How to Krita: Unleash Your Creativity with this Fun and Friendly Family-Friendly Software

A Complete Guide to Mastering Krita for All Skill Levels

Are you ready to dive into the world of digital art? Look no further than Krita – a powerful and user-friendly software that allows you to create amazing digital paintings, illustrations, and animations. Whether you’re a seasoned artist or just starting out, this article will guide you through the process of using Krita, from installation to advanced techniques, in a fun and engaging way. Let’s get started!


Welcome to the exciting world of Krita! This open-source software is packed with features designed to help artists unleash their creativity. With a user-friendly interface and a wide range of tools and brushes, Krita provides endless possibilities for digital art. In this article, we will explore everything you need to know to get started with Krita, including installation, basic functions, and advanced techniques. So grab your digital pen and let’s embark on this artistic journey together!

What is Krita?

Krita is a free and open-source digital painting software that is widely used by artists, illustrators, and animators. It offers a comprehensive set of tools and features that rival some of the industry-leading software. Whether you’re creating stunning paintings, designing characters for a video game, or bringing your illustrations to life with animations, Krita has got you covered. With its intuitive interface and customizable workflow, Krita is suitable for artists of all levels, from beginners to professionals.

Why Choose Krita?

There are many reasons why Krita stands out among other digital art software. One of the main advantages of using Krita is its cost – it’s completely free! This makes it accessible to everyone, regardless of their budget. Additionally, Krita’s powerful brush engine allows you to create realistic and captivating artworks, with brushes that simulate traditional media such as pencils, pastels, and watercolors. The software also supports various file formats, including PSD, allowing you to seamlessly collaborate with other artists or import and export your work to other software. Krita’s vibrant and active community is another reason to choose this software. Artists from all around the world share their knowledge, tips, and artwork, creating a supportive and inspiring environment.

System Requirements

Before diving into Krita, it’s important to ensure that your system meets the minimum requirements to run the software smoothly. Here are the recommended system specifications:

Operating System Windows 10 (64-bit), macOS 10.13 (High Sierra), or Linux (64-bit)
Processor Multi-core processor with 64-bit support
RAM 4 GB or more
Storage At least 300 MB of free space
Graphics Card Integrated graphics or dedicated GPU with OpenGL 3.0 support
Display 1280×800 resolution or higher

Make sure your system fulfills these requirements to have the best experience with Krita.

Getting Started with Krita

Downloading and Installing Krita

The first step to starting your Krita journey is to download and install the software on your computer. Follow these steps to get Krita up and running:

  1. Visit the official Krita website at
  2. Navigate to the “Download” section of the website.
  3. Choose the appropriate installer for your operating system (Windows, macOS, or Linux).
  4. Click on the download link and save the installer file to your computer.
  5. Once the download is complete, locate the installer file and double-click on it to start the installation process.
  6. Follow the on-screen instructions to install Krita. Make sure to read and accept the terms and conditions.
  7. Once the installation is complete, you can launch Krita by clicking on its icon or searching for it in your computer’s applications menu.

Exploring the Krita Interface

When you first launch Krita, you’ll be greeted with a clean and intuitive interface. Familiarizing yourself with the various panels, menus, and toolbars will help you navigate the software more efficiently. Let’s take a closer look at the different components of the Krita interface:

The Workspace

The workspace is where you’ll be creating your digital art. It consists of the canvas, where you’ll see your artwork, and various toolbars and dockers surrounding the canvas. You can arrange these elements according to your preferences by dragging and dropping them to different positions within the workspace.

Main Menu and Toolbar

The main menu and toolbar at the top of the Krita window provide quick access to essential functions and tools. Here, you’ll find options for creating new documents, opening and saving files, selecting brushes, adjusting settings, and more. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the different options available in the main menu and toolbar.

Brush Presets Docker

The Brush Presets docker is where you can select and customize the brushes you’ll use for your artwork. Krita offers a wide variety of brushes, ranging from basic to specialized brushes. Experiment with different brushes and explore their settings to find the ones that suit your artistic style and needs.

Layer Docker

The Layer Docker is an essential part of Krita’s workflow. It allows you to work on different elements of your artwork separately by creating and organizing layers. Layers provide flexibility and control over your artwork, enabling you to make changes to specific parts without affecting the rest of the composition. You can add, delete, merge, and rearrange layers as needed.

