Know the Basics: Krita Part 3: Advanced Settings

Welcome to the last of three tutorials on the Krita basics. In this tutorial I will get you familiar with Assistants, New View, Fill and Gradient Tools. You will also find out how I create some of my illustrations.

Step 1. Assistants

Assistants are tools that help you draw more precise shapes, or work with perspectives in the same way that rulers and French curve tools help create real life geometrical drawings. With the tool selected you can choose which particular assistant you'd like to work with from the Tool Options docker. Here you will find: Vanishing Point, Concentric Elipse, Spline, Ruler, Fish Eye Point, Parallel Ruler, Perspective, Infinite Ruler, and Elipse. Each one is set in place differently so you will need to experiment.

Each of the assistants that you put in place can be modified, moved, temporarily turned off or deleted separately. Once you establish your assistant in the drawing you can either set your brush to follow the assistant's lines and curves or just use them as visual guides. Those guides can be hidden from view by going to the View drop-down menu and checking/unchecking "Show Painting Assistants" and "Show Assistants Previews". The first one will show/hide the assistants and the second will show/hide lines that appear next to your brush, suggesting what the stroke should look like if drawn according to the assistants.

Step 2. Brush following Assistants

As stated previously the Assistants can be used only as visual guidelines or you can set your brush to follow the lines accurately. You can turn this option on and off in the Tool Options docker while having the Freehand Brush Tool selected. Just check the "Assistants" box. In addition to that you can decide how accurately the brush is going to follow the Assistant's lines by moving the slider to the right of the box from left to right. If you have more than one Assistant on make sure you have the "Snap Single" box checked otherwise the program is going to be switching between the multiple assistants while you are trying to draw one single stroke.

Step 3. New View

One of the things that speeds up my work significantly is the New View option because it eliminates the need to constantly zoom in and out from the painting I am working on to see how the details affect the whole composition. This option allows me to open my file in two different views. I keep one zoomed out so that I can see the entire painting and the other zoomed in on a detail I am working on. To turn this option on go to Window > New View in the top toolbar and choose from the list of open files the one you'd like to open in a second view. You can open one file in multiple views if necessary. Also each view can be mirrored and rotated separately.

Step 4. Fill Tool

The Fill Tool or Bucket Tool is a simple tool that allows you to fill a selection or spill paint onto the painting. With the tool selected you can change its properties in the Tool Options docker. Below are three examples of how differently this tool can behave on a new empty layer created over a painting depending on the settings. In the first example Opacity was set to 1 (in the top toolbar)

Threshold to 18 and "Limit to current layer" box wasn't checked. I spilled the paint by clicking over the white area around the elf and the program spilled the paint to the new layer, but as if calculating all layers together.

In the second example Threshold was set to 87 with all the other settings the same as in the previous example. The paint spilled onto other colors as well.

In the third example checking the "Limit to current layer box" created a situation when spilling the paint would only affect the current layer which was empty. Therefore the whole layer got filled with color.

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Step 5. Gradient Tool

The Gradient tool can be controlled - as all other tools - from the Tool Options docker where you can choose its shape, repeat and direction. You can create some very interesting results with these. But the Gradient itself (colors and so on) can be changed by clicking an icon on the top and either choosing a predefined gradient or creating a new one. To create a new one click +Add and in the pop-up window, and choose colors, opacities and relationship between the colors.

Creating a Character

Step 1. Sketch

The first thing I do when creating a new painting is to create a sketch. To do this I start a new layer on top of the background layer and set it to multiply mode. I use a brush that is quite sensitive to pressure when it comes to opacity and size because it reminds me of working with a pencil.

Step 2. Blocking in colors

On a new layer placed between my first two layers I start blocking in basic colors. Sometimes -especially if the painting is not very complex - I put each color on a separate layer. It helps me later on with creating basic shading. To block in colors I usually use the Shape_fill brush (or my own modified version of it). It allows me to quickly fill the shapes.

Step 8. Basic shading

Once I have all the colors selected it is time to start applying basic shading. In this case I had the colors on separate layers so I would lock alpha on each one and paint the shadows layer by layer. For this I use my favourite "chalk-like" brush that I use later on for the entire painting.

Step 9. Rendering

The last and most labour intensive step is rendering the character. During this phase I generally try not to change too much, but every now and then I abandon the default sketch and make corrections. For example in this case I made the elf's belly bigger and later on changed his grip on the mug as the perspective of his hand was initially wrong.

That's it for the Basics of Krita tutorials. There are many other more complex tools and settings to be found and I'm sure you will enjoy exploring them. Thank you for reading and watching. All the best. Kate.

Related links

Download Krita for free
Check out Kate Oleska's awesome work

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