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I would like to introduce you to this awesome FLOSS (Free/Libre Open Source Software) for Digital painting, Krita.
I don't know if I have enough credentials to talk about this considering that I am bordering between beginner and intermediate when it comes to digital art, being a hobby artist. I hope though that you will try this awesome software. How I learn about Krita:
I have tried to download Krita earlier this year but did not have the time to use it due to various reasons (that also leads me to doing no art in span of 3/4 year).
I learned Krita from the resident conceptual artist of Blender Projects, Mr. David Revoy aka Deevad here in DA.
Being a blender user who follows the open movies I come upon Mr. Revoys blog post during the first phase of open movie development. From there I kind of lurk his website for tips and such, it is from him that I learned about Gimp-painter fork and Krita.
Mr. Revoy uses Krita and Other FLOSS on his profesional work. Mr. Revoy is also my inspiration - I'm quite his fan.
I tried the following software that I learned from him;
gimp-painter - I really like this one but it lack development
Mypaint - it did not pan out for me
KritaMe and Digital Painting:
I tried digital painting in variety of software, from GIMP to PS to Sai. I always like to learn it, enough for me to buy a graphics tablet. The one I like the most is GIMP-Painter and Sai. I dropped GIMP-Painter when the development stops and pick up PS and Sai.
I like Sai enough to do a bulk of my previous digital painting attempt with it but only one work I can say that I was satisfied with my result. Then on PS (Photoshop) it is headache, I always wish it have the brushes Sai have. I downloaded a bunch of brushes but I could not get it to work the way I wanted- I always wish for things that GIMP-Painter or Sai have. PS somehow does not inspire me to do artwork whenever I open it for some reasons.
From left to right: Gimp-painter, Photoshop, Paint Tool Sai
I cringe whenever I look at my old works :< Me and Krita
Three days ago since its holiday and a 3 day weekend I decided to try my hand on Krita. I downloaded the latest build for my PC and draw again. As a background I have not drawn any art project for 3/4 year due to studies and work, even though I mean too after investing money on a new PC. I open Krita set it up, watch some youtube speed paint (I actually learn alot more watching speed painting than tutorials) , downloaded the brush kit from Deevad and let myself explore and immersed the software. For this I did a quick sketch which is inspired by Deevad's Aqua dream speed paint.
To tell the truth I thought it will just be some sketch, but turned to some serious work quickly (2 days and counting). I discovered many features along the way. I think I fell in love with Krita. For two days I always look forward on working with it. It gives me the feel of when I open it I wanna do some creative work.
As you see below that my layout was not the default Krita layout. It is the first thing I did is dabbled the screen layout to what I think I am comfortable. It started with me putting the layer panel on the left then on the right, the brushes from left then to right, the color picker from top to bottom. It is also late in my second day of working with Krita that I discovered the reference panel and the thumbnail viewer.
Yeah it is just a sketch.
After two days - it is not just a sketch anymore, took me one hour for each butterfly. My Review:
Krita is probably the best Digital Painting software I tried
(yes emphasis on the I tried). Krita lets you focus on just painting. I like the dark theme of the innitial UI (you can change that). Krita is young Open source software with an ambitious team behind and they put up a nice structure to insure that it will be develop continuously. Being young software some of its feature are still in development or experimental.
Optimization is still needs work (I should try this on linux). Some brushes specially the experimental one (that is to be expected) tends to lag in big size.
The UI is nice, the panels are dockable, and interchangeable. Creating your own layout is not a pain in the ass. My preferred layout is the one on my latest upload with the brushes on the left, layer/channel , color picker and navigation view on the right. The right click pallet is nice you can put your fave brushes there and quickly access them via right click. The color picker is another point, you get the color wheel (a variety of them depending on what you want), a pallet of the last color you use and also of those color found on your work which I found handy. The default dark theme suits me. The brush panel is great allows me to group brushes (erase, smudge, softed etch are considered brushes in Krita) and separate them based on what I wanted. I just separated the one I used the most.
On the other hand I wish there is a tool tip for the tools name and brush names (even though I rarely use them since I only use brush, selection, fill and erase).
Kritas feature set are focused on painting (so don't try to photo manip on it
and complain about it). I focused on those I have use in this two day experiment:
1. The brush engine: It is great, I can edit everything - texture, how it will react to the tablet, rotations etc... It also comes with variety of useful brushes. From pencil brushes, inking brushes to pastel and other textured brushes. Brushes that are labeled experimental are laggy in big sizes, well you know since they are experimental.
Note: Don't use the brush named chalk brush it is experimental and extremely laggy use the alternative one like the pastel brush/ textured brushes or download David Revoy brush set as an additional pack.
2. The color picker is really great, with its color history and color from photo, changing color quickly is nice.
3. Right click panel - I covered this in the UI.
4. The reference and composition panel are nice addition to the UI. There is no more need to resize the window and bring up a picture just for reference.
Note: There are some other cool ones like the wrap around, that I have yet to try. Tips:
Dabbled with the layout first and arrange it accordingly before doing anything. Also download the brush packs from David Revoy they are worth it. I specially like the roller brush (I call it the roller brush) www.davidrevoy.com/article238/…
I hope that you give Krita a try it is a very nice software. It is not perfect but is nice tool to have. I am looking forward to its development.