Krita Drawing App

Krita is a painting and image editing application for Windows, Mac and Linux that can be a very good competitor for commercial apps like Photoshop. The best of all, Krita is free, although I would advise you to donate to the developers if you think the app deserves your support. Trying out Krita for android on my Note 10+, Note 9 and Tab S6, the first full desktop-level drawing app for android(ノ^ヮ^)ノ.:・゚ Open for more Info Loading. Mar 24, 2021 The description of Krita App Krita is a professional free and open source painting program. This is a beta release of Krita. That means it's not suitable for real work yet. Krita Foundation is raising funds for Krita: free paint app - let's make it faster than Photoshop! Krita is the free and open source digital painting program used by artists all over the world. Help make Krita even faster and better!

Krita does its best to keep your work safe. But if you want to make sure that you won’t lose work, you will need to understand how Saving, AutoSave and Backup Files work in Krita.


Krita does not store your images somewhere without your intervention. You need to save your work, or it will be lost, irretrievably. Krita can save your images in many formats. You should always save your work in Krita’s native format, .krabecause that supports all Krita’s features.

Additionally, you can export your work to other formats, for compatibility with other applications or publication on the Web or on paper. Krita will warn which aspects of your work are going to be lost when you save to another format than .kra and offers to make a .kra file for you as well.

If you save your work, Krita will ask you where it should save on your computer. By default, this is the Pictures folder in your User folder: this is true for all operating systems.

If you use Save As… your image will be saved under a new name. The original file under its own name will not be deleted. From now on, your file will be saved under the new name.

If you use Export… using a new filename, a new file will be created with a new name. The file you have open will keep the old name, and the next time you save it, it will be saved under the old name.

You can Save, Save As… and Export… to any file format.

See also


AutoSave is what happens when you’ve worked for a bit and not saved your work yourself: Krita will save your work for you. Autosave files are by default hidden in your file manager. You can configure Krita 4.2 and up to create autosave files that are visible in your file manager. By default, Krita autosaves every fifteen minutes; you can configure that in the File tab of the General Settings page of the Configure Krita dialog, which is in the Settings menu (Linux, Windows) or in the Application menu (macOS).

If you close Krita without saving, your unsaved work is lost and cannot be retrieved. Closing Krita normally also means that autosave files are removed.

There are two possibilities:

  • You hadn’t saved your work at all

  • You had saved your work already

AutoSave for Unsaved Files¶

If you had not yet saved your work, Krita will create an unnamed AutoSave file.

If you’re using Linux or macOS, the AutoSave file will be a hidden file in your home directory. If you’re using Windows, the AutoSave file will be a file in your user’s %TEMP% folder. In Krita 4.2 and up, you can configure Krita to make the AutoSave files visible by default.

A hidden autosave file will be named like .krita-12549-document_1-autosave.kra

If Krita crashes before you had saved your file, then the next time you start Krita, you will see the file in a dialog that shows up as soon as Krita starts. You can select to restore the files, or to delete them.

If Krita crashed, and you’re on Windows and your %TEMP% folder gets cleared, you will have lost your work. Windows does not clear the %TEMP% folder by default, but you can enable this feature in Settings. Applications like Disk Cleanup or CCleaner will also clear the %TEMP% folder. Again, if Krita crashes, and you haven’t saved your work, and you have something enabled that clear your %TEMP% folder, you will have lost your work.

If Krita doesn’t crash, and you close Krita without saving your work, Krita will remove the AutoSave file: your work will be gone and cannot be retrieved.

If you save your work and continue, or close Krita and do save your work, the AutoSave file will be removed.

AutoSave for Saved Files¶

If you had already saved your work, Krita will create a named AutoSave file.

A hidden named autosave file will look like .myimage.kra-autosave.kra.

By default, named AutoSave files are hidden. Named AutoSave files are placed in the same folder as the file you were working on.

If you start Krita again after it crashed and try to open your original file, Krita will ask you whether to open the AutoSave file instead:

If you choose “no”, the AutoSave file will be removed. The work that has been done since the last time you saved your file yourself will be lost and cannot be retrieved.

If you choose “yes”, the AutoSave file will be opened, then removed. The file you have open will have the name of your original file. The file will be set to Modified, so the next time you try to close Krita, Krita will ask you whether you want to save the file. If you choose No, your work is irretrievably gone. It cannot be restored.

