Brush: Pencil-5 Tilted

I’m using a tablet that does not have tilt support, with a brush that was made for tilted tablet (I’m assuming because the setting for this brush has tilt settings). I can’t imagine what it would be like, and I’ll have to get a better tablet to find out later in the future. In the meantime, this is what I use to practice gesture drawing. Default setting, but I set the brush size to 260.

Krita’s Blending Brush

I’m about to head off to bed, but before I go I decided to fire up Krita and do a quick scribbling. Had no idea where I was going with it. I grabbed the “Wet Paint” brush and played around, and to my surprise, this is something you can achieve in less than 15 minutes!

I’m not into painting at the moment. That’s something I’ll explore later on. For now, I’m exploring LINES, gestures, poses, etc…

EDIT: Another quick test early next morning. Trying out the blending brush (“Wet” Circle, Paint, Paint Details)

Strategies for Blocking In

These were copied from photos of sculptures/statues. My aim was to capture the overall proportions, loosely. I find the body more challenging than the head/shoulder.

There are a lot of things the mind processes and goes through when doing observational drawing. I find that my mind switches modes of thinking here and there throughout the whole drawing process. Take for example, in the second example, I didn’t have much difficulty just going with the contour, but I couldn’t do that same thing with the third example. In the third example, I focused on having the thigh right and then worked out from there. In the last example, i used the line of action to guide me through the whole process.

Blocking in (or Block-in) is the first phrase of drawing. There are many ways to go about it, and it’s even possible to switch between two or more strategies. There are Gestures, Angles, Envelope, Shapes/Forms (and a few more). This is a very important topic that I’ll surely talk more about in the future.


I was trying out something new earlier just now. As of this writing, I haven’t studied or know much about lightning/shadow. Painting is something I’ll explore later on, but in the meantime I’m exploring lines (drawing). This piece was an experiment (around 30 minutes) without any aim. Just relaxing (not thinking much) and random scribbling, to see what I can make out of it, and I had no idea that it would end up this way. In so doing, I realize that this can become a style/look.

Line Theory

It’s good to have technical knowledge, and to dig deeper into things for greater understanding. A lot of us can’t do certain things unless some of our questions are unanswered, and so we are paralyzed by it. Let me use English grammar as an example to illustrate my point, and to encourage you to experiment and try out new things.

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Alchemy in Krita?

The Shapes_Fill brush is a very strange tool at first sight! I have wondered why Krita even included it, but to my amazement this is an extremely helpful tool for brainstorming and quick thumbnailing. Check out Alchemy if you haven’t heard of it before. I haven’t used Alchemy before and this is my first attempt at it in Krita.

This experiment was carried out today. I had a lot of fun playing with this brush! What you see was done entirely with the Shapes_Fill brush alone.

EDIT: I went and tried it out on Affinity Designer, with “Frankentoon – SciFi Starter Pack” brush set. I wish Krita can do something like this, where the brush can stretch out the texture/brush tip as you draw it.

Low-Detail Painting

First attempt at low-detail painting done in Krita that was not planned. Just something I improvised while experimenting with different brush tip. Low-Detail painting is fun, in that you get to relax and don’t have to worry too much about details.

Where to find references

Photo references are very helpful when you’re just starting out. However, there are a few things to keep in mind so that you don’t get into trouble.

Personally, what I do is look for CC0 images of Sculptures to practice observational drawing method. And for painting, I would search for old paintings done by old masters of the past. Last night before bed I fired up Krita and did four iterations (four different attempts at the same photo) of a Sculpture done by Michelangelo. I haven’t learned proper methods yet, so this is just something I did on the fly.

Two Brushes

By default, Krita has all the brushes you need to help you get started. And it won’t take you long to realize that this feels like drawing. Here is a very quick demonstration I did just now.

There are many ways to use a brush and I would say that every artist is different in how they go about using it. However, for me personally, I find the Basic-5 Size Opacity (with its default settings) brush extremely helpful to lay out the rough sketches. I draw lightly with this brush, and strokes might get bolder if I press harder, and I don’t have to worry about making any mistake because I know this is just brainstorming. The advantage with a brush like this is that it gives room for interpretation once I switched to the other brush for outlining. Strokes might fly here and there, thin here and thick there—it doesn’t matter. The whole idea behind this brush and phrase is to be free and not think too much. Here’s an example:

What do you see? As you can see, no matter how messy it is, and the more messy it is, the more room there is to interpret and improvise.

After the rough is done, I switched over to the Basic-5 Size brush, with the “Dynamic Brush Tool” instead of the regular brush. This is so I can get a much smoother line without trying too hard.

Krita on macOS

I’m currently using Krita 4.1.7 on Mojave. Not sure if this problem is universal, but the dialog window is crippled, and floating windows can’t be resized. Which means at higher monitor resolution, you will have a hard time with color picker (for example).

NOTE: A simple fix for the dialog window being crippled (only showing half) on macOS as of this writing is to make sure you open it. And let it remain open at all times. Even when you’re not using the pop palette. Relaunch Krita (exit/open) and the app will automatically adjust the dialog. Don’t close that dialog via the Pop Palette. You’ll have to repeat this step if you do.

Toggle Layer’s Visibility

As of this writing, I do not know whether Krita has this ability or not (my guess is that it doesn’t). But I notice that I find myself turning on/off the layer beneath manually with a mouse click. This is so I can see how my inking looks like without the marker layer below. I hope there’s a way to put it into a shortcut so that I can toggle the below/above layer (or group) on and off. If not in this version, then future versions. 🙂

Back from a long break

Just got back from a very long break. I’ll be writing a lot more soon. Recently I found out that all these times the problem was not with Krita, but Wacom tablet. I put my drawing on hold because I was kind of a bit frustrated with how my tablet works in Krita. Turns out, it’s something else (wasn’t Krita’s fault). I still haven’t found a solution for my tablet, but there’s a simple fix that is good enough to allow me to continue my drawing experiment.

Testing out Krita’s brushes on a Wacom Intuos Draw tablet.