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Krita tutorial - Basics by White-Heron Krita tutorial - Basics by White-Heron
Getting started with Krita isn't too complicated: just start it up, select a brush preset and experiment away. A better understand of the interface will really improve your workflow though. I've added various tips that so-so artists (like me...) may find useful, but ultimately everyone will find his or her ideal workflow.

This tutorial is under a CC-0 / Public Domain license. :)

To find back other tutorials mentioned in these tutorials and more, visit Krita's resource page: [link]

My Krita tutorial series:
Big thanks to Claus for converting all these to a wiki format as well. Everybody is welcome to submit improvements, updates and translations to this wiki, so it may be more up-to-date. These tutorials were done with Krita 2.5.2 ~ 2.5.3. To my knowledge, Krita 2.6 should have a mostly similar interface.

Part 1 - Basics ( Wiki version )
- Symmetry mode, Interface, Quick overview of some brushes

Part 2 - Layers and Editing ( Wiki version )
- Layer management: alpha locking, layer mask and erase mode, filter brushes, masks and layers, local selections, clone layers, use recommendations
- Image properties and editing: basics, selections, transformation tool and deform brush,

Part 3 - Brushes

Part A: General ( Wiki version )
- Preliminary: common "issues"
- Brush management: Saving/Deleting presets, brush folders
- Drawing modes
- Assistants

Part B - Pixel Brushes 1/2 ( Wiki version )
- Brush tips: Autobrush, Predefined brush, Custom brush, Text brush
- Paint build-up behaviours: Default (Opacity vs Flow, Build vs Wash-up, Airbrush mode), Blending modes

Part B - Pixel Brushes 2/2 ( Wiki version )
- Brush shape dynamics: common settings, opacity, size, spacing, softness and sharpness, rotation, scatter
- Color source, color dynamics, Texture -> Pattern
- Combos!

Pixel brushes - Appendix 1: Gallery of predefined brushes
Pixel brushes - Appendix 2: Brush presets from the tutorial

Part C - Color Smudge Brush ( Wiki version )

Part D - Curve, Particle and Dyna brushes ( Wiki version )

Part E - Sketch, Hairy and Chalk brushes ( Wiki version )

Part F - Hatching, Grid, Spray and Experiment brushes ( Wiki version )
Add a Comment:
 
:iconynne-black:
ynne-black Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2015  Student General Artist
How exactly do you export a file? (It keeps on saying "cannot export file in this colourspace" for .psd, .png, .tif and such)
Reply
:iconwhite-heron:
White-Heron Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2015
Open Image/Properties. Did you convert your image to something weird? It should be RGB and such.
Reply
:iconynne-black:
ynne-black Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2015  Student General Artist
I haven't touched the settings before and the file was created in Krita. :c
Now I manually set sRGB and 8 bits (?? or something like that) and it seems to work fine, but I changed the default settings (in some general settings) and then when the program crashes just once they are back to CMYK something. :C
But thank you
Reply
:iconmypassion-chan:
MyPassion-Chan Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2015
maybe change CMYK to RGB?
Reply
:iconynne-black:
ynne-black Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2015  Student General Artist
I did :/
Reply
:iconangelic-painter:
Angelic-Painter Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
i just downloaded krita......and umm i still have some misunderstandings, such as.... the brush just wont listen to me, and sometimes when i chose the size to be lower it keeps going up...and some brushes wont work :/ i got some problems with erasing but this kinda helped with the erasing. sometimes the brush lags behind :/ stuff like that, but i'm sure i'l the skills  with time. THX for the tutorial!
Reply
:icondolahol:
Dolahol Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2015
A very nice tutorial. I am an absolute beginner with Krita.
Reply
:iconwhite-heron:
White-Heron Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2015
Thank you, glad it was helpful! :)
Reply
:icongalacticpink:
galacticpink Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hope you don't mind another comment!

