How to Draw in Krita for Beginners: Unleash Your Creativity

A Fun and Friendly Guide for the Whole Family

Discover the amazing world of digital art with Krita and learn how to create stunning masterpieces from scratch. Whether you are a complete beginner or have some drawing experience, this comprehensive guide will walk you through the process step by step, providing detailed explanations and helpful tips. Get ready to unlock your artistic potential and dive into the exciting realm of digital drawing in Krita!


Welcome to the world of Krita, a powerful and user-friendly digital painting software that is perfect for beginners. With its wide range of brushes, customizable interface, and extensive features, Krita provides all the tools you need to bring your artistic visions to life on a digital canvas. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the fundamentals of drawing in Krita, from setting up your workspace to mastering essential techniques. So, grab your stylus and let’s embark on this creative journey together!

Getting Started with Krita

Before diving into drawing, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the basic features of Krita. Start by downloading and installing the software from the official website. Once installed, open Krita and you’ll be greeted with a blank canvas, eagerly waiting for your artistic touch. Take a moment to explore the various menus, palettes, and tools. Familiarize yourself with the layout and customize it to suit your preferences.

One of the great features of Krita is its highly customizable interface. You can arrange the windows, palettes, and toolbars to create a workspace that suits your needs. To customize the interface, go to the “Settings” menu and select “Configure Krita.” Here, you can adjust the position and size of various elements, enabling you to create a layout that enhances your workflow.

Next, let’s talk about the brush settings in Krita. The brush engine in Krita is extremely versatile and allows you to create a wide variety of brush strokes. To access the brush settings, click on the brush icon located on the right side of the screen. A panel will appear with various options and settings to tweak the brush to your liking.

Experiment with different brushes to find the one that suits your style and desired effect. Krita offers a vast selection of brushes, ranging from basic pencil and pen brushes to more advanced textured and special effect brushes. Each brush has its own unique characteristics, such as opacity, size, and texture, which can be adjusted to create your desired effect. Take some time to explore the different categories and experiment with the brushes to find the ones that resonate with your artistic vision.

Understanding Layers

Layers are an essential concept in digital art, allowing you to work on different elements of your drawing separately. Think of them as transparent sheets stacked on top of each other. By utilizing layers, you can easily make changes, add details, or adjust colors without affecting the rest of your artwork. This non-destructive workflow is a game-changer and gives you more flexibility and control over your creations. To create a new layer, simply click on the “New Layer” button in the Layers docker.

When working with layers, it’s important to understand their hierarchy and how they interact with one another. The layer at the top of the stack will appear in front of the layers below it, just like in traditional art. You can rearrange the order of the layers by dragging and dropping them in the Layers docker. This allows you to easily change the position and arrangement of elements in your artwork.

Each layer can have its own unique properties and settings. For example, you can adjust the opacity of a layer to make it more or less transparent, allowing the layers beneath it to show through. To adjust the opacity, select the layer and use the opacity slider in the Layers docker. This feature is particularly useful when applying shading and highlights to your artwork.

In addition to opacity, layers can also have different blending modes. Blending modes determine how the pixels on one layer interact with the pixels on the layers beneath it. Krita offers a wide range of blending modes, such as Multiply, Screen, Overlay, and more. Experimenting with different blending modes can yield interesting and unique effects, adding depth and complexity to your artwork.

Mastering Basic Techniques

Now that you’re familiar with the core features of Krita, let’s delve into some basic techniques to get you started on your drawing journey:


Sketching is the foundation of any drawing. It allows you to plan and define the overall composition and proportions of your artwork. In Krita, you can start your sketch by using a light color or a low opacity brush. This will enable you to make adjustments and corrections without the sketch overwhelming the final artwork. Focus on capturing the basic shapes and forms, paying attention to the overall balance and flow of the composition.

When sketching, it’s important to keep your strokes loose and fluid. Don’t worry about creating a perfect representation right away; instead, focus on exploring different ideas and experimenting with different poses, angles, and perspectives. The sketching phase is all about exploring and brainstorming, so embrace the freedom to make mistakes and iterate on your ideas.

