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Krita Free Painting App Tutorial by TysonTan Krita Free Painting App Tutorial by TysonTan

Project: Krita, free and open-source digital painting software
Character: Kiki the Cyber Squirrel, the mascot of Krita

2014-07-25: Source file has been made available. Please feel free to translate this tutorial into your native language!
2014-07-23: Shortcut chapter update, Typography improvement.

As requested, I'm sharing my Krita experience here as a
comprehensive, 24 pages tutorial. This tutorial shows how I created a
new picture of Kiki (the mascot) for Krita 2.9 startup splash, covering
many Krita related know-how such as:

  • Brushes of choice
  • Customizations
  • Layers
  • Ruler assisted drawing
  • Transformation
  • Mask
  • My 2 drawing strategies
  • and more!

I hope this tutorial helps. Good luck and happy drawing with Krita!

High resolution versions:


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TysonTan has been holding the flag of Krita since years, and looking at his latest pictures done with this free drawing software, no one can doubt it is possible to do professional-looking art without Photoshop or SAI that can cost hundreds if not a thousand dollars. Tysontan here shows us the tricks and tips of Krita, and since I recently decided to give it a try, I'm more than happy to see all the most important aspects covered in this beautifully written tutorial. Of course it is always a pain in the rear to start working with a new program which can maybe do the same things as the one you used before, but the shortcuts, icons are different, the tools can be differently named, etc. In this tutorial you can find how-to instructions on using the basic tools like selecting, color picks, layers and their properties, coloring tips and more. And who else could you give a better insight than an artist who's been obviously using it with professionalism for years?

So, all the fellow artists who don't want to spend hundreds on good graphic software but need something more than Microsoft Paint, dig through this tutorial and check out the links! And show love and support! Donations are welcome by the team ^^
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3Rton Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
All links for sources are broken :/ 
WillfulIntrospection Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
It's so wonderfully doneee, :+fav:
VerdanMagiston Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
The source files look really interesting, but they are no longer available. Is there any other link to that material? It'd be great to be able to study them.
haselwoelfchen Featured By Owner Apr 25, 2017  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
As someone who recently switched to Linux, I really appreciate this :)
PeachiiBeans Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2017   Digital Artist
I've recently downloaded Krita about a couple months ago and I do love it! But at the moment i'm struggling, I'm normally used to drawing on Medi bang paint pro and Photoshop CS6 and at the moment I'm not able to find an option to "clip" layers. I'm also having trouble with blending, whenever I use a paint brush (or really any blending tool) and want to blend some skin color the line art layer above it gets mixed with the colors below. Is there a way to stop this? Am I missing something?
Silvalistic Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
How come when I try to post a Krita drawing on Deviantart, it won't let me choose any category? and I can't post the drawing. 
TysonTan Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
You need to use Menu > File > Export, save the file as JPG or PNG.
Silvalistic Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
got that, thank you
ipskrimson Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2016  Student Digital Artist
This really helped me out! Thanks! ^w^
Flufflybunny101 Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I have a question. Ive already finished my painting/drawing, but I'm having trouble uploading it to social media like deviant art and such. The file isnt supported because the picture is a .kra file and I don't know how to save it as any other file type. Please help, this is really troubling for me!
TysonTan Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
Menu->File->Export->Name the file *.jpg or *.png.
Do not check "Embed sRGB/ICC Profile" box.
Flufflybunny101 Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you!~
HorseyContent Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you for this! I love Krita, it's awesome AND free! :D <3
knightmonx Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2016  Student General Artist
hi is there a way you can make this into a pdf and book format?
EluNiabi Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
I have a quick question about the download. Is it a safe download? Many art programs I try to download are always stopped due to it not being safe for my PC. I even had trouble downloading GIMP for the longest time. If it is, I would be happy to download it and use this tutorial to learn more about the basics of the program.
TysonTan Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
Download software from their official website. Like and They work fine for me as they always have been. Don't get them anywhere else.

