We also had a chance to have a conversation with Enrico Guarnieri from Italy, a wonderful Krita artist and contributor (remember those beautiful Krita splash screens - Ink Girl, Genesis, Butterfly shout- yes, he's the guy!). An interesting interview providing an insight into how he found his vocation: digital painting, his views on Free and Open Source Software Communities and more!  

Enrico is also working with us on the Krita Webshop. Together, we will bring you a lot of new merchandise designs on the webshop in coming months!
For now, enjoy reading the interview below! The image below is his krita artwork named "Metamorphosis"

 



Hi Enrico! Can you tell us something about yourself?

Currently I'm a freelance illustrator/concept designer. I started my career as cartoon animator assistant and I’ve a professional EU certification in “comic and 2d animation”. 

When and how did you end up trying digital painting for the first time? 
These are sweet memories for me... ^^ I experimented for the first time digital painting when I was a kid on the legendary Commodore 64: with a big stylus with a rough sensor I could almost use my crt tv screen as a primitive Cintiq! I was dreaming of buying an “elegant” but TOO expensive for the time b&w mac supplied with a mouse! After some years I switched to an amazing Amiga 500 and its killer graphic applications "Deluxe Paint" and "Disney's Animation Studio". Really, I don't remember how MANY hours I spent experimenting on these software but my youth was gone in no time at all! :-) Then, the last step was a Windows/PC with Photoshop, Fractal Design Painter and a Graphire tablet, later an Intuos. Finally I became an Opencanvas/Artrage user before switching to Linux and free and open source software. 

What is it that makes you choose digital over the traditional painting? 
Generally, I prefer digital for obvious economic reasons, art materials are very expensive. But I also prefer digital painting for the infinite editing capacity. Still as former watercolorist I'm a bit sad not seeing at the moment a valid alternative for watercolor painting in the free and open source software world. Something similar to the system adopted by Artrage would be cool. Certainly with some tricks it's possible to fake the watercolor appearance with Krita, Mypaint or Gimp as showed in my gallery on my site or deviantArt but the process isn't fun at all, indeed, very tiring. I don't ask for a complete physic simulation, which might be heavy about a computational viewpoint and hard to code, but some specific tools as a “watercolor blending level” and “wet edges” would be a big help. 

This reminds me that we used to have a watercolor simulation in Krita; real, physics based, but it got lost around Krita 1.6. Same happened with the real, physics based color mixing. 
Moving onwards, How did you first find out about open source communities? What is your opinion about them? 
I know Linux and the open source world from the time of Red Hat 5, waiting to jump from Windows to a better operation system in terms of resources management and security. IMHO it's admirable the spirit of sharing that moves the open source communities but... Frequently the lack of money, resources and organization pushes the people to develop/share exclusively what they wish to make and not what is absolutely necessary at the moment for a particular software, project or field. So seeing very complex programs missing fundamental features, a very unbalanced and chaotic development effort or too many “forks” is not uncommon. Even though the situation has improved a lot in recent years, Linus Torvalds too complained about the bad distribution of the available human resources on the different free and open software projects. Fortunately the Krita development is not afflicted by such problems, rather is very fast and well organized! 

Have you worked for any FOSS project or contributed in some way? 
Yes, I've created and donated to community many textures, downloadable from my site http://www.turnangel.com or my deviantArt gallery http://ico-dy.deviantart.com , and a peculiar and big brush set for Mypaint, included in the “08“ pack http://download.gna.org/mypaint/brushpacks/brushes-08.zip. I helped the Krita project a lot more by painting 3 splash screens, doing heavy beta testing, suggesting new features/improvements and promoting the software among other artists. I still remember with horror when I painted "Girl in Blossom" for testing purpose and Krita crashed every 75 seconds... Completing a piece was a big challenge! But look now, the development version is very stable too!

 

Thanks Enrico, again, for those lovely splashes! Now, how did you find out about Krita?
Some years ago as I wanted to switch to Linux, I ran into the very old Krita 1.6 looking for new painting software.

What was your first take on it? 
Not such good vibes at that time. I didn't like either the workflow or the tools. And the Windows painting software was so much better in every aspect. It's amazing how Krita evolved in its actual mature shape of 2.x series. Really, the actual version is another planet in terms of usability and quality of the features. 

That’s what we work for :-). What do you love about Krita? What sets Krita apart from the other tools that you use? 
The developers (!) that hear, follow and make quickly what the artists really need. :-D The high grade of customization of the software, so you can change and organize the interface according to your ideal workflow, the quality and variety of the painting and selection tools and its support of the industry standards. 

