It takes a skillful artist and creator to paint attention-grabbing photos. But aside from the skill and experience of the artist, you need a quality tool to make the job easier.
There’s a wide variety of painting tools to choose from, but Krita and Procreate stand out.
While both are flexible and fantastic to work with, it’s vital to know which one will suit your needs.
So, let’s make a comparison between the two to help you choose the best one for your drawing, painting, and design needs.
Krita is an open-source and free painting app that both amateur and professional artists can use. KDE Image developed the tool that was released in 2005.
Interestingly, Krita is popularly used in movie-making and video game development industries. Its creative tools give you access to both conventional and advanced painting techniques.
This program runs on macOS, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android. It has multiple tools to layer, transform, blend, duplicate, smooth, mix colors, and more. If you’d like to manipulate photos or work on HDR images, this tool will do.
The application has an OpenGL-accelerated canvas, an advanced brush engine, group-based layer management, color management support, switchable customization profiles, non-destructive masks and layers, raster and vector support, and more.
When working with Krita, you may export or import your work in formats like PNG, PSD, ORA, PDF, JPEG, JP2, TIFF, and many others.
Krista has two versions: Artist and Express. The Artist version works for those experienced in digital painting and looking to produce exceptional work and offer their audience more control and ease.
On the other hand, the Express version is made for those users without prior experience in digital painting. Such users have an interest in creating a quick painting.
While both versions come with the needed tools, Express provides you with more functionalities and gives room for customization.
You can modify, study, and even distribute this application under the GNU GPL v3 license.
Procreate is a raster-based graphics editor designed by Savage Interactive for digital painting. Creative professionals love this tool because it has all the features needed to create rich paintings, beautiful animations, expressive sketches, and gorgeous illustrations.
Procreate comes with intuitive creative tools and unique features, making it a complete art studio that creative artists can take anywhere.
The powerful graphics editor provides you with a natural feel of classic painting while allowing you to quickly familiarize yourself with the surrounding. If you’ve got a passion for animation and digital painting, this is the tool you need to unleash that potential.
Procreate is designed mainly for iPad, which means you can go on with your painting projects regardless of the location.
The program has advanced coloring schemes with lots of fantastic features, such as the SwatchDrop or ColorDrop. Besides, there are numerous pallets with interesting color sets and combinations, such as Classic, Disc, and Harmony.
When using this tool, you can import files in a variety of formats, including JPEG, PSD, PDF, PNG, and more. If you wish, you can also export one of the workable projects in EPS format, open it on a different app for further editing.
Procreate costs $14.99 and is available for download on the App Store.
Now, let’s look at some comparisons between Krita and Procreate.
Explore more apps like Procreate.
This tool is designed for both professional and amateur artists. That shows it isn’t a complicated app. Krita’s interface is clean and organized; it doesn’t have too many functions and buttons to overwhelm you.
Getting started with Krita isn’t difficult because there’s a complete user manual online. The manual covers everything from the downloading and installation details to the guidelines on how to use various tools. In other words, you can master both basic and advanced techniques.
The tutorials are detailed and teach you useful techniques and workflows. Krita uses images and GIFs to illustrate points, which makes the guides easy to grasp.
Working with this painting application is easy. Anytime you hover around a tool, the tool’s name will appear. On the interface, you will find the tools and options at the top and left. However, layers, brushes, color, and tool options lie to the right.
As an artist, you’ll find it easy to navigate and use the interface. Learning to use Krita isn’t difficult at all.
Procreate is an example of a painting app that you can jump right in and start using right away. Its buttons are easy to use, with the two left ones ideal for adjusting size and opacity.
In the upper right corner, you will find the app’s main buttons, layers, brush, erase, color, and smudge. After tinkering for a few minutes, you can get started using the app.
Beginners can use Procreate without any trouble. The interface is not only intuitive, but it’s also modern and eye-grabbing.
But in spite of the intuitive and navigable interface, you may need some tips to sharpen your skills and train your eyes. There are numerous tutorials and courses on the web that you can use to learn the ropes quicker.
In terms of ease of use, Krita wins, Krita has an easier learning curve, especially if you are already familiar with Illustrator and Photoshop.
While Procreate has a user-friendly interface, you need to go through its entire documentation to understand the app’s full capabilities and the techniques of using it.
The program comes with a complete package of advanced features and tools. You’ll find at least 100 professional brushes, with nine unique brush engines like the shape, the color smudge, the particle engine, and more.
Each brush engine lets you customize and tweak the brushes’ parameters in diverse ways. Other than that, you can import brushes from other apps, such as Photoshop or those brushes made and shared by other artists.
Krita is compatible with graphic tabs, allowing you to tweak opacity, blending mode, brush size, color, and so on.
Additionally, it features powerful brush stabilizers that you can use to achieve sharp strokes and smooth paintings. So, no need to worry about your shaky hand again.
Furthermore, Krita responds quickly to tilt movements and stylus pressure, providing you with a fluid and real physical drawing experience. While drawing, you can create shapes from paths then edit them.
