How to Colour Lineart in Krita: A Fun and Family-Friendly Guide

Achieving Stunning Results with Colour in Krita

Discover the secrets to bringing your lineart to life with vibrant and captivating colours in Krita! Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced artist, this step-by-step tutorial will guide you through the process of adding colour to your digital illustrations. Say goodbye to dull and lifeless artworks and unlock your creativity with Krita’s powerful features.


You might be wondering how to transform black and white lineart into a masterpiece full of vivid hues and shades. Fear not, as Krita provides all the tools you need to make your artwork pop! In this article, we will explore various techniques and tips to colour lineart in Krita like a pro.

Why Colouring Lineart Matters

Colouring lineart is an essential step in digital art that can elevate your illustrations from ordinary to extraordinary. By adding colours to your lineart, you can create depth, dimension, and visual interest in your artwork. It allows you to evoke emotions, make objects stand out, and create a visually captivating composition.

“Adding colour to your lineart can completely transform the mood and impact of your artwork. It allows you to evoke emotions, make objects stand out, and create a visually captivating composition.” –

The Power of Colour Psychology

Understanding the psychology of colours can also play a significant role in your artistic choices. Each colour has symbolic meanings and can evoke different emotions in viewers. For example:

  • Red: Represents passion, energy, and intensity.
  • Blue: Symbolizes calmness, tranquility, and stability.
  • Yellow: Represents happiness, optimism, and warmth.
  • Green: Symbolizes growth, harmony, and nature.
  • Purple: Represents royalty, creativity, and spirituality.
  • Orange: Symbolizes enthusiasm, vitality, and adventure.

By strategically incorporating these colours into your artwork, you can create a specific mood or convey a particular message to your audience.

The Importance of Colour Harmony

When colouring lineart, it’s crucial to consider colour harmony. Colour harmony refers to the pleasing combination of colours that work together to create a visually balanced and cohesive artwork. There are various colour schemes and harmonies you can explore:

  • Complementary: Using colours that are opposite each other on the colour wheel, such as red and green or blue and orange, creates a vibrant and eye-catching contrast.
  • Analogous: Choosing colours that are next to each other on the colour wheel, such as blue, green, and teal, creates a harmonious and soothing effect.
  • Triadic: Selecting three colours that are evenly spaced on the colour wheel, such as red, yellow, and blue, creates a dynamic and balanced composition.
  • Monochromatic: Working with variations of a single colour, such as different shades of blue, creates a sense of unity and simplicity.

By understanding and utilizing these colour harmonies, you can create visually appealing and impactful artworks in Krita.

Materials Needed

Before we begin, make sure you have the following:

Materials Description
Krita Software Install the latest version of Krita on your computer. It’s free and open-source!
Lineart Have a finalized black and white lineart ready to be coloured.
Graphics Tablet (Optional) If you prefer the traditional feel of drawing, a graphics tablet can enhance your coloring experience.
Reference Images Gather reference images if you’re aiming for realistic or specific colour schemes.
Patience and Creativity Remember to enjoy the process and let your imagination run wild!

Step-by-Step Tutorial: How to Colour Lineart in Krita

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced Krita user, these step-by-step instructions will help you master the art of colouring lineart:

Step 1: Prepare Your Workspace

To start, open Krita and create a new document by going to File > New. Set the dimensions and resolution according to your preferences. Make sure to set the canvas as a transparent layer if you want to preserve the lineart’s original transparency.

Creating a clean and organized workspace is essential for an efficient and enjoyable colouring process. Arrange your tools, palettes, and reference images in a way that suits your workflow.

Step 2: Import Your Lineart

Next, import your lineart by going to File > Open or by dragging and dropping the file into Krita. Position the lineart layer above the transparent layer.

Step 3: Create a New Layer for Coloring

Create a new layer by clicking on the “New Layer” button in the Layers Docker. Set the layer mode to “Multiply” to allow the lineart to show through the colours you apply.

Setting the layer mode to Multiply ensures that the colours you apply interact with the underlying lineart, creating a more seamless and integrated look.

Step 4: Select Your Colors

Choose your desired colours using the colour selector tool or the colour wheel. You can experiment with different palettes or use reference images for inspiration.

“Colour is a power which directly influences the soul.” – Wassily Kandinsky, Russian painter and art theorist

When selecting colours, consider the mood and atmosphere you want to convey in your artwork. Warm colours like reds, yellows, and oranges create a sense of energy and vibrancy, while cool colours like blues and greens evoke a calming and soothing sensation.

Step 5: Start Colouring!

Now comes the fun part! Use the brush tool to apply colours to your lineart. Remember to work on separate layers for each part of your artwork to maintain flexibility.

When colouring, start with broad strokes to establish the overall shape and form. Then gradually refine your brushwork to add details and depth.