I AM IN LOVE WITH THE RIGHT CLICK FEATURE.
Reply
:icongalacticpink:
galacticpink Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oooh, thank you. I downloaded the program recently based on the rave reviews of one artist I like and many artists in general but it's super intimidating (as are most good art programs, haha) so this will be very helpful.~
Reply
:iconavant5:
avant5 Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2014
Thanks Heron!  I've been using Krita a while, and still found some trinkets in your tutorial that I didn't know, and will help me a ton!  I tried finding a way to recenter for mirror mode, but couldn't find anything anywhere, and gave up.  Then luckily found this...so now I have a whole new love for Krita all over again!

Thanks so much!

:D
Reply
:iconwhite-heron:
White-Heron Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2014
I'm glad the tutorial was helpful! I hope you enjoy using the program! :D
Reply
:iconkitti-featherwolf:
Kitti-Featherwolf Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you SO much for this!!! I just got Krita, and it is so confusing, but this helps a lot. :) One question though; how do you make layers? I don't see any buttons for it or anything. Thanks for your help!
Reply
:iconwhite-heron:
White-Heron Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2014
You're welcome! :)
You make layers with the first button on the bottom-left of the layers docker, the button with a giant + on it. Pressing it will create a normal paint layer, and you can access more layer types with the arrow button right next to it. In the layers docker, using the 'insert' button on the keyboard will also add a new layer right above the active layer. :)
Reply
:iconkitti-featherwolf:
Kitti-Featherwolf Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! I was having so many problems with Krita, but not anymore! Your tutorials have saved me!:happybounce: 
Reply
:iconwhite-heron:
White-Heron Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2014
You're welcome! Glad they helped! :)
Reply
:iconnightmare-moon-fan:
Nightmare-Moon-Fan Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2014
how do you update your finished pictures
Reply
:iconwhite-heron:
White-Heron Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2014
What do you mean? With Krita? When the picture isn't completed, save it as a .kra to keep all the layers and such.
Export the picture as .jpg when you're done and want to upload it somewhere. But if you need to change the picture, do so from your .kra file then export again.
You can modify a .jpg from Krita, but it won't have all the layers and such. ^^
Reply
:iconnightmare-moon-fan:
Nightmare-Moon-Fan Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2014
ok
Reply
:iconmusicalmaxwell:
musicalmaxwell Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Just found out about Krita today after my frustration with GIMP. Great beginning tutorial, having a lot of fun with Krita so far. GIMP is great for photomanipulation and for graphic creation (i use it for logos and the such) but Krita embodies everything that I have not been able to do with GIMP. So grateful that everyone is working together to make this program great!!
Reply
:iconwhite-heron:
White-Heron Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2014
Glad you like the program! Krita also gets frequent updates, so check out the site from time to time. :D
Reply
:iconmusicalmaxwell:
musicalmaxwell Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2014  Student Digital Artist
oh? do the updates not install when you run apt-get update?
Reply
:iconwhite-heron:
White-Heron Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2014
Oh, right. That's true for the 'stable' versions yes. But many of us are compiling the developer versions. xD
Stable versions are safer to use, though the developer versions are pretty stable too.
Reply
:iconmusicalmaxwell:
musicalmaxwell Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Oh, I haven't actually tried the developer versions! It looks like you can just add the PPA and that you don't need to recompile it, though.
Reply
:iconwhite-heron:
White-Heron Featured By Owner Jun 29, 2014
That too. xD Basically, Krita gets improved so fast that few of us are using the last "stable" version.
Reply
:iconcarysrodrigues8:
carysrodrigues8 Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2014  Student Digital Artist
is krita safe? I mean does it contain malware or anything???
Reply
:iconwhite-heron:
White-Heron Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2014
Krita is quite safe. xD It's open-source. The code is completely transparent, and it has a strong community that really won't stand for malware nonsense being inserted into their code.
Reply
:iconcarysrodrigues8:
carysrodrigues8 Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2014  Student Digital Artist
thanks for telling me! i am going to download krita!!:D (Big Grin) 
Reply
:iconriseagainstgravity:
RiseAgainstGravity Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Question? Is there a smoothing or stabilizing feature in it like in Sai?
Reply
:iconwhite-heron:
White-Heron Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2014
Yes there is. :) When you're drawing freehand, there are smoothing options in the Tool Options dock. Try weighted smoothing and fiddling with the values for example. :)
Reply
:iconriseagainstgravity:
RiseAgainstGravity Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you! 
Reply
:iconkhstyler-chan:
KHStyler-chan Featured By Owner May 10, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
THANKS!
Reply
:iconkatzrollz:
katzrollz Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2014  Student Traditional Artist
Wow! Your tutorial is amazing and really helpful :D Keep up the good work!
Reply
:iconwhite-heron:
White-Heron Featured By Owner Mar 20, 2014
You're welcome! Glad it helped! :) Thanks for the fave!
Reply
:iconludjia:
Ludjia Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2014  Professional Digital Artist
I'm looking for text tool tuorial for krita, can't seem to find any. your tutorial is useful, thanks!
Reply
:iconwhite-heron:
White-Heron Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2014
At the time I wrote this, the text tool in Krita wasn't very advanced. I forgot if they made any improvements in the meantime. There is a text brush mode in Krita, see I.4 Text brushes here:

For vector text I usually use Inkscape instead.
Reply
:iconpussia:
Pussia Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
every time i erase it goes right through the white and onto a checkered layer that i can't  fix (it stays on that) 
Reply
:iconwhite-heron:
White-Heron Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2014
Please read my Krita Brushes Part A - General tutorial. :)
What I do is first create a new layer to draw on, and lock the default white one.
Reply
:iconpussia:
Pussia Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
thank you
Reply
:iconwifflin:
Wifflin Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Sorry for the dumb question but, how do I cycle through the layers?
I can't find where to switch between them.
Reply
:iconwhite-heron:
White-Heron Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2013
There's a layers docker where you can choose your layer. If it doesn't show, go to Settings -> Dockers -> Layers.
You can also use the Page Up and Page Down buttons to cycle through layers. :)
Reply
:iconwifflin:
Wifflin Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you so much! It really helped
Reply
:iconpurplepandaj:
purplepandaj Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
So I recently got krita and I started watching speedpaints on youtube. I just wanna know how you colour randomly and then something happens and the colours are coloured in the lines... If you know what I mean...
Reply
:iconwhite-heron:
White-Heron Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2013
I'm not entirely sure what you mean, but:
- If you mean the lines get colored, Deevad has a tutorial using the Gmic plugin. The tutorial uses it on Gimp, but the plugin has since been added to Krita I think.
- If you mean coloring the spaces between lines, do you mean the paintbucket or something like that? I also know there's a GMIC plugin that helps with coloring, but I haven't tried that yet.
- Another possibility is to first create a layer for the lock alpha trick. You'll have to have painted the area to be filled at least once, but you can ensure that all your shading layers and such stay within the bounds this way. See my Krita layers tutorial.
- It could also be one of the layer modes. The colors aren't confined to a set area, but if you use multiply or overlay for example, you won't see a solid color area anymore.

Thanks for the fave by the way! :)
Reply
:iconcucky126:
cucky126 Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Hi! Thanks for this useful tutorials/guides! I can't find anywhere the answer to: how do I import/export .svg (or another vector format) to Krita? Do you know? Will you help me? May be it's a silly question, but I'll really appreciate the help :D
Reply
:iconwhite-heron:
White-Heron Featured By Owner Oct 11, 2013
Hm... strange, this... oh! Do you have Karbon installed as well? I think you need Karbon too to use .svg in Krita.
Thanks for the fave by the way! :)
Reply
:iconcucky126:
cucky126 Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Your welcome! I will be coming to this deviation usually :) I don't have Karbon, so I'll give it a try and see how it works. Thanks!
Reply
:icongrey-terminal:
Grey-Terminal Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
nice tutorial^^ is krita freeware???
Reply
:iconwhite-heron:
White-Heron Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2013
Oh yeah, it's Open Source, so it's totally freeware. :) Go get it!
Reply
:icongrey-terminal:
Grey-Terminal Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
thank you for the info.
Ive downloadet it and it looks interisting!
Reply
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