Color Docker

The Color Docker in Krita lets you manage and select colors for your artwork. You can create palettes, save color sets, and access various color models and modes. Experiment with different color combinations to bring life to your digital paintings and illustrations.

Tool Options Docker

The Tool Options docker displays the settings and parameters for the currently selected tool. It allows you to fine-tune the behavior and appearance of the tool, such as brush size, opacity, blending mode, and more. The Tool Options docker changes dynamically depending on the active tool, giving you precise control over your artistic process.

Customizing and Saving Workspaces

Krita offers a high level of customization for its interface. You can rearrange and resize panels, hide or show certain elements, and save custom workspaces that fit your unique working style. Experiment with different layouts and configurations to create a workspace that maximizes your productivity and creativity.

Create Your First Artwork in Krita

Step 1: Setting Up a New Document

Before you start creating your artwork, you’ll need to set up a new document in Krita. Follow these steps to create a new canvas:

  1. Go to the main menu and click on File > New, or use the shortcut Ctrl+N.
  2. A dialog box will appear, allowing you to customize the settings for your new document.
  3. Choose the desired canvas size, resolution, color mode, and other parameters. You can also select a predefined template if you prefer.
  4. Once you’ve set the options according to your preferences, click OK to create the new document.

Now you’re ready to bring your artistic vision to life on a blank canvas!

Step 2: Selecting and Customizing Brushes

The brush is one of the most important tools in Krita, allowing you to apply strokes and create various effects. Krita offers a vast collection of brushes, each with its own unique characteristics. Here’s how you can select and customize brushes in Krita:

  1. In the Brush Presets docker, you’ll see a variety of brush presets organized into different categories.
  2. Browse through the preset brushes to explore the available options. You can hover your mouse over a brush to see a preview of its stroke.
  3. To select a brush, simply click on it. The selected brush will be highlighted in the Brush Presets docker.
  4. After selecting a brush, you can customize its settings in the Tool Options docker.
  5. Adjust parameters such as brush size, opacity, flow, blending mode, and spacing to achieve the desired effect.
  6. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different brush settings to discover new possibilities and unleash your creativity.

Remember, brushes can be the key to achieving different textures and styles in your artwork, so take your time to explore and find the brushes that suit your artistic vision.

Step 3: Painting and Drawing

With your canvas set up and the brush selected, it’s time to unleash your creativity and start painting or drawing in Krita. Here are some tips to guide you:

Start with Sketching

If you’re creating a complex artwork, it’s a good idea to start with a rough sketch to establish the composition and basic shapes. Use a light-colored brush with low opacity to create the initial sketch. Don’t worry about making it perfect – the sketch will serve as a foundation for your final artwork.

Refining the Details

Once you’re satisfied with the overall composition, you can start refining the details of your artwork. Increase the brush size or choose a smaller, more precise brush depending on the area you’re working on. Pay attention to shading, highlighting, and adding texture to bring depth and dimension to your artwork.

Experiment with Layering

Layers are a powerful tool in Krita that allow you to work on different elements of your artwork separately. By using layers, you can easily make changes without affecting the rest of your composition. Create a new layer for each element or section of your artwork, such as the background, foreground, or specific objects. This way, you can easily edit or adjust individual parts of your artwork without affecting the rest.

Using Different Blending Modes

Krita offers a variety of blending modes that can enhance the visual impact of your artwork. Blending modes determine how colors interact with each other when you paint or draw on different layers. Experiment with blending modes such as Multiply, Overlay, and Screen to create interesting effects and achieve the desired mood or atmosphere in your artwork.

Adding Depth with Shadows and Highlights

Shadows and highlights play a crucial role in creating depth and dimension in your artwork. Pay attention to the light source in your composition and imagine how it would cast shadows and create highlights on different objects or surfaces. By carefully adding shadows and highlights, you can make your artwork appear more three-dimensional and realistic.

Step 4: Utilizing Krita’s Tools and Features

Krita offers a wide range of tools and features that can enhance your digital art. Here are some notable tools and features that you can explore:

Selection Tools

Krita provides various selection tools that allow you to isolate specific areas of your artwork for editing or applying effects. You can select shapes, freehand selections, or use more advanced tools like the magnetic selection tool to precisely define your selection. Once you have a selection, you can modify or apply adjustments to only the selected area.

