One of the most frustrating things for an artist or graphic designer, or even a hobbyist just wanting to play with some artistic tools, is the stranglehold of the major programs. Adobe and other large software producers are so entrenched in the industry that most artists will need their expensive software at some point, to create impressive works. However, this is not entirely the case thanks to software like Krita Desktop, which provides free access to powerful paint software, for everyone.
Liberate the paintbrush
Krita Desktop has been developed by a group dedicated to providing free tools for a variety of tasks. With many hours of volunteer work and work paid by donations, they have produced items like Krita which is an open source graphic illustrator. The power of this free program is not to be underestimated, as it can do much that paid rivals can do and more. The obvious options like line drawing, brush sizes, palettes and cut/copy are all present, including advances features like layers. One of Krita’s extras is a brush stabilizer option, offering three ways of automatically smoothing out your lines as you draw- a huge boon to many artists. There are multiple customisable brush styles or ‘brush engines’. Best of all, you can import brush and texture packs made by other artists, truly embracing the open source, cooperative nature of this software. Offering straight line and ellipsis assistance, quick mirroring, vector layering, feathering and more just makes this program super powerful.
Powerful and still growing
Krita Desktop offers many of the same usability features as it’s big rivals. You can dock and undock panels for example, moving them around so that you can set up the ideal working environment. The interface is sleek and easy on the eye, with a minimalist, slate-like approach similar to Adobe Photoshop. Little touches like letting you make shortcuts for your favorite tools shows that a lot of thought has gone into this from people who use this kind of software regularly. This is further proven by the pop-up palette that appears on right-click is a smart way to give you quick access to your most needed tools and colors. You will be amazed by the level of detail and quality in this software, considering that it’s free. In the spirit of open source software, it’s also compatible with many file extensions from the major brands. Installing is pretty simple too, by downloading either a 64 or 32-bit package. Older versions can be obtained too, if the development process causes issues.
A very liberated art program
Krita Desktop is really an excellent alternative to the standard paint packages. While some are lacking features or very hard to understand, this manages to get pretty close to the software you’re familiar with. There are tons of features and very powerful functions here, so it’s perfect for the struggling artist. You can opt to pay a donation to the project, but otherwise it’s free to download and use.