Painting tools

Krita – professional free and open source painting program

Krita is a painting, photo retouching and raster image editing application. Krita contains both ease-of-use and fun features like guided painting and high-end features like support for 16 bit images, CMYK, L*a*b and OpenEXR HDR images.

Krita supports the following image formats, both for importing and exporting: PNG, TIFF, JPEG, Dicom, XCF, PSD, GIF, BMP, XPM, Targa, RGB, and OpenEXR. Additionally, Krita can import ICO files. PSD (the Photoshop file format) is only supported up to version 6, from version 7 on, the Photoshop file format is closed.

Krita is scriptable in Python and Ruby and offers a Desktop COmmunications Protocol (DCOP) interface.

Explicitly supported fields of painting are illustrations, concept art, matte painting, textures, comics and animations. Developed together with users, Krita is an application that supports their actual needs and workflow. Krita supports open standards and interoperates with other applications.

Key Features:

  • Plugins: Krita is extensible through plugins. There are tools, colorspaces, paint operations, filters and kpart-based user interface plugins.
  • Scriptable: Krita is scriptable in Python and Ruby using Kross, the cross language scripting engine that originated in Kexi. The scripting is compatible with PyQt/KDE and Korundum for adding GUI items, such as dialog boxes.
  • Color models: Krita uses lcms for a dependable color workflow using icc profiles for importing, exporting, selecting paint colors, printing, cutting and pasting. 8, 16, and 32 bit colorspaces are available (RGB, CMYK, L*a*b*, …) and colors can be selected from a color wheel, rgb or grayscale sliders or with a palette.
  • Editing and viewing: Unlimited undo and redo are available. You can cut, copy and paste between lagers and images, with conversion through icc profiles if this is necessary. OpenGL is supported for display. The view can be made fullscreen and can be split. Rulers are available, the image can be zoomed, and for maximizing the workspace all palette windows can be hidden in one go. Also a histogram palette is available.
  • Images and layers: Layers and entire images can be mirrored, sheared, rotated and scaled, converted between colorspaces, and layers in different colorspaces can be merged. An image can be separated into colorspace channels.
  • Layers: Layers can be added, removed, grouped, locked, made (in)visible, and re-ordered. Adjustment layers (layers which perform a filter function) can be added as well. A layer can be saved as a separate image and its colorspace can be changed.
  • Tools: Through the innovative paintOp plugin system, all painting tools (brush, ellipse, line, etc.) can paint aliased, anti-aliased, erase, airbrush and more.
  • Filters: Krita can multithread the operation of some filters. Filters can be previewed in the filter gallery. Available filters include color adjustment, sharpen or blur, emboss, raindrops, and more
  • Brushes: The GIMP brush shapes can be used, both colored and grayscale brushes and pipe brushes. Custom brushes can be created, even from entire layers or images. Colored brushes can also be used as masks.

Support: Manual
Developer: Krita Foundation, KDE
License: GNU General Public License v3.0


Krita is written in C++. Learn C++ with our recommended free books and free tutorials.

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