Transform Tools

The transform tools in Krita enable you to resize, rotate, distort, or skew elements in your artwork. These tools come in handy when you need to make adjustments or introduce perspective to your composition. Experiment with the transform tools to create interesting effects or improve the overall composition of your artwork.

Filters and Effects

Krita offers a variety of filters and effects that can enhance your artwork and add unique visual elements. From blurring and sharpening to applying textures and adjusting colors, these filters and effects can give your artwork a personal touch. Explore the Filters menu and experiment with different options to elevate your artistic creations.

Text Tool

If you want to add text or typography to your artwork, Krita’s text tool can help you achieve that. Simply select the text tool, click on your canvas, and start typing. You can customize the font, size, color, and other properties of the text. Adding text can bring additional context, narrative, or personal touch to your artwork.

Step 5: Saving and Exporting Your Artwork

Once you’re satisfied with your artwork, it’s important to save your progress and export your final creation. Krita offers several options for saving and exporting your artwork:

Save as .kra File

Krita’s native file format is .kra, which preserves all the layers, settings, and details of your artwork. Saving your artwork as a .kra file allows you to reopen it in Krita later and make further adjustments or edits. To save your artwork as a .kra file, go to the main menu and click on File > Save or use the shortcut Ctrl+S. Choose a location on your computer and give your file a meaningful name.

Export as Image

If you want to share your artwork or use it in other applications, you can export it as an image file. Krita supports various image formats, such as PNG, JPEG, and TIFF. To export your artwork as an image, go to the main menu and click on File > Export > Export As. Choose the desired file format, adjust the export settings if necessary, and click Save. Specify the destination folder and file name, and Krita will save your artwork as an image file.

Publishing and Sharing Your Artwork

Krita allows you to seamlessly share your artwork with the world. You can upload your artwork to online platforms, such as social media, art communities, or your personal website. Sharing your artwork not only allows others to appreciate your talent but also provides an opportunity to receive feedback and connect with fellow artists. Don’t be afraid to showcase your work and engage with the vibrant and supportive Krita community.

FAQs – How to Krita

1. How do I change the brush size in Krita?

In Krita, you can easily change the brush size using various methods:

  • Use the square bracket keys [ and ] on your keyboard. Press [ to decrease the brush size and ] to increase it. This method provides a quick way to adjust the brush size while you’re painting.
  • Alternatively, you can use the Brush Size slider located in the Tool Options docker. Drag the slider to the left to decrease the brush size or to the right to increase it. The current brush size is displayed next to the slider, allowing you to have precise control overyour brush size.
  • You can also manually enter the desired brush size in the Brush Size input box located in the Tool Options docker. Simply type in the numerical value and press Enter or click outside the input box to apply the new brush size.

By using these methods, you can easily adjust the brush size in Krita to fit your specific requirements and create fine details or broad strokes with ease.

2. Can I import brushes from other software into Krita?

Yes, you can import brushes from other software into Krita to expand your brush library and explore different styles:

  1. Start by locating the brush bundle file (.bundle) or other compatible brush formats that you want to import.
  2. In Krita, go to the main menu and click on Settings > Manage Resources.
  3. A dialog box will appear, displaying various resource categories.
  4. Select the “Import Bundles” category.
  5. Click on the “Import Bundles” button and navigate to the location where your brush bundle file is stored.
  6. Select the desired brush bundle file and click Open.
  7. Krita will import the brushes from the bundle file and make them available in the Brush Presets docker.

By importing brushes from other software, you can take advantage of diverse brush sets and experiment with different textures, shapes, and effects to elevate your artwork.

3. How can I create custom brushes in Krita?

Krita allows you to create custom brushes, giving you the freedom to develop unique tools that suit your artistic style:

  1. In the Brush Presets docker, select a brush that closely resembles the one you want to create.
  2. Right-click on the selected brush and choose “Duplicate Brush Preset” from the context menu.
  3. A duplicate brush preset will be created, allowing you to modify its settings without affecting the original brush.
  4. Right-click on the duplicated brush and select “Edit Brush Settings.”
  5. A new window will open, displaying the brush editor with various parameters and options.
  6. Experiment with different settings to customize the brush according to your preferences. You can adjust the brush tip shape, opacity, flow, spacing, and many other attributes.
  7. Preview the brush strokes on the canvas to see how the changes affect the brush behavior.
  8. Once you’re satisfied with the modifications, click the “Save” button to save the custom brush preset.