Step 6: Add Shading and Highlights

To add depth and dimension to your coloured lineart, create new layers for shading and highlights. Use darker shades for shadows and lighter shades for areas exposed to light.

Shading is a crucial element in creating realistic and three-dimensional artworks. Consider the direction and intensity of the light source, and apply shading accordingly. This will enhance the sense of volume and make your artwork more visually appealing.

Step 7: Refine and Finalize

Take a step back and evaluate your artwork. Make any necessary adjustments, such as fine-tuning the colours, adding details, or refining the shading. Don’t be afraid to experiment and let your creativity shine!

Remember, art is a continuous learning process, and there are no strict rules. Trust your instincts and have confidence in your artistic choices.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How to Colour Lineart in Krita – FAQ

Q1: Can I change the lineart’s colour after adding colours to it?

A1: Yes, you can easily change the lineart’s colour in Krita. Simply select the lineart layer and adjust the hue, saturation, or brightness using the Color Adjustment options.

By tweaking the lineart’s colour, you can achieve different visual effects and experiment with various colour schemes without compromising your existing colours.

Q2: How do I avoid colour bleeding or smudging outside the lines?

A2: To prevent colour bleeding or smudging, create a selection of the lineart using the Magic Wand tool or the Select > Color Range option. Then, apply your colours within the selected area.

Refining your selection and working within its boundaries will ensure that your colours stay precisely where they belong, resulting in clean and polished lineart.

Q3: What brush settings should I use for smooth colouring?

A3: Experiment with different brush presets and settings to find what works best for you. To achieve smooth colouring, try using a brush with a soft edge, adjust the opacity and flow settings, and enable stabilizers for precise control.

Customizing your brush settings allows you to achieve the desired texture and smoothness in your colours. Don’t be afraid to explore and find your unique brush style!

Q4: How can I make my colours blend seamlessly?

A4: Krita offers various blending modes such as Overlay, Multiply, and Soft Light. Experiment with these modes to achieve smooth colour transitions and seamless blending.

Blending modes alter the interaction between layers, allowing colours to interact and merge in different ways. Play around with the blending modes and opacity levels to create captivating visual effects.

Q5: Can I create custom colour palettes in Krita?

A5: Absolutely! Krita allows you to create and save custom colour palettes. Simply go to the Palette Docker, click the “+” button, and choose “New Palette.” You can then add, organize, and save your preferred colours for future use.

Custom colour palettes make it easy to access your favourite colours and maintain consistency throughout your artwork. They can also serve as a source of inspiration and help you develop your unique artistic style.

Q6: How do I add texture or patterns to my coloured lineart?

A6: To add texture or patterns, create a new layer above the coloured lineart layer. Use various brush presets or import texture images as new layers. Experiment with blending modes to achieve the desired effect.

Textures and patterns can add visual interest and realism to your artwork. By using different brushes and blending modes, you can mimic the appearance of various materials or create unique artistic effects.

Q7: Are there any shortcuts or hotkeys to speed up the colouring process?

A7: Yes! Krita offers a wide range of shortcuts and hotkeys to boost your workflow. Familiarize yourself with common shortcuts such as “B” for the brush tool, “[” and “]” to adjust brush size, and “Ctrl + Z” to undo. You can also customize shortcuts to fit your preferences.

Mastering keyboard shortcuts can significantly increase your efficiency and allow you to focus more on the creative process. Take some time to learn and practice using these shortcuts to streamline your colouring experience in Krita.

Closing Words

Congratulations, you’ve successfully learned how to colour lineart in Krita! Now it’s time to unleash your creativity and explore the endless possibilities of digital art. Remember to practice, experiment with different techniques, and most importantly, have fun!

Unlock your artistic potential today and create stunning masterpieces that will leave everyone in awe. Whether you’re a professional artist or just starting your artistic journey, Krita’s powerful tools and features will help you bring your imagination to life.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your digital pen, open Krita, and let your colours shine!

Closing Remarks: Embrace the Artistic Journey

Colouring lineart in Krita is not just about adding colours to your artwork; it’s about unleashing your imagination and expressing your unique artistic voice. Embrace the journey of self-discovery and continuous learning.

Remember, every artist has their own style and approach to colouring lineart. Experiment, push boundaries, and let your creativity guide you. Whether you prefer bold and vibrant colours or subtle and delicate hues, Krita provides the tools and freedom to bring your artistic vision to life.

So dive into the colourful world of Krita, explore new techniques, and embark on an artistic adventure like no other. Let your creativity soar, and watch as your lineart transforms into captivating works of art!

Disclaimer: The opinions and suggestions in this article are based on personal experiences and online resources. Results may vary depending on individual skills and preferences. Always make sure to save your work regularly and consult official Krita documentation for detailed instructions.

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