What do you think needs improvement in Krita? Also, anything that you really hate? 
Many aspects could be improved a lot and there are a lot of features that could be added to the brush engines, but most urgent at the moment is improving the performance when working on very big canvases and a better variety and usability of the filters; good enough but not yet at the same level as Photoshop, true benchmark of this field. Actually developers have eliminated every thing that really hate, except for the non-inclusion of the raster brush tip into the preset file. 

Working on that.. And Sahil Nagpal is working on the filters module for his Summer of Code project! Now, if you had to pick one favorite of all your work done in Krita so far, what would it be? What is it that you like about it? 
Giving an answer to this question is very hard for me... I love all my works as my children and at the same time I’m very harsh with them, since filled with imperfections and very distant from the artistic ideal I would reach. Certainly my most recent works (Ink Girl, Healing Heart, Last Trip, Butterfly Shout, Metamorphosis) reflect better my artistic evolution and the actual Krita development state. 

What brushes did you use? 
I’m very chaotic when painting and I use a lot of customized brushes, particularly pixel brushes and smudge color brushes with the dulling mode active, selected by the spur of the moment; so in the end it’s hard to say exactly how I achieved a certain result. :-D 

Thank you Enrico for taking out time for this interview. It was fun interviewing you and I hope you enjoyed it too. Also, I’d like to thank you for your amazing contributions for Krita. 
Check out Enrico’s awesome work at his Deviant Account here and also his society6 shop here

 

The Krita team is working together with the awesome artist's community to create cool stuff for the new Krita Shop. And we're doing interviews with all the artists that are working together with us. Updating the shop will take a few days still, but we can't wait to show to you all the work and how all artists are doing the best for Krita.

So, we have for you today our interview with Yuri Fidelis. Yuri is a young Brazilian artist that has been around our community for quite some time, and he is the author of the shortcuts cheat sheet. Thanks to him! We took the time to ask him some questions, and here are the answers. Enjoy!

Do you paint professionally or as a hobby artist?
I have done some commercial work in the past and I'm open to do more commercial work right now, but most of the work I've put up is not commercial. I try to follow my interests regarding subjects and techniques, I'm in this phase where I'm just experimenting and trying to find the best way to communicate through visual art.

Your work is certainly very interesting and different, not many Krita artists are doing abstract art as well. When and how did you end up trying digital painting for the first time?
About five years ago I got a Trust tablet, which now belongs to my younger brother. I wanted one just because I was too lazy. It's easier to make a watercolour brush than buying lots of materials and learning how to use them!

What is it that makes you choose digital over the traditional painting? or Do you still prefer traditional means, if so, why?
With time and experimentation I started to realize how I could use the digital medium in ways not possible with traditional paper and brushes. For example, I can mix a digital collage with paint brushes using the color smudge in Krita. The digital canvas suits best for experimentation but it all depends on what I want to do and the appropriate medium for that.

How did you first find out about open source communities? What is your opinion about them?
Two years ago I entered a course in computer programming at the Federal Institute of São Paulo, and teachers often spoke about Linux distributions and open source software. Ubuntu quickly became my operating system of choise. One of the things I like about the communities as a user is the ability to have such close communication with the people involved in what you use every day in your computer.

Have you contributed to FOSS projects in some way?
I did contribute to Krita with the plan of importing Photoshop brush presets seamlessly. I made a table showing how Photoshop brush attributes could translate to attributes in Krita.
Work on that is still ongoing...
I made a quick reference sheet of the default keyboard shortcuts in Krita to help newcomers and myself.
I also contributed to the Ubuntu package translations in brazilian portuguese, for a while.

How did you find out about Krita?
After I got used to Ubuntu it didn't take long until I looked for Photoshop alternatives in the open source community, and Krita looked very promising... I kept watching its development closely and it soon became my favorite software for painting.

What was your first take on it?
The interface wasn't hard to assimilate... My first impression was that it was a very focused program in what it was doing... Just getting out of the way of the artist.

Awesome -- that’s what we are trying to achieve indeed! What do you love about Krita?
The interface and keyboard controls make painting a much more fluent process, like pretty much no other painting software has made yet. The brush engines are very essential for me in Krita, especially the color smudge brush.

What do you think needs improvement in Krita? Also, anything that you really hate?
Text handling could use some love.

