How to Blur Background in Krita: A Fun and Friendly Guide

Achieving the Perfect Blur Effect in Krita

Do you want to add a touch of artistry to your digital creations? Learn how to blur the background in Krita effortlessly and make your subjects truly pop.


Creating stunning digital artwork involves mastering various techniques, and one essential skill is blurring the background. Whether you want to emphasize your subject or add depth to your composition, blurring the background can make a significant difference. In this comprehensive guide, we will take you through the step-by-step process of blurring the background in Krita, the popular open-source painting software. You don’t need to be a professional artist to follow along – just grab your imagination and let’s dive in!

Getting Started with Krita

1. Get Familiar with Krita

Before we delve into blurring techniques, it’s important to have a basic understanding of Krita. Krita is a powerful digital painting software designed for artists, illustrators, and designers. It offers a wide range of tools and features to bring your artistic vision to life. Spend some time exploring the interface, familiarize yourself with the various brushes, layers, and filters, and get comfortable with the overall workflow.

2. Install and Set Up Krita

If you haven’t already, download and install Krita from the official website. Once installed, open the software and configure the settings according to your preferences. Customizing the brush presets, canvas size, and color profiles can enhance your overall experience with Krita. Take a moment to adjust these settings to suit your artistic needs.

Understanding the Importance of Background Blur

1. Enhancing Depth and Focus

Blurring the background in your artwork can significantly enhance the depth and focus of your composition. By creating a distinction between the subject and the background, you draw the viewer’s attention to the main focal point of the image. Whether you’re painting a portrait or a landscape, background blur helps establish a sense of visual hierarchy and adds a professional touch to your artwork.

2. Creating a Sense of Realism

In many instances, blurring the background can simulate the natural focus of human eyes or a camera lens. When we focus our attention on an object in the real world, the background tends to appear slightly blurred. By replicating this effect in your artwork, you can create a more immersive and realistic visual experience for the viewer.

3. Adding Depth and Dimension

Background blur is also an effective technique for adding depth and dimension to your artwork. By blurring elements in the distance, you create a sense of atmospheric perspective. This technique is particularly useful for landscapes, as it helps convey a vast sense of space and can make your artwork appear more three-dimensional.

Choosing the Right Brush and Technique

1. Evaluating Brush Options in Krita

Krita offers a wide range of brushes to suit various artistic styles and effects. When it comes to blurring the background, it’s important to choose a brush that provides a soft and gradual transition. Look for brushes with a feathered edge or a smooth texture. Experiment with different brush sizes and opacities to see which one achieves the desired blur effect for your artwork.

2. Softening the Background with the Smudge Tool

The Smudge tool in Krita can be a powerful ally in achieving a realistic background blur effect. This tool allows you to blend and smudge colors, creating soft transitions and subtle gradients. To use the Smudge tool, select it from the brush presets, adjust the size and opacity as needed, and gently brush over the areas you want to blur. Experiment with different smudging techniques to find the one that best suits your artwork.

Preparing Your Artwork for Background Blur

1. Organizing Your Layers

Before you begin blurring the background, it’s essential to organize your layers effectively. By separating the subject and the background onto separate layers, you gain more control over the blur effect and can make adjustments without affecting the main subject. To create a new layer in Krita, go to the Layers panel and click on the “New” button. Place the background layer below the subject layer.

2. Duplicating the Background Layer

To ensure you have a backup of your original artwork, it’s a good practice to duplicate the background layer before applying any blur effects. Right-click on the background layer in the Layers panel and select “Duplicate Layer.” This way, you can always revert to the original background if necessary.

3. Locking the Subject Layer

Protecting the subject layer from unwanted modifications is crucial when blurring the background. To prevent any accidental brushstrokes or edits on the subject, lock the layer by clicking on the lock icon next to it in the Layers panel. This ensures that your focus remains solely on the background during the blurring process.

