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This page is aimed at journalists and publishers who would like to write about the art application Krita.


About Krita

Krita is the full-featured free digital painting studio for artists who want to create professional work from start to end. Krita is used by comic book artists, illustrators, concept artists, matte and texture painters and in the digital VFX industry.Krita is free software, licensed under the GNU Public License, version 2 or later.

Krita has several features that are unique or a first among free software painting applications: support for colorspaces other than RGB, like CMYK, support for HDR painting, painting assistants, a perspective grid. The Krita developers are keen to support the artistic community that has grown around Krita.

The name "Krita" comes from Swedish, and means "to draw" or "chalk" and was taken after the names "KImageShop" and "Krayon" gave problems.

An extensive guide to Krita 2.8's features is available in PDF format.


A Short History

The origin of Krita can be traced to Matthias Ettrich's at the 1998 Linux Kongress. Matthias wanted to show the ease with which it was possible to hack a Qt gui around an existing application, and the application he choose to demo it with was GIMP. His patch was never published, but did cause problems with the GIMP community at the time.

Not being in a position to work together, people within the KDE project decided to start their own image editor application Development focused on an application that was part of the KOffice suite, called KImage, by Michael Koch. Renamed to KImageShop, this was the start of Krita.

At the 31st of May, 1999, the KImageShop project officially kicked off with a mail by Matthias Koch. The basic idea back then was to make KImageShop a GUI shell around ImageMagick. It was going to be a corba-based application with out-of-process filter plugins, compatible with GIMP plugins, which are also out-of-process, though of course not corba-based.

The name KImageShop fell foul of trademark law in Germany, and KImageShop was renamed to Krayon, which also appeared to impinge on an existing trademark, so Krayon was finally renamed to Krita in 2002.

Initial development was slow, but picked up strongly from 2003, resulting in the first public release with KOffice 1.4 in 2004. In 2005, Krita gained support for CMYK, Lab, YCbCr, XYZ color models and high bit depth channels, as well as OpenGL support.

From 2004 to 2009, Krita was strongly focusing on being a generic image manipulation/painting application in the style of Photoshop or GIMP. Since 2009, the focus is squarely on painting: the Krita community aims to make Krita the best painting application for cartoonists, illustrators, and concept artists.

From 2009 onwards, the Krita project started funding community members to work on Krita by way of student jobs, in addition to development funded through Google Summer of Code. This experiment has resulted in a huge jump in stability and performance.

In 2013, the Krita community created the Krita Foundation, to provide more support for development.

Cyrille and Boudewijn - 2008.

(Photograph by Alexandre Prokoudine)


The Foundation

The Krita Foundation solicits donations to support development work done by members of the Krita community. In addition, the Krita Foundation intends to get involved with Open Content projects that use Krita with the goal to improve Krita itself and increase awareness of Krita.

The Foundation has been instrumental in fundraiser efforts around Krita. The first program, executed during the 2009-2010 timeframe, allowed Lukáš Tvrdý to work full-time on Krita for 24 weeks. This made a massive difference for Krita, solving hundreds of bugs and improving performance and usability of the canvas and many brushes to the level where Krita first became ready for (semi) professional use. Find some details here.

Subsequent fundraisers supported Dmitry Kazakov who brought openGL support to a new level and introduced advanced canvas operations like panning, mirroring and rotation, independent artist Timothee Giet who developed the "Comics with Krita" training DVD as well as a host of other video tutorials on youtube and Ramon Mirando who created the Muses Training DVD.

Commercial Support

KO GmbH is a German-based company co-founded by the maintainer of Krita, Boudewijn Rempt. KO GmbH provides commercial support for Krita, for instance for VFX studios and releases a supported version of Krita called Krita Studio.

Screenshots and Artwork

A current pack of 34 screenshots for use in reviews and articles can be downloaded as a zip file:

The pack is contains a file with attribution information for the artist. When using the screenshots, please attribute the artist using this information! The artwork is CC-BY-ND licensed.

The Krita mascot and icon can be downloaded here:

A set of artwork by various artists is available by contacting the foundation.


For more information about Krita, the Krita Foundation or to arrange interviews with artists who use Krita, please contact the Krita Foundation:

Krita Foundation

Korte Assenstraat 11, 7411JP, Deventer, the Netherlands
+31 620 839 638
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Read 7775 times Last modified on Wednesday, 16 April 2014 13:54
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