More importantly, you can use the layer management system to organize and separate elements and create a clean workspace so everything looks neat.
In terms of coloring processes, Krita features stunning color pallets and supports a variety of color modes, including CMYK, RGBA, and more. To have a better grip over the entire process, you can set the brushes and color swatches as floating panels.
Texturing is the complementary part of coloring and this app supports that as well. The wrap-around mode makes texturing easy and allows you to make fantastic patterns effortlessly. Besides, Krita consists of export and import options for textures.
But that’s not all. Using various transformational tools, you can warp, rotate, scale, and much more to put your artistic skills to work. Plus, you can benefit from the basic effects like modifying perspective parameters and dropping shadows.
When using Procreate, you can use your fingers or Apple stencil while working with the software on an iPad. But that shouldn’t limit you as the application allows you to use third-party styluses, but with reduced accuracy.
Procreate’s power is astounding. With at least 200 predefined brushes, you should look forward to a reasonably precise simulation of classic painting, which includes charcoal, ink, oil painting, and more.
The brush studio gives you even more possibilities, allowing you to import brushes or create your own. The Valkyrie graphics engine makes this software reliable, especially when it comes to tilting movements and pressure sensitivity. The 120 FPS speed speeds up the drawing process, making the performance even better.
While Procreate is an excellent digital painting tool, it has hefty masking options and doesn’t support vector graphics. It only supports pixels. But an iPad has tons of vector options that you can use.
However several smart functions will support your workflow. Examples include ColorDrop, QuickShape, and StreamLine. Besides, the latest update features stunning filters and effects like Halftone, Blur, and Liquify finishing touches.
The Liquify feature lets you add various effects to a drawing; at the touch of a button, you can use a pen to make the necessary strokes while drawing. Additionally, Procreate has a text option that allows you to add text to a drawing.
Procreate has better drawing tools. In Particular, it has over 200 brushes and all of them are free. Krita has an impressive painting toolkit too, but the brushes aren’t so many.
Krita is a frame-by-frame animation tool featuring three major dockers that divide and guide the workflow: the animation keyframe, the timeline, and the onion skin display.
Simply put, this is where everything occurs, such as the frame rate, playback options, layer management, and more, up to the final phase that exports your project in MP4, GIF, or AVI files. For easy exports, you may need to install a tool like FFmpeg.
You can enhance your artwork using a broad array of customizable and predefined filters and have full control over the result. Edge detection and blur effects are worth my mention here.
Krita has an animation feature that allows you to make hand-drawn animations. And there’s a training DVD dubbed “Animate with Krita” that teaches you everything from animation curves and shortcuts to full workflow examples.
The software has some animation tools for making simple to complex animations. Procreate Animation Assist is the most crucial tool for this purpose.
After turning on the animation assist, it adds animation controls to the screen’s bottom. It will also fade any layers (frames) below the one that’s currently active.
The other animation tools include the onion skin, hold frame, foreground layer, 4K timelapse, and background layer.
Onion skin fades any previous frames, giving you an opportunity to see what you already did and get the inspiration to make the current frame.
Hold frame is for pausing the frame for any duration you want. For example, if I choose two as the hold frame duration, two more frames will be automatically added to the frame I’m holding.
The foreground layer lets you set any frame as your foreground element so you don’t draw something in the foreground each time. The background layer works the same way but it’s for setting the background.
The 4K timelapse helps you set the recording in 4K, 2K, or 1080. You can also set the quality as low quality, good quality, and lossless.
Krita has better and more animation features than Procreate. While Procreate is a magnificent program, it’s a bit limited in terms of animation and can’t be relied on to create complex animations.
Artists typically prefer a digital art application that they can access from any device as that makes it flexible. So, regardless of how excellent a design software is, device compatibility matters.
The application works on Linux, Windows, OSX, and any Huion tablet. It doesn’t have an app for iPhone, iPad, or Android.
Krita operates on most tablets, and it’s recommended you use pressure-sensitive styluses, which often resemble a pencil. Pressure sensitivity is crucial in digital illustration. To create digital art that resembles acrylic or an oil painting, it’s best to use software that can mimic a traditional tool’s feel.
Krita is also compatible with apps like Photoshop, and it can open and save files in .psd format. Additionally, you can use Krita to import Photoshop brushes even though certain brushes may import better than others.
Besides, Krita is compatible with Inkscape, but it only supports the SVG 1.1 features. In other words, the mesh gradient might not carry over from Inkscape to Krita perfectly.
It’s also worth noting that Krita is a standalone tool, without a huge collection of other software to support it.
Procreate works only on iPad. There’s also Procreate Pocket that’s made and optimized for iPhones. It has a complete digital art studio, which you can use anywhere anytime.
Procreate recommends using the Apple Pencil or Logitech Crayon. But they mention that other styluses may work perfectly or partially. Well, styluses should function seamlessly if they are to be useful rather than frustrating.
In terms of compatibility, Krita wins as it works on major desktop operating systems and on drawing tablets.
