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. 🙂