Saturday, 22 November 2014

Krita review 2014

For some reason in the past I was unable to install Krita (the open source paint program), but today I was able to. So having had a bit of a play with it I can give it a quick review. Having recently gotten back into illustration using Photoshop, I do have something to base my observations on.

Krita is a lot of fun. A LOT of fun. It felt so easy to draw with, I really think there is more control here. Mainly I was trying out the brushes, going through them one by one and getting a feel. I'm sure some of the sheer pleasure was on account of the stabilization and smoothing functions built into the brush engine, making my strokes seem more sure and accurate. You might think this could wrench intent away from the artist, yet in my case it made up for the disadvantage of not having my pen on the screen but on a separate tablet, perhaps not removing that disadvantage entirely but definitely closing the gap (people who use "pen to screen" tablets might not have this problem). I was able to draw what I wanted on the first takes rather than using lots of practice runs and I do put this down to the stabilization since I can't think of any other reason.

There is a good selection of brush types and it seems you can create your own, no doubt there are presets out there from other users, this is important because the thing that is going to keep me using Photoshop is the fantastic library of brush presets I recently bought. In Krita the canvas rotation is better implemented, or more easily activated than Photoshop's and this helps bring the experience closer to that of having a real piece of paper in front of you, moving it quickly around to best suit the type of strokes you intend to make. Even the funky layer system quickly lost it's alien appearance and became familiar to me. I'm writing this review after having spent less than thirty minutes in Krita, and I'm winding it up because I want to fire it up again and explore further. Worth the download, go get it.