Krita for Windows 10 is a potential Paint replacement that helps you get creative

Whether you're looking to make art from scratch, alter an image you already have, or animate your artwork, Krita is worth a look.

The app is open source and full of features that make drawing, painting, and creating art very convenient. It isn't going to make you into an artist, but it can help facilitate your skills and help you create more efficiently.

The app made its way to the Windows Store earlier this summer after previously only being available for download from Krita's website.

The app is available on Windows 10 for $9.79 via the Windows Store. That's a significant price because you can actually download the identical app for free from Krita's website. We'll dive more into pricing later.

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Krita layout

Krita is not going to match the design of native UWP apps. It doesn't have any Fluent Design System elements, hamburger menus, or other Windows 10 design language notes. But for many people using the app, that won't matter because where it isn't laid out in a similar way to newer UWP apps, it is laid out in a remarkably similar way to common programs such as Adobe Photoshop.

Krita's design language is so similar to Adobe's that one might even confuse it for a drawing-friendly Adobe program. Your utility bar is in a dock with features such as cropping tools, brushes, pens, gradients, and more. On the right is a panel that breaks down your layers and allows you to manipulate colors and layers. These docks are customizable to meet your workflow better.

This will feel very natural for anyone who is familiar with the Adobe creative suite. From the familiar layout to the fact that it supports PSD files and layer editing, the app will feel like a welcome addition for many creators.

Painting and drawing

Krita has a number of features that help artists create on a digital canvas. Two notable features are brush stabilizers and an easy to access pop-up palette.

The stabilizers are helpful because drawing on a glass screen can make it difficult to have a steady hand. The pop-up palette allows you to quickly jump from different brushes or pens and switch colors around. Combined, these allow you to spend more time creating and less time dealing with settings menus.

The app also has features that most would consider standard for art-related apps, such as color management, mirroring tools, and color selection tools.

Krita is a flexible app that can be used for finite details with very specific features or just used for basic painting and drawing.

Krita animation

In addition to being a powerful painting and drawing app, Krita also has an animation workspace. This allows you to create your own animated features.

Krita has a variety of tools and features that make animation easier. You can work in keyframes and use onion skinning to preview your upcoming frames. The animation workspace can be used for anything from basic doodles to more advanced animation.

Using Krita for Windows 10

I'm not an artist when it comes to painting and drawing. There's no app in the world that could make me good at painting, let alone animating things. But the app itself is well designed and easy to use if you're familiar with Photoshop or similar programs.

The brushes are easy to find, and it's easy to customize the color and thickness of your paint brushes or pens. The tools you need to open photos, crop them, and turn them into art are all there and in more creative hands could be used to make truly beautiful art.

If you'd like to see more of the creative side of the app, Krita's website has some great examples of talented artists using it to create art.

The app has had some complaints in reviews when it comes to lag, and we ran into some lag in our testing. But with creative programs, it can be hard to tell if lag stems from hardware not being powerful enough or the app itself.

Krita pricing

Why would you pay $9.79 for this app when you can legally, and quite easily, get the exact same app for free directly from Krita?

It's a worthwhile question, and there are two main responses that may or may not mean much to you as a consumer. First, when you buy the app in the Windows Store you're helping support the developer. Microsoft gets a percentage of course but apps like these are a great boost to artists' workflow and the Windows Store. Supporting the developers helps keep another good app in the Windows family.

Second is that it's in the Windows Store, and some people are enthusiasts or loyalists. Some users want everything they download to be from the Windows Store. This makes things easy to install and uninstall and can be more secure, though in the case of Krita either way of downloading it is safe.

Overall thoughts and impressions of Krita

Krita is a powerful app that any digital creator should at least take a look at. It has a similar design language to other creative programs and has a wide variety of tools and features that give you a breadth of options for your art.

The pricing is confusing, but if you don't want to pay you can download it for free and potentially donate directly to the developers later if you want to.

See in the Windows Store

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at