Developer(s)Krita Foundation, KDE
Initial release21 June 2005; 18 years ago (2005-06-21)
Stable release
5.2.2[1] Edit this on Wikidata / 7 December 2023
Written inC++, Qt
Operating systemWindows, macOS, Linux,[2] Android, ChromeOS,[3][4] Haiku
PlatformIA-32 and x64
Size111–201 MiB (varies by operating system)
TypeRaster graphics editor
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Krita (/ˈkrtə/ KREE-tə)[6] is a free and open-source raster graphics editor designed primarily for digital art and 2D animation. Originally created for Linux, the software also runs on Windows, macOS, Haiku, Android, and ChromeOS, and features an OpenGL-accelerated canvas, colour management support, an advanced brush engine, non-destructive layers and masks, group-based layer management, vector artwork support, and switchable customisation profiles.


The project's name "Krita" is primarily inspired by the Swedish words krita, meaning "crayon" (or chalk), and rita which means "to draw".


The Krita team in 2014
Pepper & Carrot
Krita's mascot, Kiki
Free web comic Pepper&Carrot artwork by David Revoy (left) is drawn in Krita. In 2022, Revoy made an interpretation of Krita's mascot, Kiki (right).

Early development of the project can be tracked back to 1998 when Matthias Ettrich, founder of KDE, showcased a Qt GUI hack for GIMP at Linux Kongress. The idea of building a Qt-based image editor was later passed to KImage, maintained by Michael Koch, as a part of KOffice suite. In 1999, Matthias Elter proposed the idea of building the software using CORBA around ImageMagick. To avoid existing trademarks on the market, the project underwent numerous name changes: KImageShop, Krayon, until it was finally settled with "Krita" in 2002. The first public version of Krita was released with KOffice 1.4 in 2004.[7] In years between 2004 and 2009, Krita was developed as a generic image manipulation software like Photoshop and GIMP.[8]

A change of direction happened to the project in 2009, with a new goal of becoming digital painting software like Corel Painter and SAI. Also from that point, the project began to experiment with various ways of funding its development, including Google Summer of Code and funded jobs for students. As a result, the development gained speed and resulted in better performance and stability.[9]

The Krita Foundation was created in 2013 to provide support for Krita's development. It collaborated with Intel to create Krita Sketch as a marketing campaign and Krita Studio with KO GmbH as a commercially supported version for movie and VFX studios. Kickstarter campaigns have been used to crowdfund Krita's development since 2014.[citation needed]

Time Version Raised Kickstarter Campaign Stable release
July 2014 2.9.x €19,955 Faster Development, better PSD support, layers, masks, brush, resource manager, display, etc. February 2015
May 2015 3.0.x €30,520 Better performance, animation support, layer, workflow, transform, filter, brush, etc. May 2016
May 2016 4.0.x €38,579 Better text tools and vector art capability, python scripting support, etc. March 2018[10]
5.0.X Brushes, Gradients and Pallets get revamped, animation system improvements, screen recorder.[11] December 2021

On May 23, 2020, the beta version of Krita was released for Android and ChromeOS.[12][13][14]

Design and features

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The current version of Krita is developed with Qt 5 and KDE Frameworks 5. It is designed primarily for concept artists, illustrators, matte and texture artists, and the VFX industry. It has the following key features:[15]

User experience design

Krita's right-click HUD, the Popup-palette
Pencil tool work

Krita's UX was designed with graphics tablet users in mind. It uses a combination of pen buttons, keyboard modifiers and an icon-based HUD to ensure frequently-used functions can be accessed by fewer clicks, without the need to search through text-based menus.

Most-used drawing commands can be accessed via touch by combining keyboard modifiers with pen/mouse buttons and gestures:

Command Input
Brush size +/- Shift + Pen drag
Pick colour Ctrl + Pen tap
Pan Pen button + Pen move
Zoom Ctrl + Pen button + Pen move
Rotate Shift + Pen button + Pen move

Pop-up Palette is Krita's right click HUD. It enables instant access to the following functions:

Brush Colour View
10 loaded brush presets Colour ring selector Zoom
Load other preset groups FG/BG colour display Rotate
Brush size, opacity, flow, spacing, angle Recent colour Mirror
Reset view
Controls of one of Krita's many brush engines
Krita's stock brushes

Painting tools

Krita's core digital painting tools include:

Brushes Drawing assistants Selection tools Transformation tools
Graphics tablet support Adjustable interference intensity Rectangle Free position
9 different brush engines Infinite and parallel straight rulers Ellipse Rotate
Modelled after real tools Splines (curves) Freehand (lasso) Scale
Highly adjustable Ellipses Polygon Shear
Remembers settings for each physical pen Perspective Outline Perspective
Pen stabilizer Vanishing point Fill Warp
Multibrush painting support Fish-eye point Color Cage
Opacity Liquify
Krita's animation workspace (4.0 version)

Animation tools

Krita's animation tools are designed for frame-by-frame raster animation. They have the following features:

Interface Import Export
Similar interface to Adobe Animate Batch import of frames Render with FFmpeg
Timeline controls Output to individual frames
Real-time animation playback controls Output to GIF, AVI, MP4, etc.
Onion-skin display
Krita's vector tools

Vector tools

Krita uses vector tools for non-destructive editing of the following objects:

Krita's layer and mask controls

Layers and masks

Krita's layer and mask features include:

Layer management Mask applies to Non-destructive layers Non-destructive masks
Multiple-level layer groups Raster layers Clone layers Transparency masks
Select multiple layers Vector layers Filter layers Filter masks
Drag-and-drop layers Layer groups Fill layers Colourise masks
Layer highlighting Non-destructive layers File layers Transform masks
Local selection masks


Krita's resource manager

Krita's resource manager allows each brush or texture preset to be tagged by a user and quickly searched, filtered and loaded as a group. A collection of user-made presets can be packaged as "bundles" and loaded as a whole. Krita provides many such brush set and texture bundles on its official website.