Blocking Colors

Once your sketch is complete, it’s time to establish the base colors of your drawing. This step is often referred to as blocking in colors. Create a new layer and set it to “Multiply” blending mode. This blending mode allows the colors you paint on this layer to interact with the layers beneath it, giving your artwork a more realistic and dimensional look.

Start by selecting a mid-tone color that represents the overall color scheme of your artwork. Using a large brush, fill in the areas of your drawing with this base color, covering the entire canvas. Don’t worry about details at this point; the goal is to establish the general color distribution and define the different areas of your artwork.

Adding Details

With the base colors in place, it’s time to add details and refine your drawing. Create a new layer and set it to “Normal” blending mode. This layer will be used for adding the finer elements and intricate details to your artwork. Switch to a smaller brush size and gradually work on the details, such as facial features, textures, patterns, and other intricate designs. Take your time and pay attention to the small nuances that bring your artwork to life.

When adding details, you can focus on one area at a time or work on multiple areas simultaneously, depending on your preferred workflow. Remember to refer back to your initial sketch and reference images if needed. Don’t be afraid to experiment and iterate on your ideas; digital art offers the flexibility to try different approaches and make adjustments with ease.

Shading and Highlights

To add depth and dimension to your artwork, incorporating shading and highlights is crucial. Proper shading can bring your artwork to life, creating the illusion of three-dimensional forms and enhancing the overall realism. Start by identifying the primary light source in your artwork. Visualize how this light source would interact with the different objects and surfaces, creating areas of light and shadow.

When shading, it’s important to understand the different types of shading techniques. One common technique is called “hatching” or “cross-hatching,” where you use a series of parallel or crisscrossing lines to create the illusion of shading. This technique works particularly well for textured surfaces or objects with a lot of details. Another technique is “gradient shading,” where you smoothly transition from light to dark values using soft, gradual transitions. This technique is effective for creating smooth, realistic shadows.

Textures and Effects

Take your drawing to the next level by adding textures and special effects. Krita provides a wide range of brushes and filters that can help you achieve unique artistic touches and bring your artwork to life. Whether you want to create a realistic watercolor effect, a gritty charcoal texture, or a vibrant digital painting style, the possibilities are endless.

Experiment with different brushes and explore the brush presets available in Krita. Each brush has its own unique texture and behavior, allowing you to create various effects, such as rough textures, soft blends, or textured strokes. You can also adjust the brush settings, such as size, opacity, and flow, to further customize your brushes and achieve the desired effect.

In addition to brushes, Krita also offers a range of filters and effects that can be applied to your artwork. These filters can enhance colors, add texture, or apply various artistic effects. Don’t be afraid to explore these filters and experiment with different combinations to add that extra touch of magic to your artwork.

Final Touches

Once you’re satisfied with your drawing, it’s time to take a step back and evaluate the overall composition. Check for any areas that may need further improvement or adjustment. This is the perfect time to make any necessary tweaks and add those final touches that bring your artwork to life.

Consider the overall balance and harmony of the composition. Does everything flow together seamlessly? Are there any areas that need more emphasis or refinement? Pay attention to the small details, such as fine lines, highlights, and textures. These subtle touches can make a significant difference in the final result.

Don’t be afraid to experiment and try different approaches. Digital art offers the flexibility to create multiple versions and variations of your artwork. You can save different versions or create new layers to try out different ideas without affecting your original drawing. Remember, the process of creating art is a personal and creative journey, so trust your instincts and have fun with it!

Exploring Advanced Techniques

As you become more comfortable with Krita, don’t be afraid to venture into the realm of advanced techniques. Take advantage of the extensive features and tools that Krita offers to further enhance your digital art skills.

Layer Styles and Effects

Krita provides a variety of layer styles and effects that can add depth and visual interest to your artwork. Layer styles, such as bevel and emboss, drop shadow, and inner glow, can make your artwork pop and give it a professional look. Experiment with different combinations of layer styles to achieve unique effects.

In addition to layer styles, Krita also offers various layer effects, such as blur, noise, and motion blur. These effects can be applied to individual layers or specific areas of your artwork to create interesting textures or dynamic motion effects.

