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Howto: watercolors

A few weeks ago, I made a blog entry about a watercolor sheep in krita. And someone ask me how to do watercolors in krita ? And I told myself that it would be better to write an howto. A month to answer a question, so good for my willingness to be fast to answer questions 😦 But until a few days ago there was one aspect of watercolors that I didn’t understand. And mostly because it was yet to be used, but now it’s fixed in the incoming 1.6.2 version. So along the cool smudge paint op, there will be a dry filter for water colors.

The basics

To create a water color, at the startup screen of krita, select “custom document”, choose the size (choose a bigger size than the size you want to use, some simple operation like resizing or moving the layer doesn’t work well, while crop works perfectly), and then for the “color space” choose “watercolors”.

Then you get a special color palette with a choice of 14 different color. And two options “Paint strength” and “Wetness”, the former is used to control how much color is dropped on the canvas at each stroke. It’s a little bit similar to the opacity option for classical color spaces.

And “wetness”, it was the parameter I couldn’t understand the use, as it use by the dry filter. The drying is some sort of blurring balanced by the amount of water on the canvas. And the wetness option control how much water is dropped on for each stroke.

The reality as the artist sees it

For the image above I did use different level of wetness. The sky and the soil were drawn with the maximum level of wetness, while the ground and the crock are paint with no wetness. The leaf and the flower are drawn with a low level of wetness.

A video of the action

What better way to explain something that to show it ? Here follow a 5 minutes (and 16 MB) long video, where I draw the flower above. It shows the effect of the “paint strength” option.

It’s definitively not real time, making video hits a lot of cpu, and a lot of frames got skip. Especially when krita became hungry in cpu cycles, during the drying process. Note, that the dying filter is iterative, which means you need to apply a lot of time before getting the end result.

Also note, that watercolor (in 1.6) is an experimental feature, consider it as a demo of what we want to achieve with krita in the future.

  1. Gabor SUVEG
    6 December, 2006 at 13:37

    thanks for your howto, very nice.If i good understud, at the last step you give water to picture? this in 1.6.1 doesnt supported ? right ?

  2. Cyrille Berger
    6 December, 2006 at 14:25

    well you put water on the image during all the painting, that part is supported in 1.6.1. But what is not supported is the drying.

  3. EnGuillem!
    10 December, 2006 at 08:44

    How can you paint a region without paint outside of it? when you paint inside of the flower, for example, is there any trick or you have a good pulse?< HREF="http://enguillem.cat" REL="nofollow">enguillem<>

  4. Cyrille Berger
    10 December, 2006 at 23:10

    I am not sure that I did understand correctly. You can’t paint a region without painting inside. I think what you speak about the flower is caused by a problem of the video capture, the mouse cursor doesn’t seems to be perfectly synchronised with the painting.

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