can be moved and customized for your specific workflow. Once you have your setup, you can save it as your own workspace. You can also create your own shortcuts for commonly used tools.
Have a shaky hand? Add a stabilizer to your brush to smoothen it out. Krita includes 3 different ways to smooth and stabilize your brush strokes. There is even a dedicated Dynamic Brush tool where you can add drag and mass.
Quickly pick your color and brush by right-clicking on the canvas. You can also use Krita’s tagging system to swap out the available brushes that are displayed. The ring around triangle color selector contains the most recently used colors. Some of these settings can be configured in the settings.
Customize your brushes with 9 unique brush engines. Each engine has a large amount of settings to customize your brush. Each brush engine is made to satisfy a need such as the Color Smudge engine, Shape engine, Particle engine, and even a filter engine. Once you are done creating your brushes, you can save them and organize them with Krita’s unique tagging system.
It is easy to create seamless textures and patterns now. Press the ‘W’ key while painting to toggle wrap-around mode. The image will make references of itself along the x and y axis. Continue painting and watch all of the references update instantly. No more clunky offsetting to see how your image repeats itself.
Import brush and texture packs from other artists to expand your tool set. If you create some brushes that you love, share them with the world by creating your own bundles. Check out some of the brush packs that are on the Resource area.
“I found Krita and now I can’t stop doing art. Send help.”
DaganEldr | Misty
“krita is a really good painting tool and its super duper FREE”
Use a drawing aid to assist you with vanishing points and straight lines. The Assistant Tool comes with 9 unique assistants to help you make that perfect shape. These tools range from drawing ellipses to creating curvilinear perspective with the Fisheye Point tool. Use multiple assistants at one time when drawing.
Do quick vertical and horizontal mirroring with the tools on the toolbar. If you need a more advanced mirroring tool, check out the Multibrush Tool. This allows you to rotate the mirroring, along with adding more axis for a kaleidoscope effect. In addition to the mirror tools, there is also a quick mirror canvas option that allows you to flip the canvas and check for issues.
In addition to painting, Krita come with vector, filter, group, and file layers. Combine, order, and flatten layers to help your artwork stay organized. There are also three different views on how to see the layers.
Highlight a portion of your drawing to work on. There are additional features that allow you to add and remove from the selection. You can further modify your selection by feathering and inverting it. Paint a selection with the Global Selection Mask.
Nondestructively work on layers with masks. You can add a layer mask for transparency, filters, or transformations. You can even add multiple masks for each layer.
Full Color Management
Krita supports full color management through LCMS for ICC and OpenColor IO for EXR, allowing you to incorporate Krita into your existing color management pipeline. Or let it be the start of one: Krita comes with a wide variety of icc working space profiles for every need, with a color space browser to visualise and explore them.
Krita takes advantages of OpenGL for some of its operations. With OpenGL enabled, you will see increased canvas rotation and zooming speed. The canvas will also look better when zoomed out.
Open PSD files that even Photoshop cannot open. Load and save to PSD when you need to take your artwork across different programs.
Krita is the only dedicated painting application that lets you open, save, edit and author HDR and scene-reffered images. Furthermore, with OCIO and OpenEXR support, you can manipulate the view to examine HDR images, and use it in the most cutting edge workflows from the film and visual effects industries.
Bend, distort, move, or liquefy your selections. You can do these operations directly, or nondestructively through transformation masks.
In addition to training and educational material found on the Internet, Krita produces its own training material to help you learn all of the tools fast.
Choose and manage your colors. Mix colors with the Digital Colors Mixer. Select your colors in a compact fashion with the Small Color Selector. Select colors by value with the Specific Color Selector. Have a predefined color palette with the Palette docker.
“It’s one reason I appreciate Krita so much; it’s designed and written by artists who can code.”
“in love with [Krita’s] seamless feature. Making tiles has never been so easy <3"
We’re Just Getting Started
There are more features that Krita offers than just these. There are quite a few resources that exist to help you learn the application and start painting fast. Before you learn too much more, it might be a good idea to head over to the download area and install Krita. You can watch tutorials or purchase training from the store. Make sure to check out the gallery page and artist interviews to see what other artists think about Krita. Have fun!