If you use Save As… your image will be saved under a new name. The original file under its own name and its AutoSave file are not deleted. From now on, your file will be saved under the new name; if you save again, an AutoSave file will be created using the new filename.

If you use Export… using a new filename, a new file will be created with a new name. The file you have open will keep the new name, and the next time you save it, the AutoSave file will be created from the last file saved with the current name, that is, not the name you choose for Export….

Backup Files¶

There are three kinds of Backup files

  • Ordinary Backup files that are created when you save a file that has been opened from disk

  • Incremental Backup files that are copies of the file as it is on disk to a numbered backup, and while your file is saved under the current name

  • Incremental Version files that are saves of the file you are working on with a new number, leaving alone the existing files on disk.

Ordinary Backup Files¶

If you have opened a file, made changes, then save it, or save a new file after the first time you’ve saved it, Krita will save a backup of your file.

You can disable this mechanism in the File tab of the General Settings page of the Configure Krita dialog, which is in the Settings menu (Linux, Windows) or in the Application menu (macOS). By default, Backup files are enabled.

By default, a Backup file will be in the same folder as your original file. You can also choose to save Backup files in the User folder or the %TEMP% folder; this is not as safe because if you edit two files with the same name in two different folders, their backups will overwrite each other.

By default, a Backup file will have ~ as a suffix, to distinguish it from an ordinary file. If you are using Windows, you will have to enable “show file extensions” in Windows Explorer to see the extension.

If you want to open the Backup file, you will have to rename it in your file manager. Make sure the extension ends with .kra.

Every time you save your file, the last version without a ~ suffix will be copied to the version with the ~ suffix. The contents of the original file will be gone: it will not be possible to restore that version.

Incremental Backup Files¶

Incremental Backup files are similar to ordinary Backup files: the last saved state is copied to another file just before saving. However, instead of overwriting the Backup file, the Backup files are numbered:

Use this when you want to keep various known good states of your image throughout your painting process. This takes more disk space, of course.

Do not be confused: Krita does not save the current state of your work to the latest Incremental file, but copies the last saved file to the Backup file and then saves your image under the original filename.

Incremental Version Files¶

Incremental Version works a bit like Incremental Backup, but it leaves the original files alone. Instead, it will save a new file with a file number:

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. That means if you buy something we get a small commission at no extra cost to you(learn more)

Free painting programs are great for newer artists. You can learn digital painting without shelling out money for premium software like Photoshop.

We recently covered free art tutorials for GIMP which is another free painting program.

And in this post I’ll focus on Krita. It’s a free open source painting program for artists who want to draw & paint digitally without breaking the bank.

And since Krita is totally free you’ll find a bunch of tutorials out there also released 100% free.

Setup Wacom Tablet with Krita

The very first step for anyone learning to paint on the computer is learning to connect their tablet.

You need a drawing tablet to work with these programs. But they all connect a little differently and they all have their own settings panels.

If you check out this video you’ll find a step-by-step guide to connect your tablet into Krita.

This video specifically covers Wacom tablets but they process is often similar for other brands like Parblo and Huion.

Either way you’ll need to connect a tablet before you can paint.

If you’ve already done this on your own, great!

If not then try to follow along and make sure you’ve got it working before moving onto anything else.

Setup Krita for Digital Painting

When you open Krita for the first time it can be intimidating.

You can find some guides to the interface online but they’re not perfect. And if you’re more of a visual learner you’ll probably want to follow a video anyways.

This video is pretty long spanning over 20 minutes of detailed info on the Krita interface.

Anyone who’s brand new to the software should check this out and see what you can learn.

It’s possibly the most important intro to Krita since it teaches you the GUI specifically for painting.

Introduction to Krita

Here’s another really cool introductory video recorded & narrated by artist Sara Tepes.

This offers a smaller introduction to Krita with simpler explanations for all the tools.

It certainly runs a bit shorter totaling around 12 minutes long. It’s still a great follow-up for picking up Krita since you can get through it fast and pinpoint areas of the GUI you need to study more.

Phil Waclawski: Krita Basics

You might want a tutorials that’s incredibly detailed to learn all about Krita from start to finish.

In that case you’ll really wanna watch this presentation by professor & Linux master Phil Waclawski. He presented this hour-long guide to Krita in front of the Phoenix Linux Users Group.