Selection Tools and Masks

Selection tools and masks are powerful features in Krita that allow you to isolate specific areas of your artwork for further editing or manipulation. The selection tools, such as the rectangular or elliptical selection tool, allow you to create precise selections based on specific shapes. You can then apply adjustments, filters, or brush strokes only to the selected area.

Masks, on the other hand, are non-destructive tools that enable you to control the visibility or transparency of certain areas of your artwork. Think of masks as digital stencils that allow you to protect or reveal specific parts of your drawing. By utilizing masks, you can make adjustments or add effects without permanently altering the original pixels of your artwork.

Advanced Brush Techniques

Dive deeper into the world of brushes with advanced brush techniques in Krita. The brush engine in Krita is highly customizable, allowing you to create brushes that simulate various traditional art tools, such as oil paint, watercolor, or charcoal. You can adjust the brush parameters, such as size, opacity, flow, and texture, to create unique brush strokes and achieve the desired effect.

Experiment with different brush presets and settings to create your own custom brushes. Krita provides a wide range of options, including brush tip shape, spacing, rotation, and pressure sensitivity. Take some time to explore these settings and see how they affect the behavior and appearance of your brush strokes.

Working with Text and Typography

While Krita is primarily focused on digital painting and drawing, it also offers some basic text and typography features. You can add text to your artwork by selecting the text tool and clicking on the canvas. This will create a new text layer where you can type in your desired text.

Krita provides various options for formatting and styling your text, such as choosing different fonts, sizes, and colors. You can also adjust the spacing, alignment, and rotation of the text to fit seamlessly into your composition. Additionally, Krita allows you to apply certain effects and transformations to your text, such as warping or distorting it to create interesting typographic effects.

Animation and Timeline

One of the unique features of Krita is its built-in animation capabilities. With Krita’s animation tools, you can create frame-by-frame animations or work with keyframes to create smooth, fluid motion. Whether you want to bring characters to life or create captivating visual effects, Krita provides the tools and functionality to make your animations come alive.

To create an animation, start by opening the Animation docker. This docker allows you to manage and organize your animation frames. You can add, delete, or rearrange frames, as well as adjust the duration and timing of each frame.

In addition to frame animation, Krita also supports timeline-based animation. This means you can create animations using keyframes, which define the starting and ending points of an animation sequence. The software then automatically fills in the in-between frames to create smooth motion. This method is particularly useful for creating complex animations or effects that require precise timing and control.

Exporting and Sharing Your Artwork

Once you’re satisfied with your masterpiece, it’s time to share it with the world. Krita provides various options for exporting and sharing your artwork in different formats.

If you want to share your artwork digitally, you can save it as an image file in formats such as JPEG, PNG, or TIFF. Krita also offers the ability to export your artwork in popular file formats for use in other software, such as PSD (Photoshop) or SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics).

If you’re creating artwork for print, Krita allows you to save your artwork in high-resolution formats suitable for printing, such as PDF or EPS. This ensures that your artwork retains its quality and detail when printed on various media.

Additionally, Krita provides built-in integration with various online platforms and art communities, making it easy to share your artwork directly from within the software. Whether you want to showcase your artwork on social media, sell prints, or participate in online art communities, Krita offers seamless connectivity to help you reach a wider audience.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How to Draw in Krita for Beginners – FAQ

Q: Can I use a graphic tablet with Krita?

A: Yes, Krita is compatible with graphic tablets, providing you with a natural and intuitive drawing experience. By connecting your tablet to your computer, Krita recognizes the pressure sensitivity and other features of the tablet, allowing you to have precise control over your brush strokes. This gives you the freedom to explore different levels of pressure, creating strokes that vary in opacity and thickness.

Q: Is Krita available for Mac or Linux?

A: Yes, Krita is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems, making it accessible to a wide range of users. Simply visit the official website and download the version that corresponds to your operating system. Krita is an open-source software, meaning it is free to download and use, regardless of the platform you’re on.

Q: Can I import images or photos into Krita?Q: Can I import images or photos into Krita?

