Skip to main content

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.

See in the Windows Store (opens in new tab)

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 (opens in new tab)

Sean Endicott
Sean Endicott

Sean Endicott is the news writer for Windows Central. If it runs Windows, is made by Microsoft, or has anything to do with either, he's on it. Sean's been with Windows Central since 2017 and is also our resident app expert. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com.

24 Comments
  • Thats more than a paint for what I think
  • Is same app on iOS an Google play store? IF answer is YES, How much do they cost on those competing platforms? If free, then your argument of why Windows enthusiasts or loyalists should pay to support open source project developer(s) is highly biased and baseless.
  • It's not available for IOS or Android. This story should be about another Win32 app being ported to the Windows store. This makes the app available to all the Windows 10S users, they can't download and install it from the web. A bing search uncovered their website and an answer.: https://krita.org/en/download/krita-desktop/ http://krita-foundation.tumblr.com/post/130872500238/is-there-a-tablet-v...  
  • No, Krita isn't available on iOS or Android. It's a project I'm going to work on this autumn/winter, but I'm not sure it's even feasible. If I put Krita on the Apple store or the Play Store, it'll have a price tag, too.
  • But, free vs $9.79 does not seem fair to me. Something like $4.99 vs $9.79 would be a good way. Because, it does not have any of the UWP features, neither it posseses the design language of UWP App. It ia just a ported version which I can myself create by using thw desktop bridge tool available in the store. Then install it by myself. Free vs $9.79 does not seem fair to me. It shoud cost less than $5 to be fair.
  • When setting the price, I just took the price of Krita on Steam and re-used that. It's not about fair or not fair: you can get Krita for free, it can't be fairer than that. The store adds convenience to users, and adds an extra burden when making a release to me. And yes, you can create your own version using DAC, and that's fine! Krita is free software. You just cannot redistribute your version it without changing the name, because the Krita Foundation owns the trademark, but that's all the limitation there is.
  • My god,  people here are cheap bastards!   9.79 is not alot of money.   Buying it!  I will support you!   Cheap ass windows users here are too funny.
  • Thanks :-)
  • Your welcome...anything to do with graphics and photo manipulation I am all over.   I will let you know how I like it in the next day or two!  
  • $9.79 is a lot of money when it’s otherwise a free download. Keeping the app up to date isn’t that hard. The price is ridiculous given how accessible the app otherwise is. Every price is too much when the same thing can be had legally for free. You don’t have to be a cheap ******* to come to that obvious, logical, rational conclusion.  They should have have put the price cheaper.  There is no reason why it’s this expensive on the store, when you consider the obvious. This is the second F/OSS application to do that.  They also could have put it up as a trial (that was a full version) with an option to buy, the way Hexchat does.  That way, you digital SJWs could virtue signal without trying to guilt trip others into paying $10 for a free app   $10 is cheap to me  it may not be to someone else  I just prefer to stick within the Corel Ecosystem for creative apps they’re cheap enough and work well enough for what I do with them (also integrate well with each other- which F/OSS apps are terrible at doing)   The way they’re doing this comes is ridiculous. There are better ways.  Also, it’s been on the store for months. This isn’t a new development. 
  • Yeah, calling this an "app" is misleading. There are pro artists that compare Krita to applications costing hundreds. I haven't used it so I don't know how it compares personally, but the fact that it is mentioned at all says something.
  • We do try -- using Krita should be a choice people make because Krita is great, not just because it's free. On the other hand, that's important too: I've had mails from people in countries where girls' activities are restricted, and they got Krita and finally could draw and paint and express themselves. It was free it wasn't blocked, and they could do their thing! I've asked Microsoft whether we could make the Windows Store price optional in educational settings, but that wasn't possible. I mean... the $3000 the store brings in is welcome, it means I don't have to take a day job, but the real reason I'm working on this application is to create something that's in everyone's reach and can be used for any purpose.
  • I've personally used Krita on Windows for almost two years or so (before it was in the Store), and I have seen all the great features that have been added along the way, features like animation, mirror canvas, brushes, dockers, better performance, etc. Now that the app is in the Store (and although I have it already installed), I decided to go for the Store app instead :) in this way I can support the developers, and at the same time get rid of checking for new updates and install it manually. P.S. there is other ways to support the developers, like donations, purchasing the training DVDs, and the annual Kickstarter campaigns
  • I already bought Paintshop Pro, and could upgrade for $25 and get Painter Essentials for free. They come with full online help and PDF documentation. Why would I donate to this and pay those prices for those DVDs (or whatever else you’re talking about)?
  • Is Corel PS Pro still free?
  • No, and if you buy a copy, you can't install it on 10 devices.
  • hey n8ter#AC, this is all about open source culture, and that is how Blender foundation and other open source software can keep the projects running. This helps to pay developers that will code new features or generally improve the software. If you like Paintshop Pro or other software, then go for it, that is fine too.
  • Krita is amazing and gets better with each release.By purchasing the application from the store you get updates and support the developers.
  • I love how you talk as if UWP and Fluent is some kind of bar setter for Windows Application UI/UX design.  This app will be more familiar to the average Windows user than any UWP app (which have inconsistent design, anyways). 
  • i love how you talk as if this app is not worth the 9 bucks they are asking...Again big deal!...
  • Umm, that's not a Paint replacement. At all. Not even close. Paint is a get in-get out tool for stupid simple edits, Krita is more on the professional side. Not to mention the store version is not free.
  • Does the app, or any of its features, work with the surface dial?
    Does the app support all levels of pressure sensitivity and be able to use the surface pen for drawing on a side angle?
  • I think surface dial is not supported yet, but recently (today they released Krita version 3.3) developers added support for surface pen :)
  • All surface pen versions?