Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Hello, Krita!! From scratch -- a South Australian little raven, blue eyes and all

Since I'm getting left behind in the 3D rendering field, I find myself doing more and more digital painting, and I've lately been growling about the fact I can't afford the top-end software like Corel (have you seen the price of it?!) and even if I could, my desktop won't run it, and my laptop will run it, but won't shake hands with my Wacom Bamboo. So I'd have to buy a new tablet (if they even make such things in this day and age of touch screens, which I'm not sure they do). So....

Dave had an idea. "Have you checked to see if there's an open source paint program?" he asked. Because there's usually an open source program to do the same job as Corel Painter or Microsoft Word or ... virtually anything.

And it turns out, there is. It's called Krita (check out their website), and it really is a match, and more than a match, for programs like ArtRage from New Zealand, and Rebell 3 (from Escape Motions, which produces the Amberlight program I like so much), and I'd have to guess it's about 90% of the way there to being a match for Corel Painter itself. The team has been developing Krita, crowd funded, for ten years. Give them another two, and people will be preferring this program over the top line branded stuff. Ye gods.

So -- it's a free download, even though it's the most amazing program (yes, I shall be donating to say thanks for this), and it runs like a dream on my desktop, which deliberately doesn't even have a modem ... that machine has run in isolation for about eight years now, never had an update, and it never gives a lick of trouble because it never gets messed about. I just downloaded the 97MB installer to the laptop, passed it across on a jump drive, and ten minutes later was painting!

Ooooh, boy, is there some stuff to learn! Fortunately the manual is online in wiki form, and Krita is very intuitive, especially if you have a background on Photoshop (I still run the old PS Elements 9). So -- baby steps, starting here, with a painting of a little raven sketched from an old snapshot I took at Hallett Cove about ten years ago, maybe twelve...

It's absolutely amazing to be painting from scratch, from a line sketch! In this detail shot, above, you can see the sketched underlay ... you can also see the wet-on-dry and dry-on-wet effects of various brushes, as you lay down your colors and work them, exactly as if you were painting on illustration board! This takes me back years -- okay, decades -- to a time when I used to paint this way with great joy. I'm going to have loads of fun...

And yes, the exotic, beautiful guys will be along very soon, when I get the hang of Krita properly. This painting of a little raven is just a very swift starter lesson ... I used only the "wet and dry bristles for the whole thing," because I figure, the way to learn something is to master one technique at a time. There are HUNDREDS of brushes and blends in Krita, and we're going to proceed one at a time.

Painting again! Hee hee hee!

And while I'm here, let me share another couple of Amberlight images ... I've done soooo many, but some of them are extraordinary, so here we go:

More soon ... some old fashioned renders painted up in Photoshop; and some digital art painted from scratch; and some blends of renders and Amberlight! 😃 Having huge fun with art, for the first time in way too long. The truth is, I've been so sick for so long, I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed all this!
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