A: Absolutely! Krita allows you to import images or photos into your artwork. This feature comes in handy when you want to incorporate existing images or use them as references for your drawing. To import an image, simply go to the “File” menu, click on “Import,” and select the desired image from your computer. Krita will place the image on a new layer, allowing you to resize, rotate, or even trace over it. This feature is particularly useful for creating detailed and realistic artwork based on references or for adding elements such as textures or backgrounds to your composition.

Q: Can I resize or transform elements in my drawing?

A: Yes, Krita provides a range of transformation tools that allow you to resize, rotate, distort, or move elements within your drawing. These tools come in handy when you want to adjust the size or position of a specific object or make changes to the composition. To access the transformation tools, select the desired layer or object and look for the transformation handles or options in the toolbar. You can then use these handles to manipulate and transform the element as needed. Krita also offers precise numerical input for transformations, allowing you to enter specific values for size, angle, and position.

Q: How can I undo or redo actions in Krita?

A: Krita offers multiple ways to undo or redo actions, allowing you to backtrack and make changes to your artwork. The simplest way is to use the keyboard shortcuts. Press “Ctrl+Z” to undo your last action, and press “Ctrl+Shift+Z” to redo it. Alternatively, you can navigate to the “Edit” menu and select “Undo” or “Redo.” Additionally, Krita provides undo and redo buttons in the top toolbar for quick access. These features are invaluable for experimenting, trying out different techniques, and correcting mistakes during the drawing process.

Q: Can I save my artwork in different file formats?

A: Yes, Krita supports a wide range of file formats for saving your artwork. This flexibility allows you to choose the format that best suits your needs, whether you’re sharing your artwork digitally or preparing it for print. To save your artwork, go to the “File” menu and select “Save As” or “Export.” Krita offers popular image formats such as JPEG, PNG, and TIFF, which are compatible with most digital platforms. If you need to maintain layers and editable elements, you can save your artwork in formats like Krita’s native format (KRA), Photoshop’s PSD format, or SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics). Additionally, Krita provides options for saving your artwork in high-resolution formats suitable for printing, such as PDF or EPS.

Q: Can I use Krita for photo editing?

A: While Krita primarily focuses on digital painting and drawing, it does offer some basic photo editing capabilities. You can make adjustments to brightness, contrast, hue, saturation, and color balance to enhance your photos within Krita. Additionally, Krita provides a range of filters and effects that can be applied to your images for various artistic or stylistic purposes. While Krita’s photo editing capabilities may not be as extensive as dedicated editing software like Adobe Photoshop, it does offer convenient tools for basic image adjustments and artistic enhancements.

Q: Can I use Krita for animation?

A: Yes, Krita supports animation and offers a range of tools and features specifically designed for creating frame-by-frame animations or timeline-based animations. Krita’s animation capabilities make it a versatile software for artists who want to bring their drawings to life or create captivating visual effects. With Krita, you can create animations using keyframes, defining the starting and ending points of an animation sequence. The software then automatically fills in the in-between frames to create smooth motion. Whether you’re a beginner experimenting with simple animations or an experienced animator, Krita provides the tools and functionality to support your animation projects.

Q: Are there online resources or communities for learning Krita?

A: Absolutely! The Krita community is vibrant and supportive, with numerous online resources available to help you learn and master the software. The official Krita website ( offers a wealth of tutorials, documentation, and resources for beginners and advanced users alike. You can also join the Krita forum or participate in online communities to connect with fellow artists, ask questions, and share your artwork. Additionally, there are various video tutorials and courses available on platforms like YouTube or online learning platforms, providing step-by-step guidance and inspiration for using Krita to its full potential.

Conclusion: Unleash Your Creative Potential

Congratulations! You have reached the end of this comprehensive guide on how to draw in Krita for beginners. By now, you should have a solid understanding of the essential tools, techniques, and features that Krita offers. Remember, the key to improving your drawing skills and unleashing your creativity is practice and experimentation. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, try new approaches, and explore different styles. Embrace the journey of learning and discovering, and most importantly, enjoy the process of creating art with Krita. So, grab your stylus, fire up Krita, and let your imagination soar as you embark on an exciting artistic adventure!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only. The author and website do not endorse or promote any specific software or products. Always respect copyright laws when using reference materials or creating original artwork.

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