If it was "many art program" having trouble downloading on your PC, you should instead:
1. Check if your antivirus software is legit.
2. Check if there is a middle man between your PC and your ISP who is monitoring, or worse, manipulating the datastream of your internet connection.
ambreki Featured By Owner Edited Aug 20, 2016  Student General Artist
How would you check if there is a 'middle man'?
EluNiabi Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Okay...thank you. I actually downloaded Krita from their official website, and it works fine! I had no trouble downloading it, but it was on my new PC rather than my laptop.
LadyChamomile Featured By Owner Jun 2, 2016  Professional
Thank you for sharing! It really helps :)
broqentoys Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
ooooooo my god that masking thing helps SO much ;o; i've been trying to figure out how to get clipping layers, that seems like the closest thing so thank you!!
Niji-Kitsuneko Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2016  Hobbyist
This was very helpful! Thank you for making it
unicornomics Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2016   General Artist
How do I turn my layer docker back on? It isn't visible right now
Kairensintal Featured By Owner Feb 19, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
This is amazingly helpful!
CappuccinoDragon Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2016  Student General Artist
Thank you for making this!  I tried Krita on my old laptop before it died, and had a bit of a hard time getting the hang of things.  This makes me think it would be fun to download the program again and give it another go. :)
ChompWorks Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2016
I don't expect you to ever answer this but under the "Paint Over" section steps 2-color and 3-shade seem incredibly different and i have no idea what happened between the two. I guess i don't fully realize what you mean by "shade" because to me it look like you did a lot more than just adding color and certain things also appeared and disappeared. I could just be dumb though lol.
JetSetMax Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I got lost. X.X
The1stMoyatia Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
I can definitely use this as a guide to making art just as good as yours.
springheel Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2016
You are my referral from now on. I must tame Krita!
Silver-shadowmoon88 Featured By Owner Edited Jan 6, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Thank you so much for putting this tutorial! I was so lost when got the app and i was close to giving but this made things sense! :D Thank you! Thank you! >w<
DulcineaNeruLP Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2015  Professional General Artist
Tekkire Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
this is so helpful
NPC-ARTS Featured By Owner Oct 4, 2015  Student General Artist
WindSwirl Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2015  Student Digital Artist
Thank you for sharing this!
I just downloaded Krita and I love it!
Especcially this sketiching tool is so much fun! >///<
DaniV-P Featured By Owner Aug 3, 2015  Student Digital Artist
Krita just doesn't work for me D; which is so sad cuz I really like it. I love drawing on it but the multiply tool just doesn't work. Idk if I'm doing something wrong? (I doubt it because I've been using the multiply tool on photoshop and SAI forever) instead of making the lines darker the multiply tool makes them lighter no matter what colour I use or how dark the colour already is, so I can't do nice lineart or nice blended shadows because the multiply tool isn't doing what it's supposed to. It's doing the opposite.
It's only this one thing that's not working, yet I use the multiply tool for everything so it's one thing and everything at the same time. Gosh Krita. Of all tools you decide to not let work :tears:
TysonTan Featured By Owner Aug 4, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
It hever happened to me, but you may try Blending Mode: Darken >> Linear Burn for a change. It does very similar thing to Multiply.
kuro--cchi Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
I've got Linux Mint Rebecca on an external drive which I plug into a laptop, but whenever I install and try to open Krita it ways essential components cannot be found. Any suggestions as to what is going on? Thank you^^
TysonTan Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Before you start, make sure your copy of Linux Mint is NOT a LiveUSB system. LiveCD/DVD/USB are supposed to be used on trial run before real installation. in that case you cannot change anything permanently. Each restart will reset or even destroy your system if you messed up something.

If you are using properly installed system, then:

To install missing Krita runtime components on, open terminal:
sudo apt-get install kdelibs5-dev kdelibs5-plugins kde-runtime oxygen-icon-theme konqueror

This works for most Debian/Ubuntu derivatives. Linux Mint is one of them.

If you are using Ubuntu, you can install the newest Krita from PPA:…

It might also work for Linux Mint. But there could be problem. Use Ubuntu is the way to go.

I wouldn't suggest you use Linux Mint and Krita on a external drive, though. Linux has a swap partition and Krita does autosave every 5 minutes. Disk I/O over USB is too slow for those tasks. When Krita autosaves you will experience huge slowdown. You may turn off its autosave from Menu>>Settings>>General>>Miscellaneous
kuro--cchi Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you so much for your help^^ It is a LiveUSB system, which is probably why it won't work for me, although everything else seems to install and work just fine ((odd, right?)) I should probably just put Mint on my computer anyway... hopefully it works then?
I really appreciate you taking the time to help me~♡ Krita is such a beautifully powerful program^^
Queenwolfiey Featured By Owner Edited Jul 15, 2015  Hobbyist Filmographer
I am interested I love fancy performance paint programs (or apps)!

where should I find it?
kuro--cchi Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
There is a website where you can download it on windows, linux, or mac
Queenwolfiey Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2015  Hobbyist Filmographer
kuro--cchi Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
You're welcome^^ it truly is a lovely program
BondoFox Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I can sure use any help I can get.  Thanks for creating this!  Please enjoy a Llama Badge
TysonTan Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
You're welcome!
javicandraw Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
More than a tutorial this is an act of love. I cant begin to think how long this took to plan and execute. Brilliant stuff!!
TysonTan Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Thank you! It was a passion work!
FrostyFreeze321 Featured By Owner May 31, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I have problems with installing Krita 2.9:

My system is on drive D:
My drive C: have about 500MB free space, my drive D: have 260MB..
I want to install it on C: 
I picked installation place on C: 
While installing it says that I can't install because drive D: has too small memory..

What can I do? I can't free more space, because my PC is a bit old..

I mean My C: size is 29.3GB and D: is 8GB... And whatever I do to free space on D: isn't working, only thing I'm able do is to remove Windows Installer Baseline Cache, but I don't want to mess my PC...

TysonTan Featured By Owner May 31, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
I'm afraid you will have to uninstall other applications or get a new HDD. There is no other way out. HDDs are not anything expensive to come by these days. Judging from your HDD's capacity, I suspect you cannot use any of the current internal HDDs now.
You can use a portable HDD to store your documents, pictures and videos, free space on your internal drive.
NamiHeartphilia Featured By Owner May 30, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you, very helpful!
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July 8, 2014
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