PureRef

Krita is a bit buggy on Mac. Sometimes I can’t pan my Canvas or draw anything on it without tabbing out to my desktop and back into Krita. In severe case, I would have to restart Krita. I have learned to put up with this minor problem because Krita is the best free drawing/painting program at the moment. The problem I just described will occur more often when I’m using “Subwindows” mode. The more documents to manage at once, the more likely these glitches will occur. Which is why I prefer (not the only reason) to stay in “Tabs” mode.

In my previous post, I talked about importing images as Reference Image. They are very helpful if you’re composing an image. But for practicing, that setup is not the best. I needed to have my reference images on the left at all time, while I scroll/expand my image to the right. There are two ways you can accomplish this:

  1. Import all your images as Reference Image, anywhere outside your Canvas. And then make a new window view (Windows -> New View) of your current document. Organize/position this new view, and then in this new view, zoom in to your reference images. Now you can switch to your main document and start drawing. Pan as much as you want and the images will stay there. OR you can create a completely new document and use this document to hold all your reference images. The same logic applies to this new document.
  2. In order for that to work, you need to be in “Subwindows” mode. And if you’re on Mac, forget it. I came across PureRef.com while researching my problem and that’s the best solution for a Mac user at the moment. Actually, even if you’re not on Mac and even if you’re not using Krita, PureRef is a very handy program to have. So check it out! It’s a pay what you can app. If you want to try out for free, just put in “0” for the price.

Krita’s Dark Theme

macOS Dark65 Theme: Works best with Canvas Border Color: 66,66,66 (which becomes 65,65,65). Don’t know why Krita minus 1, but that’s just the way it is.

KDE doesn’t look that great on Mac. And since I use Krita a lot these days, I have taken the time to put together a dark theme to make it looks a bit nicer. Feel free to modify it to your liking. Right click on the file and save it to your computer. Put it inside this folder: ~/Library/Application Support/krita/color-schemes

macOS-Dark65.colors

If you want a darker selection, look for 106,107,134 and replace it with: 70,70,77. This is so the window bar doesn’t stand out when Krita is in “Subwindows” mode. There doesn’t seem to be anyway to change just the color for the window’s title bar. You either change all, which affects the selection. When choosing a selection color for the theme, I avoid the color that is available for the Layer’s color.

Date/Time Stamp

Last night I found out that each time you saved your document while working in Krita, the original date/time stamp for the file you’re working on will be override. Other softwares keep the original stamp. This is good if you’re the kind of person that likes to keep track of your progress and like to go back in time to discuss certain things. I cropped a few files to clear the empty space and the original stamp got replaced with the new stamp. My only way around this at the moment is to rename the bottom layer of a new document and input the date/time into its layer title.

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. https://www.arttutor.com/blog/201611/where-find-legally-free-reference-photos-your-art-part-1-2

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.

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. 🙂

The Naming of Clouds

An insightful video on how clouds got their names. Knowing the name of something allows us to tackle it. It allows us to search it out for more and in depth understanding of the subject that at first seems to be mysterious.