Krita digital painting test sketch: Leon

Jul 2

Diving into Krita

Update: 7-10-16

My initial excitement regarding the use of the Léon images for my introductory journey into Krita was a bit premature.  While I was happy to share the sketches and looked forward to putting them to use, I found them overly difficult to use as a starting point.

Perhaps they would work just fine for someone with more background in digital painting and Krita. I’ve decided that I should begin with something simpler. I want this to remain a pleasurable learning experience. For myself, small wins and successes in the beginning can go a long way toward maintaining the level of engagement necessary to learn this thing.

In the end I also found that I’m just not inspired to work on these images.  They’re part of the past, far removed from what I’m interested in now, and perhaps it should remain that way.

After three good-faith attempts at bringing these to life as digital paintings I’ve decided to start with something fresh instead.

That being said…my interaction with the Krita program has been great.  The interface is stripped down and out of the way. The program moves quickly and fluidly. It doesn’t feel “bloated” and instead, nimble, fluid, free.

The standard out-of-the-box brush set is freaking awesome.  There is a very nice feel to these brushes, a feel that closely replicates real life drawing and painting. It’s hard to imagine this program is free.

I picked up a top-notch brush bundle as well from David Revoy, creator of Pepper and Carrot.  He was kind enough to share his personal brush set and even took the time to explain how he uses each one.

David makes using Krita look easy. It’s not. It is going to take some time, and lots of trial and error to become proficient with it.

Recently I came across the open source Krita Digital Painting and Sketching program and I’m gearing up to dive into this awesome looking tool.  I have quite a few illustrations I’ll be getting to in the coming months and figured this would be a great time to start checking this out.

Some of what is to come:

  • Blog banner illustration: story-time with zombies.
  • Contact page banner illustration: androids talk with old school communication device.
  • Beard: Illustration inspired by Mucha and the ever serious Idaho hipster love of the beard.


Photoshop is Great but Krita Looks Better

I have been working in Photoshop yet when it comes to illustration/sketching/digital painting it feels bogged down and bloated; a tool best suited for other tasks.  Krita is specifically built for digital sketching, illustrating, and digital painting.

For my educational dive into Krita I resurrected some sketches I did a few years back.  These were drawings derived from the cult-classic movie Léon: The Professional. A couple of these sketches…

Krita digital painting test sketch Leon and girl

Krita digital painting test sketch Leon and the fat man

My intention for these sketches was to create an alternate world for Léon.  In this world Léon wanted to leave behind a life of assassination while embracing a secret passion for bread making. Give up the guns and an existence dedicated to death and instead move to one dedicated to the emotional warmth and baking goodness of bread.

I was really into baking bread back then.

Life ensued and I never got around to it.  But alas, those drawings are now going to be put to good use!

Krita has documentation and sets of free tools and tutorials to get you rolling. You can check out the Krita site for some solid examples of illustrations and other digital goodness. If you’re inspired, take the software for a drive.

I’ll be using the Léon images to learn the program and will keep you updated here. I hope Krita is as awesome as it appears and becomes my go to tool for digital painting and illustration.