Not sure if I mentioned this before but Krita runs on Linux. One of the very few painting programs that works outside of the Mac & Windows environments.

Yet even if you aren’t familiar with Linux you can still learn a lot from this video.

It’ll cover everything about Krita from brushes to color selection and creating/managing open documents. A fantastic presentation for all digital artists but especially useful for those running Linux.

What Brushes To Use In Krita

Getting started with a new program means learning everything from scratch.

This includes all the interface components along with assets like brushes. Digital painting is pointless without the right brushes.

Thankfully this video covers some of the best brushes you can use when just starting in Krita.

It’s a fairly quick video just under 10 minutes long and it comes from the wildly popular YouTube channel Mart’s Struggle with Drawing.

Whether you’re brand new to digital painting or already a pro just diving into Krita, either way these brush recommendations will put you on the right track to success.

Color Mixing Brushes Tutorial

Here’s another brush tutorial but with a focus on mixing colors with brushes.

Every painting program works a bit differently when it comes to mixing colors. Krita is super easy once you get it down into a workflow.

But this can take time and the fastest way to speed this up is through a tutorial.

Try following this guide from GDQuest as part of their full Krita series and see what you can learn.

Like everything here it’s best to keep what’s useful, discard the rest, and play around on your own to figure out how you want to paint.

Krita Layers Tutorial

Photoshop’s layers panel is perhaps the most-used feature for all design work. It’s a necessity to create so many effects whether you’re editing a photo or painting an illustration.

Krita Latest Version

Krita has its own layers feature and this video guide will get you up-to-speed on it.

The video is only 6 minutes long so you can work through the material fast. It’s also pretty detailed so you don’t need much prior experience to fully grasp the concept of layers.

Just remember that working with layers is crucial to painting great pieces. The sooner you get familiar with layers the faster you can pick up Krita.

Painting with Krita – Getting Started

GDquest has a ton of great videos on their channel but it’s not a Krita-only channel.

I’ve tried to curate their best stuff here, but if you follow any of their tutorials this one is a must-watch.

It’s 7 minutes in total and shows you how to start a digital painting with the software.

You’ll learn how to work with Krita’s brush tool, how to swap colors fast, and how to flesh out your ideas on-the-fly. Krita is a flexible program if you can learn how it works.

That’s the main goal of this video in a nutshell.

How To Paint In Krita

Another “how to get started” video that I really like is this one by JennaDrawing. She teaches you how to dive into Krita and get moving the right way.

I’m sure you’re eager to start throwing brush strokes willy-nilly. But you’ll get much more controlled work if you learn how to create documents, manage brushes, and alter settings like layer opacity.

Jenna covers all that stuff in this 15-minute video so it’s a great choice to bookmark if you’re looking to start painting.

Note this vid shows Krita as it looks on Windows but the lessons apply to all operating systems.

Understanding Krita’s Blending Modes

There’s a lot of cool stuff you can do with blending modes and layers.

When this word pops up most people think of Photoshop and photo editing. Yet digital painting has just as much room for blend modes if you know how to use them.

Take a peek at this tutorial spanning just under 12 minutes on Krita blend modes.

The lessons are really basic and it doesn’t show much practical use for blending in a real-world scenario.

Yet these techniques can apply to your work if you’re feeling a bit adventurous on a new panting.

A Comic Page From A to Z

Ever wanted to launch your own webcomic or create a digital comic book?

With Krita you can do just that. And with this tutorial you can follow David Revoy as he creates a full comic page from start to finish.

This is a super long video totaling almost 2 hours. It also has no real narration and parts of the video are sped up to reduce time.

I’d recommend this more for semi-experienced artists who want to move into Krita for comics.

You can follow David’s process and try mimicking this yourself to nail the workflow.

Square In Perspective Using Krita

Now this tutorial is pretty unique since it’s focused more on basic fundamental skills.

Drawing a perfect square becomes so much easier with practice. Websites like Draw A Box make this even simpler.

If you want to draw digitally then this video might help. It shows you how to create perspective grids and work within Krita to draw accurate shapes in near-perfect perspective.

With 20 minutes of runtime it’s a somewhat lengthy tutorial just for drawing boxes.

However it can prove useful when accuracy is more important than creativity.