Support is another critical element when looking at Procreate vs Krita. You need to know where to find help in case you run into problems when using either of the two applications.
Being a free application, you wouldn’t expect Krita to provide you with unlimited support, right? Sure, Krita has no dedicated support team. However, if you have any questions, you can always post them on community forums.
These forums have volunteers to answer most of the questions from Krita users. Additionally, you can find answers to most questions on FAQ pages.
An example is the Krita Artists Forum, which is organized and partitioned into various discussion sections. In these forums, you can browse tutorials, ask a question, scour the beginner forum, critique artwork, and participate in contests, just to name a few.
All you need is a free account to start posting here. The community is active, and members often post their artwork and contact details, making the platform ideal for networking.
When using Krita, you may encounter a bug; report it directly within the app by visiting Help > Report Bug. A link will appear to click on and this will lead you to a form where you can report the bug. Alerting the Krita team about bugs makes it easy for them to fix those issues in the subsequent release.
But I realized only one downside with Krita support; there’s no support number or email to use whenever you’ve got a burning issue. That notwithstanding, Krita has a thorough education section full of documentation, tutorials, FAQs, manuals, and resources.
For a premium app like Procreate, there’s an almost endless list of support where you can run to. To begin with, there’s a handbook on the website to help you discover most of the application’s features and how to use them.
You can find detailed information on any feature, including colors, brushes, gallery, animation, transform, and more. The features are neatly listed on the page with clickable links where you can find help. There’s also an option to type a keyword or question in the search bar to find answers quickly.
While there’s a handbook for the Procreate (the desktop app), there’s also a handbook for the iPhone’s Procreate Pocket. It works the same way as the main Procreate handbook.
Next in the support section is the frequently asked questions page. This page has tons of answers to any questions, from how to update Procreate to how to use the color fill tool.
The next support level is the developers’ forum where you can post anything, including a question related to your app freezing or crashing, a bug, and so on. The forum isn’t just for questions; it’s also a place to share suggestions or ideas and even discuss a business or marketing opportunity.
You can connect with Procreate on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Red, and Weibo. Their contact page has a list of emails you can use to reach them as well.
Procreate offers more comprehensive support than Krita. Their support includes a handbook, FAQs, social media, forum, and email. Krita only relies on a forum comprising of volunteers plus a documentation and FAQs page.
Krita is a free application without any hidden fees. But there’s an option to support the development through donations.
This program is open-source, which means volunteers lend a hand to make the application better. They provide bug and code fixes to make Krita better.
This application costs $9.99 at the App Store. Unfortunately, there’s no free trial, but I think it’s a great price given that this is a lifetime purchase. So, you won’t be making further subscription payments.
In terms of pricing, I’d go for Krita. It’s feature-rich and legit software that’s free to use.
- Shortcut tools for quick accessibility
- Useful animation functions
- It’s a free and open-source tool
- It’s compatible with PNG and GIMP brush tips, providing more options for brush use
- It’s highly customizable
- It features filter masks and real masks
- Importing resources is easy
- Robust preset editing
- Features vector tools
- It allows you to switch to the canvas-only mode so you can hide dockers and toolbars for a wider area
- Wizard tools like the Vanishing Point can be handy
- The app requires a big memory so delays can occur when using big brushes
- The smear brush engine can be a bit difficult to control
- Krita isn’t perfect for Pixel Art; the lines can get jagged fast
- Beginners may find Krita a bit overwhelming at first due to the many features
- Over 200 built-in brushes
- You can create a brush or customize the built-in ones
- Combined with Apple Pencil, Procreate stimulates a real-life painting experience
- Smooth and fast workflow
- You can export work and keep working on it from the computer
- It supports TIFF, PDF, JPEG, PNG, and PSD formats
- You can draw on the go
- New features are added constantly
- It’s an affordable application
- You have full control over colors
- 120hz performance
- Lack of vectors
- It’s difficult to make adjustments to illustrations for the entire document
- It gets slower once you create many paintings within the app
- A high learning curve is involved
- Both have helpful support forums
- Both are great for digital painting
- Both are loved by professional artists
- Both support various file formats like JPEG, PSD, PDF, and PNG
- Krita works with Windows, OSX, Linux, and Android tablets while Procreate works with iPad and iPhone only
- Krita supports vectors, but Procreate doesn’t
- Krita is a free and open-source app while Procreate is a premium app
- Procreate has more built-in brushes than Krita
- Krita is easier to use and more beginner-friendly than Procreate
- Procreate has more support formats than Krita
- Procreate a more extensive toolkit than Krita
If you’re looking for an excellent digital painting and drawing application, Krita would do. It’s more intuitive and user-friendly than Procreate. It’s also free and open-source, which translates into cost savings on your part.
I also like Krita because it’s compatible with more operating systems than Procreate. It also supports vectors.
Cassie Riley has a passion for all things marketing and social media. She is a wife, mother, and entrepreneur. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, language, music, writing, and unicorns. Cassie is a lifetime learner, and loves to spend time attending classes, webinars, and summits.