Customisable tool panels are known as Dockers in Krita. Actions include:

Workspaces allow UI customizations for different workflows to be saved and loaded on demand.

Text quality on Krita's OpenGL canvas with non-integer zooming, rotation and mirror


OpenGL accelerated canvas is used to speed up Krita's performance. It provides the following benefits:

Krita's colour space loader

Full colour management is supported in Krita with the following capabilities:


Krita's G'MIC filter controls

Krita has a collection of built-in filters and supports G'MIC filters. It has real-time filter preview support.

Filters included in a default installation: levels, colour adjustment curves, brightness/contrast curve, desaturate, invert, auto contrast, HSV adjustment, pixelise, raindrops, oil paint, gaussian blur, motion blur, blur, lens blur, colour to alpha, colour transfer, minimise channel, maximise channel, top/left/bottom/right edge detection, sobel, sharpen, mean removal, unsharp mask, gaussian noise removal, wavelet noise reducer, emboss horizontal only/in all directions/(laplacian)/vertical only/with variable depth/horizontal and vertical, small tiles, round corners, phong bumpmap.

File formats supported

Krita's native document format is Krita Document (.kra). It can also save to many other file formats including PSD.

File formats
Save to Krita Document, OpenRaster document, PSD image, PPM, PGM, PBM, PNG, GIF, JPEG, JPEG XL, Windows BMP, XBM, XPM, TIFF, EXR, PDF, Gimp image, WebP, SCML, ICO, TGA, CSV, QML
Import only ODG draw, Krita Flipbook, Adobe DNG, Camera RAW, JPEG-2000, PDF, SVG, XML, XCF
Export only [none]

Sprint events

Krita sprints are events during which Krita developers and artists get together for a few days, exchange ideas and do programming face-to-face, in order to speedup development and improve relationships between members.

Year Date Place
2005[16] / Deventer, Netherlands
2010[17] 26 February to 7 March Deventer, Netherlands
2011[18] 20 to 22 May Amsterdam, Netherlands
2014[19] 16 to 18 May Deventer, Netherlands
2016[20] 23 to 24 January Deventer, Netherlands
2016[21] 26 to 28 August Deventer, Netherlands
2018[22] 17 to 21 May Deventer, Netherlands
2019[23] 5 to 9 August Deventer, Netherlands


See also

Similar programs


  1. ^ Krita Foundation; Wolthera van Hövell (7 December 2023). "Krita 5.2.2 Released!". Retrieved 7 December 2023.
  2. ^ "Krita Desktop". Krita Foundation. Retrieved 30 May 2016.
  3. ^ Foundation, Krita (23 May 2020). "First Krita Beta for Android and ChromeOS in Play Store". Krita. Retrieved 17 September 2020.
  4. ^ "Krita - Apps on Google Play". Retrieved 17 September 2020.
  5. ^ "Update the licensing info: Krita is effectively GPLv3-only". GitHub.
  6. ^ "r/krita - How do you pronounce "Krita"?". reddit. 8 December 2018. Retrieved 13 November 2020.
  7. ^ Foundation, Krita. "History | Krita". Krita. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  8. ^ Foundation, Krita (16 July 2014). "History | Krita". Retrieved 15 June 2023.
  9. ^ Foundation, Krita. "History | Krita". Krita. Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  10. ^ "Krita 4.0 Now Available for Open-Source Digital Painting - Phoronix".
  11. ^ Foundation, Krita (23 December 2021). "Krita 5.0 released!". Krita. Retrieved 28 December 2021.
  12. ^ "Krita, a FOSS digital drawing app, is now available for Android tablets and Chromebooks". xda-developers. 25 May 2020. Retrieved 17 September 2020.
  13. ^ Foundation, Krita (23 May 2020). "First Krita Beta for Android and ChromeOS in Play Store". Krita. Retrieved 17 September 2020.
  14. ^ "Krita - Apps on Google Play". Retrieved 17 September 2020.
  15. ^ Foundation, Krita. "Highlights | Krita". Retrieved 22 July 2017.
  16. ^ Boudewijn Rempt (30 July 2005). "And on the fifth day..." valdyas. Archived from the original on 25 July 2011. Retrieved 20 June 2011.
  17. ^ Boudewijn Rempt (15 March 2010). "Second Krita Sprint Ends With Tea". KDE. KDE.NEWS.
  18. ^ Boudewijn Rempt (2 June 2011). "What happens When Artists and Developers Come Together: The 2011 Krita Sprint". KDE. KDE.NEWS.
  19. ^ "2014 Krita Sprint in Deventer, Netherlands". 4 June 2014. Retrieved 16 July 2016.
  20. ^ Foundation, Krita (25 January 2016). "Kicking off 2016 — the first Krita Sprint | Krita". Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  21. ^ Foundation, Krita (26 August 2016). "2016 Krita Sprint: Day 1 | Krita". Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  22. ^ Foundation, Krita. "2018 Krita 2018 Sprint Report | Krita". Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  23. ^ Foundation, Krita (12 August 2019). "2019 Krita 2019 Sprint | Krita". Retrieved 12 August 2019.
  24. ^ Foundation, Krita. "Krita Gemini | Krita". Archived from the original on 9 August 2017. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  25. ^ Foundation, Krita. "Krita Studio | Krita". (in French). Retrieved 23 July 2017.