Krita’s Line Tool

Testing out perspective theories

Krita gives you quick access to the Line Tool and it’s great for testing out perspective theories. However, I came across one limitation in Krita with the way the program handles straight line. Other softwares keep the line straight when you draw it while holding down the Shift key. I found out today that you can change Krita’s profile to function like Photoshop! Once you change the profile, the “Shift” will allow you to draw straight lines. But upon closer look, it’s actually a Line Tool. That’s where the limitation is.

On the left image, if you want to draw a perfectly straight line that covers both top and bottom, starting at the center, you can’t with a line tool. You would have to lift up your pen and repeat, and the problem is that it might not align with the first line perfectly. You can do it manually, image on the right, but without locking the initial angle/direction of the stroke, it will look off.

Vanishing Point

Randomly I decided to pull out the Vanishing Point assistant tool and scribbled a lot of random lines (with snap on). Then I removed all the assistant tool and I’m left with scribbling lines (image: left). Then I did the rest freehand, having the perspective guide as a layer below. This is the first time I have done anything like it, and I’m very pleased with the outcome. With the perspective guide below, I didn’t have to think about perspective, but instead focused more on blocking out my ideas, loosely and casually. This is a very quick way to thumbnail environments that will look a bit more realistic!

Snap to Assistants

The Vanishing Point in Krita is very helpful. I first saw its use in Autodesk SketchBook and was very impressed by it. I’m so glad that Krita has it! ArtRage has the perspective grid, but it’s not as flexible as the Vanishing Point. However, without a shortcut to turn on/off (in real-time) “snap to assistants” it can be a bit troublesome to use. Right now, I only use perspective theory casually. I have no intention of having it 100% accurate all the time, and therefore do not need to have “snap to assistants” on all the time. I find it extremely inconvenient to have to turn on the snap manually (and then off again) when I only need just a few lines in correct perspective.

Krita needs a shortcut for this. If there is, I can’t seem to find it.

Transform Tool

They looked a bit narrow. With the help of the Transform tool, I was able to widen them without having to reblock them manually.

I consider myself a purist, but I’m slowly breaking that mindset to take advantage of the tools that are available within the program that I use. When things don’t look right, I clear the canvas and start all over, and I believe there are times for that. But it’s not always wise, considering that we’re doing things digitally.

I don’t understand why Krita has two separate tools (Move, Transform) when they can be one. V for Move and Shift+V for Transform is my setup.

Notan Experiment

I took the default “Ink-7 Brush Rough” and modified to have a medium-thin straight square (vertical) brush’s tip. These were extremely quick sketches without giving much thought to the process. Just one value (black) and an eraser mode. This is a great way to focus on the overall composition/shapes. The mind has an interesting way of recognizing shape/pattern from chaos, so sometimes, it’s best to leave it unfinished and let the mind fill in the blank.

Practice, smartly…

Know your aim and what you’re practicing. There is no need to draw in all the details if you’re struggling with proportion, angles and correct measurement. By not focusing on the details, you’ll be able to go through many images in a short span of time, and that will speed up your training/progress. This is how I train: Open a search engine and look for a subject to practice. Training my eyes to capture the proportions, measurements and angles. I avoid drawing in the details and making a complete artwork out of it. Instead, I stay focused on the overall shapes.

Insert as Reference Image

Working in Fullscreen with all images in one place.

Bravo to the developer who coded this. Earlier I was practicing some landscapes and had a few images opened on my desktop, all lined up horizontally at the top of my screen. However, there’s a few problems with this: 1) It clogs up my space: can’t see what’s beneath these images such as Krita’s toolbar and so on. 2) When moving/zooming the Canvas, these reference images stay there the same. 3) I’m on Mac, and these images won’t show up when working in Fullscreen mode. In Fullscreen, Krita takes over. And that’s when I said to myself, “This can’t be good. I need these references! What do I do?”

That’s when I decided to drag and drop them into Krita and imported as “Reference Image.” And that solves all the problems. Insert as regular layer doesn’t work. In order to have these images outside of the Canvas, you must “Insert as Reference Image.” You can rotate, scale, flip, or even lower the opacity of the reference image. Another reason to love Krita!

Click to Expand

Krita has a great little feature that allows you to expand the size of your document that you’re currently working on. What this means is that you don’t have to worry about coming up with a document size. You can just start with any and get right into practicing your forms (or whatever you’re doing on the canvas). Once you reach the end of your document, by moving it (up | down | left | right), the expand will appear for you to click on

It started with a small document to practice drawing the eye. Then I got into form practicing and it quickly expanded
Constructive drawing: Practicing forms (Sphere, Cylinder, Cube etc…)

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.

Noise…

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.

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.

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 3.3

On macOS/OSX systems with and AMD gpu, support for hardware accelerated display is disabled because saving to PNG and JPG hangs Krita otherwise.

This image was taken from Krita’s homepage. For some reasons, “Canvas Graphics Acceleration” is disabled for those on Mac. If OpenGL can’t be turned on then Krita is basically useless (for Mac users with AMD gpu?) because it’s extremely laggy. Previous version is okay, though not the best.

UPDATE: You might not experience the lag if you’re on macOS High Sierra, and the option for OpenGL is still blacked out.

UPDATE2: Apparently it still lag on High Sierra.

Krita 3.3

Krita: Good but buggy

For quick sketches and doodling, Krita seems to do well (even though the lag is still there). However, once you want to slow down and seriously practice you’ll begin to see that the brush lag in Krita is an obstacle and an annoyance. Krita basically has everything I’m looking for in a drawing/painting software but at the moment I can’t really use it for serious studies because of this lag. I’m on Mac with a Wacom, and if you know of a solution please drop me a message.

ArtRage (left). Krita 3.1.4 (right). Notice that it’s a lot smoother in ArtRage.

Krita’s Quick Brushes

I love ArtRage for its realism and painting effect and will one day (God willing) use it for some experimentations. In the meantime, I find it much easier in Krita to get this marker effect look. I quickly improvised the legs on the fly, duplicated the legs layer and with another quick brush I put in the shading. For concept arts and thumbnailling, Krita is the best. I guess this explains it:

“From 2004 to 2009, Krita was strongly focusing on being a generic image manipulation/painting application in the style of Photoshop or GIMP. Since 2009, the focus is squarely on painting: the Krita community aims to make Krita the best painting application for cartoonists, illustrators, and concept artists.”

Last night before bed (as you can see the dark background) I did some quick test with one of Krita’s Ink brushes. 10-30 seconds each. Improvised on the fly.

Giving Krita a try

I have known Krita for a while now but haven’t really sit down to explore it until today. These are quick sketches (testing out one of its brushes) improvised on the fly.

It looks like Krita will be the software I’ll be using for quick sketches / concepts.

[2D] Form Breakdown #2

Flipping through my files I came across these two by Kurt Papstein. My purpose isn’t to copy it exactly, but just to simplify them and imagine how I would go about Box modelling them. Sort of like retopologizing without actually doing it.

form-breakdown-practice2

[2D] Form Breakdown #1

Was flipping through my morgue file for creature references and did some form breakdown practice. (No tracing. Just quick blocking out (sketching) using a tablet and references as guide). This is a great way to prepare your mind for digital box modelling. While doing this I imagined myself box modelling but with a tablet.

form-breakdown-practice