Sketch Sessions 81218 - Krita 4.1.1

Drawing created using Krita version 4.1.1 on a Surface Studio.

This sketch session is inspired by an incident I experienced while working in an office many years ago. #MeToo isn't just for women for sure but that's a story for another day. This started out as a quickie sketch but the decision was made to push it further which also served as a deeper test of various tools in Krita. The good news, the pencils utilized held up really well. The quality of the lines, pressure sensitivity and accuracy while keeping up with fast strokes are all very good. Being able to sketch quickly without worry about Krita keeping up is as good as any other application I've used, from Clip Studio Ex, to Sketchbook Pro to ArtRage. I'm really impressed and that can't be stressed enough. The brush engine was nowhere near as good as it is now when I tried Krita a year or so ago. I really like how the eraser tool cursor will change dimensions in real time based on how much pressure is applied. That's a feature I'd love to see in other creative applications. Pressure sensitivity in general is excellent in Krita. To be fair, other applications feature very good pressure sensitivity as well but the default settings in Krita for pressure sensitivity are very impressive, more so than some other applications I use. But there are a few issues I did come across.

Other than the want of touch rotation for the canvas (yes, I'm going to beat that horse until someone dammit listens and finally includes it) I've found that selecting a pencil and changing the pixel weight isn't persistent. In other words, if you change the pixel weight from 10px to say 5px but then select the eraser tool, when switching back to the pencil tool, the weight goes back to default at 10px. This is incredibly annoying when trying to flow while working but constantly need to baby sit brushes and pencils because Krita won't remember your custom setting. This is the only application I've used in the last few years that does this.

The other issue I've come across is some wonkiness with layers. In attempting to use the fill tool on a new layer, all other layers were locked before applying the fill to prevent accidents. But when the fill was applied, it was affected by the layer above it as if the fill was applied to the layer with line art as opposed to the blank layer. I double checked and not only was the fill applied to the correct layer (blank layer), the layer above it with the line art was locked. This, is also annoying. The only other application that I know of that does this is ArtRage. I have no idea why, I have no idea how this behavior is supposed to be helpful. It's as if the layers with content act as a mask by default but the results are usually a mess. The only way to bypass it that I've found is to make sure all the other layers with content on them are invisible and THEN apply the fill.

As far as I can tell, Krita does not support Pen mode. As a result, the constant need for cleaning up stray marks was added to the workload.

Also with layers, I had a problem when working with the second character in the sketch on a separate layer, with the background sketch locked and also on a separate layer. Trying to delete the second character sketch (using the delete button to clear the layer) caused the background to vanish as well even though, again, it was on a separate layer and locked. I double checked my setup, made sure I didn't make the mistake of drawing the second character on the wrong layer (I didn't) and tried to delete the sketch again. Same behavior. For some reason, Krita would delete the contents of both layers even though the second character was on a separate layer and the background layer was locked. Yet, manually erasing the second character sketched worked without affecting the background layer. Strange.

The other weirdness I've experienced has to do with the tool bar. When working in Krita, the brush selection menu is tied to the tool bar. If you select the paint brush in the tool bar and then select a brush or pencil in the brush selection menu everything works as expected. But let's say you need to create a square and select the square in the tool bar to create one on the canvas. It works as expected, but if you then select a brush or pencil from the brush selection menu and try to draw or paint, it won't work. The reason being is because the tool bar still has the square primitive selected. In order to paint or draw normally, the paintbrush in the tool bar has to be selected as well as the desired tool in the brush selection menu. This is definitely weird and I can't think of any other time when I've seen that behavior in a creative application. Usually, in every other application I use, if a shape tool or any tool outside of a brush or pencil is selected and used, when selecting a brush or pencil afterward the application automatically switches to the correct function. Krita doesn't do this. Obviously there has to be some thought process as to why the tool bar is tied to the brush selection menu in such a way but as of right now, I can't figure out why or how that is supposed to be useful. Why use the tool bar to govern the brush selection menu?

Anyways, as mentioned in the previous post, Krita is definitely rough around the edges, but it does offer a lot in a free package. The potential is clear and all I've done recently are sketches. But drawing is my foundation so if the foundation is strong then it bodes well for future developments.

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