Indeed, we cannot but agree! In your opinion, what sets Krita apart from the other tools that you use?
The focus on painting, the usability and the brush engines.

If you had to pick one favorite of all your work done in Krita so far, what would it be?
Right now it might be "Unfinished". It's part of a series of abstracts I want to do inspired by textures in nature.

What is it that you like about it? What brushes did you use in it?
I like the contrast between the inky monochrome half with the other, flowing oily half of the painting. I remember using some custom color smudge brush, some ink and the sketch brushes for the lines.

Thanks to Yuri for collaborating with us!  Soon this image and one more will be available in the shop!
Don't forget to visit his gallery on Flickr and DeviantArt.

 

Hope that all of you enjoyed the interview!

We have the pleasure to show to you today a new artwork done with Krita!

Here is a beautiful speedpaint done by Ksenia. We took the opportunity to ask her some questions, too!

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When and how did you end up trying digital painting for the first time?
Several years ago I tried to draw manga digitally. But I started using computer as a painting medium less than a year ago.

How did you find out about Krita?
Though Ramon Miranda's and Deevad's blogs.

What was your first take on it?
At first I didn't like it, because it was slow, But later I bought a better computer, Krita itself has improved and now I find it very pleasant to use it.

What do you love about Krita?
I love its awesome powers, all filters, brush engine, vector layers. I also like the shortcuts that help you work really fast. And I like the auto-safe feature so that I never lose my work even if I forget to safe.

What do you think needs improvement in Krita?
First of all it needs more people to know about it and to use it, because Krita is really awesome!

Watch all the details in the video!

Thanks to Ksenya, enjoy it!

Akademy is here and Ramon Miranda and Timothée Giet are going to be there to show the best of Krita!

Ramon Miranda talk will be tomorrow at 13.10h. He is going to talk about the Training DVD Muses that will be released at the end of the summer. He has some gifts for those who are coming to see his talk!

SONY DSC

If you hadn't make the pre-order of our Training DVD... Run for it!

Timothée is going to show to us on Sunday (at 9.30 am) how is Krita progressing and the new features for comics and animation that Krita has improved. He has made some examples to show how those features can make a difference.

We will be posting photos of the talks soon... Stay in touch!


Hoy comienza el Akademy y Ramón Miranda y Timothée Giet van a estar ahí para mostrar lo mejor de Krita!

La charla de Ramón Miranda será mañana a las 13.10h. Él nos hablará del DVD de entrenamiento "Muses" que saldrá a finales de verano. Además, trae algunos regalos para aquellos que asistan a la charla!

Si no has encargado aún el DVD... Corre a por él!

Thimothée nos mostrará el domingo a las 9.30 de la mañana los progresos de Krita y las nuevas características para cómics y el trabajo en animación que nuestro programa ha mejorado. Nos lo mostrará a través de unos ejemplos para poder ver de forma clara cómo estas mejoras han marcado una diferencia.

Pronto publicaremos fotos de las charlas... No te lo pierdas!

Today, KO GmbH has released version 1.0 of Krita Sketch, the touch-friendly version of Krita. Krita Sketch was developed with support from Intel. Krita Sketch is available for download directly from KO GmbH and runs on Windows 7 and Windows 8.

Version 1.0 of Krita Sketch has an updated color theme, a way faster (opengl-enabled) canvas and pinch zoom. Note: Krita Sketch does not support Wacom tablets, but apart from that nearly all the functionality of the desktop version of Krita is available!

 Krita Sketch is being developed by Arjen Hiemstra, Dan Jensen and Boudewijn Rempt in the Calligra project. You can get the source code here.

Swedish Animation and VFX studio Mad Crew has chosen for Krita, taking advantage of KO GmbH's new professional support offering. While for many artists, Krita is a great choice out of the box, in a production setting having dedicated support can be really important.

Fredrik Brännbacka, technical contact at Mad Crew says "We are damn happy with Krita!"

Mad Crew is a studio doing mostly TV and movie commercials. After giving Krita Studio's workflow with applications like VRay and Maya a good, thorough testing they decided to use Krita Studio as their main 2D paint solution for their preferred Linux platform.

KO GmbH creates regular, supported and up to date builds of Krita for RHEL/CentOS and Windows, and soon also for Ubuntu, called "Krita Studio".

Krita is, of course, free software under the GNU Public License and all the improvements KO GmbH creates for Krita find their way back to the community repository, ranging from performance improvements to gradient painting, to a new and modern OpenGL canvas.

Check out Mad Crew's show reel on Vimeo

 

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