By creating custom brushes, you can develop tools that are tailored to your specific needs and artistic vision, giving your artwork a unique touch.

4. Is Krita suitable for professional artists?

Absolutely! Krita is widely used by professional artists in various industries, including concept art, illustration, and animation. Here are some reasons why professional artists choose Krita:

  • Powerful Brush Engine: Krita’s brush engine is highly advanced and offers a wide range of settings and options. With customizable brushes that simulate traditional media, professional artists can achieve realistic and captivating results.
  • Layer Management: The layer management system in Krita is robust and flexible. Professional artists can handle complex projects with ease, organizing their artwork into multiple layers for efficient editing and control.
  • Advanced Features: Krita provides a wealth of advanced features that professional artists require. From blending modes and transformation tools to filters and vector support, Krita has all the necessary tools to bring unique artistic visions to life.
  • Community and Support: Krita has a vibrant and active community of artists, providing a platform for knowledge sharing, collaboration, and inspiration. Professional artists can connect with like-minded individuals, learn from others, and showcase their work to a wider audience.

Overall, Krita’s extensive capabilities and community support make it a go-to choice for professional artists who want to harness the power of digital art.

5. Can I use Krita for photo editing?

While Krita is primarily designed for digital painting and illustration, it does offer some basic photo editing tools:

  • Color Adjustments: Krita allows you to modify color values, saturation, brightness, contrast, and other parameters to enhance your photos.
  • Filters and Effects: You can apply various filters and effects to your photos in Krita, such as blurring, sharpening, noise reduction, and more.
  • Selection Tools: Krita’s selection tools enable you to isolate specific areas of your photos for targeted adjustments or retouching.
  • Cropping and Resizing: You can easily crop and resize your photos in Krita to achieve the desired composition or fit specific dimensions.

However, for more complex and advanced photo editing tasks, dedicated software like Adobe Photoshop may offer a more comprehensive range of tools and functionalities. Nevertheless, Krita can still be a viable option for basic photo editing needs.

6. Is Krita available for mobile devices?

Currently, Krita is primarily available for desktop operating systems such as Windows, macOS, and Linux. However, there are plans to release a version of Krita for Android tablets in the future. Keep an eye out for updates from the Krita team regarding mobile device support.

7. Can I use Krita with a graphics tablet?

Absolutely! Krita works seamlessly with graphics tablets, providing a natural and intuitive drawing experience:

  • Connect your Graphics Tablet: Simply connect your graphics tablet to your computer via USB or wirelessly, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Pen Pressure Sensitivity: Most graphics tablets support pen pressure sensitivity, which allows you to vary the thickness and opacity of your brush strokes based on how hard you press the pen on the tablet.
  • Customize Tablet Settings: Krita provides options to customize tablet settings, such as pen pressure sensitivity and button assignments. You can access these settings in Krita’s Preferences or through your tablet’s software.
  • Enjoy a Natural Drawing Experience: With a graphics tablet, you can enjoy the benefits of a traditional pen and paper drawing experience while having the digital advantages offered by Krita.

Using Krita with a graphics tablet can greatly enhance your artistic workflow and allow for more precise and expressive digital art creation.


Congratulations on completing this comprehensive guide on how to Krita! You’ve learned the basics of this powerful software and explored various techniques to unleash your creativity. Now it’s time to put your newfound skills into practice and create stunning digital artworks. Don’t be afraid to experiment, learn from others, and continue honing your digital art skills. Remember, practice makes perfect!

So go ahead, download Krita, and embark on your artistic journey today. Whether you’re creating breathtaking landscapes, whimsical characters, or dynamic animations, Krita is your creative companion every step of the way. Unleash your imagination, and let Krita bring your artistic visions to life!

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any company mentioned. Usage of Krita may vary depending on personal preferences and individual artistic needs.

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