Blurring the Background in Krita: Step-by-Step Tutorial

Step 1: Open Your Artwork in Krita

Start by opening your artwork in Krita. If you don’t have an existing artwork, create a new canvas and sketch your desired subject. Once your artwork is ready, proceed to the next step.

Step 2: Duplicate the Background Layer

To preserve the original background, duplicate the background layer. Right-click on the background layer in the Layers panel and select “Duplicate Layer.” This duplication serves as a backup in case you need to revert to the unblurred background.

Step 3: Apply Gaussian Blur

Now it’s time to introduce the blur effect using the Gaussian Blur filter. With the duplicated background layer selected, navigate to the top menu and click on “Filter” > “Blur” > “Gaussian Blur.” A dialog box will appear, allowing you to adjust the radius of the blur effect.

Step 4: Adjust the Blur Radius

The radius determines the intensity of the blur effect. A higher radius value will produce a more pronounced blur effect, while a lower value will result in a subtler effect. Experiment with different radius values to find the right balance for your artwork. Keep in mind that the optimal radius depends on the size and resolution of your canvas.

Step 5: Refining the Blur Effect

While the Gaussian Blur filter provides an excellent starting point, you may want to refine the blur effect further for a more polished result. Use Krita’s eraser tool with a soft brush and low opacity to selectively reduce or remove the blur in areas where you want to maintain sharper focus. This technique helps in directing attention to specific elements in your artwork.

Step 6: Enhancing the Final Composition

After applying the blur effect, take the opportunity to enhance the overall composition of your artwork. Adjust the colors, contrast, and lighting to further emphasize the subject and create a more visually appealing piece. Krita offers a range of adjustment tools and filters that can help you achieve the desired aesthetic.

FAQs – How to Blur Background in Krita

1. Can I blur the background of an existing image?

“Yes, you can blur the background of an existing image in Krita. By importing the image into Krita as a new layer, you can apply the blur effect specifically to the background layer while preserving the original image.”

2. Can I use different blur techniques in Krita?

“Absolutely! While Gaussian Blur is a popular choice, Krita offers various other blur filters, such as Motion Blur and Box Blur. Experiment with different blur techniques to achieve unique artistic effects.”

3. How can I make the blur effect more subtle?

“To make the blur effect more subtle, reduce the opacity of the duplicated background layer or adjust the transparency of the brush you use to erase parts of the background blur. This way, you can retain some of the background details while still achieving a pleasing blur effect.”

4. Does Krita provide advanced masking options for background blur?

“Yes, Krita offers powerful masking options that enable you to create precise selections and apply the blur effect selectively. This allows you to focus on specific areas of the background while leaving others untouched.”

5. Can I animate the background blur in Krita?

“While Krita primarily focuses on static artwork, you can simulate animated background blur by creating multiple layers with different levels of blur and then using Krita’s animation features. This allows you to have a smooth transition of background blur over time.”

6. How do I ensure a smooth transition between the subject and the blurred background?

“To achieve a seamless transition between the subject and the blurred background, use soft brushes with low opacity to blend the edges of the subject with the surrounding blur. This technique helps create a natural and realistic effect.”

7. Can I adjust the blur effect after applying it?

“Yes, one of the advantages of working with layers in Krita is that you can always go back and modify the blur effect later. By selecting the duplicated background layer and adjusting the Gaussian Blur filter settings, you can fine-tune the blur effect to your liking.”


Blurring the background in Krita is a valuable technique that can elevate your digital artwork and make your subjects stand out. By following the step-by-step process outlined in this guide, you’ll be able to achieve a professional-quality blur effect, adding depth, focus, and realism to your compositions. Remember to experiment, practice, and refine your techniques to unlock your artistic potential. With Krita’s versatile tools and your imagination, the possibilities are limitless. So, go ahead, blur those backgrounds, and let your creativity shine!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only. We do not guarantee specific results or endorse any particular software or tool mentioned. Always use your best judgment and refer to official documentation or professional advice when needed.

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