Writer, researcher, self-improvement advocate, alternative astrologist, and a firm believer that Mercury must be destroyed.
Krita is a powerful and versatile digital painting app that has one huge advantage over its competitors, like Photoshop, Rebelle, or Corel Painter. It’s free. Krita’s default resources are nothing to scoff at and are fantastic out of the box. However, like any profession, having a specialist tool for a specialist job goes a long way. Whether you’re a professional artist or a hobbyist just looking to replicate Bob Ross in a digital form, there are plenty of free brushes, canvases, and resources for Krita that can help you achieve your goals.
Brushes are the lifeblood of any digital painting program. Krita is no slouch in that department and its development team doesn’t hold back when it comes to adding and incorporating more brushes. But, like cats, cowbell, and hot water when showering, you can never have enough brushes.
If your goal is to paint your own world with happy clouds and to give trees a friend like Bob Ross, then Iforce has you covered with his Environments Bundle. He has also expanded beyond the natural world to offer brushes for those interested in painting cities and space. He also has tutorials available on his Youtube page that demonstrate how to get the most out of his brush packs.
This pack bundles together Iforce’s forest vegetation, mountains & structures, atmosphere & light, leaves & flowers, trees & bushes, and forest vegetation 3 brush sets together in one easier to install bundle. If you want to paint like Bob Ross and create great looking landscapes, then this pack is for you.
This pack offers a number of brushes to help you create wonderful and vibrant flowers that you can almost smell with your imagination.
Happy little clouds abound with this pack dedicated to cloud brushes.
Give those trees a friend with this Bark Shapes pack.
If landscapes aren’t your thing and you’d rather paint futuristic or fantasy cities, Iforce has a pack for you as well. This pack also comes with an accompanying pattern pack.
One of the newest features in Krita is the addition of RGBA brushes (Version 4.3 or above). In this pack, Iforce takes advantage of this new brush type to offer 24 brushes and 2 blenders to mimic oil painting.
David Revoy is a French artist best known for his Pepper & Carrot series. He has also created a number of brush packs, many of which have become default brushes for Krita (brushkit, charcoal brushes, and blenders. Aside from brushes, David also does tutorial videos. You can keep track of any new brush updates on his website using his brush tag.
While many of David’s brushes were included in the recent default brushes for Krita, there were still some left that didn’t make it in. For this pack, David upgraded and created 25 new brushes that weren’t included in Krita by default (though there are plans to do so in the future). There are some drawing, painting, and miscellaneous brushes, but most of this pack is made up of “hard painting” brushes. David originally designed these brushes for speed painting. They’re designed to be used with more pressure, and so the “hard painting” name stuck.
Usually, a two-brush set wouldn’t be worth the effort, but David’s brushes are of such quality it would be a shame to overlook them. This bundle comes with an irregular pen brush and a small charcoal block brush. If those are mediums you find yourself using, then you’ll want to pick this one up.
Ramon Miranda is one of the main artists working on brushes for Krita. Often, he puts together bundles of brushes and resources as he’s working towards new features for Krita. He is also the driving force behind the well-regarded Digital Atelier bundle and the Muses training videos. As one of the main architects of Krita’s brushes, Ramon is tinkering around with various ideas and features. You can keep track of new releases via his Krita-Artists profile or his Twitter account.
For this bundle, Ramon took the already existing impressionism brushes in Krita a step further with eight new brushes with more versatility and better color dynamics.
Useful for soft shading, Ramon started the year with a new set of air brushes.
These brushes are part of Ramon’s attempt to create better charcoal brushes that better emulate physical media. Along with these brushes, he also released a textured A4 paper background you can find in the Canvases section.
While the training series that Ramon created is a paid resource, you can get a collection of the brushes used for free.
Mojo Moo Comics
Mojo Moo is a comic artist who has put together an extensive set of brushes, stamps, and other tools useful to a comic artist. These two bundles replace the old Comics and Cartooning bundle.
Other Places to Look
As an open-source program, many artists have also taken up the ethos and released brushes and resources they’ve created for free. Below are a few places you can look to find more resources for Krita.
This is Krita’s official page where you’ll find some of the most popular bundles; however, it isn’t updated often, nor does it include smaller specialty packs you may find elsewhere.
Recently, Krita launched a new forum for users to share and discuss their work. For those interested in brushes, canvases, and other tools, the tutorials and resources subforum is where you want to head. This is where you can find artists like Ramon Miranda discussing their latest resource projects.
While it will take a little searching (e.g. Krita Brushes) to find what you’re looking for, there are a wealth of resources available on DeviantArt. You will want to be careful to make sure that brushes and resources are designed to work for the current version of Krita; otherwise, you may need to enable the resource packs for older versions of Krita, or they may not work properly.
Canvases and Paper
Finding great brushes is important for digital painting, but don’t overlook the power of good textured canvases and papers that can make a painting pop. Ramon Miranda has made a few canvases that are designed to replicate both a canvas texture and thick paint that obscures it.
This three-pack has canvases designed for oils, watercolor, and pastels. These great canvases can be recolored, resized, retextured, and more. Check out Ramon Miranda’s Youtube video for more details on how you can manipulate and use these canvases to your advantage.
Ramon made this paper to accompany his charcoal brushes and has some early hints of the kind of features his later smart canvases have.
Making Templates and Adjusting Size
The canvases come as standard .kra files, which means you would have to open them as a new file every time you want to use them unless you save them as templates. To do so:
- Open the .kra file
- Once open, navigate to File > Create Template From Image…
- Name the template and complete the optional steps below, then click ok
- Create a group by pressing the add group button
- Select a group for you template by clicking to highlight the desired group
- Either select the preview or a custom preview file
Once you’ve saved the template, you will be able to select it when creating new files.
To resize a canvas, you can either do so quickly by dragging the scroll bars to either end and then clicking on the arrow that appears (though this won’t give you as much control) or, to get a precise size, navigate to image > resize canvas. If you would also like to change the resolution, then choose scale to new image size instead.
Even though this is an article about free resources, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Digital Atelier pack. Back in the day you could only get this pack combined with the training on creating and editing brushes for around twenty Euros, which is a bit steep if you only want the brushes. Now, there’s a brush only pack for just under five Euros, which is a bargain for some of the best brushes you can get for Krita. In all, there’s over fifty brushes, brand new brush tips, more patterns, and even surfaces to use. Buying these brushes also goes to help support Krita’s development.