Painting Hair in Krita

Many artists would agree that hair is the toughest subject to paint.

You have to look at hair more as an object rather than individual strands. But you also want to paint hair that isn’t an object so it looks realistic.

It’s a tough cookie to crack.

And if you’re struggling with hair in Krita this video might help. It’s around 18 minutes of instruction with step-by-step guidance for painting beautiful hair from scratch.

I always recommend drawing from life to master any subject and that still remains true.

But I also think digital work is completely different than traditional work. This tutorial can help you get comfortable with the digital side.

Lineart Tips With Krita

Another brilliant video from artist David Revoy as he shares line art tips working in Krita.

One of the best ways to get started painting is to work on your lineart. You can either trace scanned drawings or work digitally first, then on a new layer start painting.

It gives you way more room to get expressive while remaining true to the original line work.

David’s video is fairly short but also lengthy enough to build your confidence laying down lines.

Digital Painting Game Assets

I’d argue this video tutorial is one of my absolute favorites in the entire list.

Artist Douglas Lopes is fairly new to the world of digital art, yet you’d never second guess his skills based on his work.

You can find some awesome tuts on his channel and my absolute favorite has to be this gem.

It’s around 25 minutes long and shows you how to paint a digital game asset from scratch. Specifically a rock design with a sigil of some kind.

All work is done using Krita with a brilliant workflow for newer artists to watch.

Along with the subject matter being useful to aspiring concept artists, I also really like the tutorial because it’s just plain simple. Beginners can follow along with relative ease and build confidence painting in Krita.

Krita Drawing App

Turn Pencil Sketch into Digital Painting

Scanning a drawing and importing that to Krita offers a foundation for your paintings.

But once you get the file scanned in you may not know where to go next. That’s where this awesome video comes into play.

It’s a detailed guide for anyone who wants to move from traditional to digital using Krita.

Our friendly artist Mart is back again with more advice for mastering painting. This time you’ll learn how to work on top of a scanned drawing and use that line work as a template.

Granted this is pretty short totaling around 6 minutes but it’s worth a watch if you prefer doing your sketches traditionally.

Coloring & Skin in Krita

So this video by Griatch Art is actually a timelapse from start to finish.

The learning comes primarily from watching their movements, their tool choices, and how they mix colors for skin tones.

Learning to finish a drawing is one of the toughest things for beginning artists. This goes double for digital work because it’s so easy to close the document and start over.

If you need a narrated guide this probably won’t help.

But I think it’s worth saving if you feel comfortable painting digitally and want to take your finished pieces to the next level.

Let’s Animate A Ball In Krita 3

You might be surprised to learn that Krita isn’t just a painting program. It also supports real animation work if you want to do 2D animation.

And what’s the easiest thing to animate? Many animation students will have the same answer: a bouncing ball.

This video is the best introduction to animation with Krita. It teaches you the entire process over 22 minutes from starting a new document to creating each frame and polishing along the way.

It’s probably the best intro for anyone new to Krita who also wants to specialize in animation work.

Is it gonna teach you everything? Of course not.

But it will cover the basics of animation in Krita with lots of detail. And really that’s all you need to get started.

Make A Simple Animation In Krita 3

Here’s one more animation tutorial taught using Krita 3 and some basic techniques.

This one is a bit shorter with only 10 minutes of runtime. A very simple intro perfect to watch alongside the above tutorial.

I’d argue the bouncing ball is better to start with, then watch this as a follow-up once you’re done.

Kira Photoshop

Also have a look at the suggestions in YouTube’s sidebar for this video. You may be surprised just how many Krita animation tutorials are out there(and totally free!).

Self-Portrait in Krita

Let’s wrap up this list with a fun video from infamous YouTube artist Sycra.

He’s been publishing tutorials for years now and he’s one of the more well-known teachers on YouTube.

In this brief video he creates a self-portrait from scratch using Krita. He doesn’t exactly show you the step-by-step process but he does explain what he’s doing along the way.

Since it’s in real-time and narrated you can learn a lot from this video.

Just make sure you try this on your own because that’s really the best way to learn.

Granted if you want to paint portraits of others then I might recommend Proko’s course on portrait drawing. All those lessons apply digitally so it’s a nice place to start.

But if you just want to learn Krita and make awesome paintings I totally recommend Sycra’s video to get you inspired and raring to go.

Related Posts: