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Krita vs Photoshop: Which software is better for artists?

Krita vs Photoshop: Which software is better for artists?

If you are a graphic designer or an artist, you may be facing a dilemma: Krita vs Photoshop. Which is the best graphic design software for you?

The difference between Krita and photoshop is the price and type of art the software creates. For example, Krita is a free, open-sourced option that excels in digital painting & animation art. Photoshop on the other hand requires a paid subscription and has advantages for photo manipulation & image editing.

Krita is better for digital painting and animation, while photoshop is better for photo editing and manipulating photos. I personally use both softwares.

See: How to Create Amazing Photoshop Sketches [Full Guide]

I see more and more artists moving to Krita from Photoshop, but that doesn’t mean its automatically better for everyone who uses photoshop.

Key Takeaways: Krita vs Photoshop

Both Krita and Photoshop are powerful applications for creating digital art, editing photos, or designing. Photoshop is the industry standard for photo editing, retouching, and design projects, while Krita has become renowned for its painting and illustration capabilities.

However, photoshop requires a paid subscription and integrates with adobe. It’s important to note that Krita can still be used in conjunction with Photoshop to create exceptional graphic designs.

When it comes to drawing and making digital art, Krita provides a superior option compared to Photoshop due to it’s brushes and easy to use user interface. Both have advanced settings for digital pens of all types.

Since both apps are preferred by beginners as well as professional artists and photographers, deciding which one to use can be difficult…  here is an infographic we created to compare the two softwares:

Krita vs Photoshop

In this blog post, we will compare Krita and Photoshop in terms of reliability, pricing, editing and drawing features, and more.

From the variety of brushes and tools to the photo editing toolboxes, nothing is left out in our review.

Let us take a look at Krita and Photoshop and decide which is the best graphic design software for your personal needs and preferences.

Krita vs Photoshop: Which is better?

Since both Krita and Photoshop are well known, it is important to first find out why each app has such a large following.

To that end, we will examine the features of each software individually. Let us start with Krita. We can easily say that this app has been around for more than 15 years for many reasons.

Since both Photoshop and Krita are very popular and have received excellent reviews, the question is how to decide which program to choose when you perform various levels of digital art?

Advantages of Krita:

Krita features and disadvantages

Krita is an open source application and was developed and launched by the Krita Foundation in 2005. Since the Krita Foundation is made up of a team of experienced artists and graphic designers, it’s no wonder Krita has everything an artist needs.

In fact, Krita is a beginner-friendly software aimed at creating digital illustration & animation. with a top-notch UI and a huge selection of brushes (more than 100 pre-installed brushes). So Krita is a great software when it comes to digital painting and retouching of raster or vector graphics.

Related: Krita vs Medibang: Which software is better for artists?

And that’s not all. Krita also has an extensive collection of photo editing tools and advanced features. Photographers who use Krita claim that it is an amazing app with numerous retouching tools, filters, etc.

Also, Krita allows layer building, which is a must for professional artists and photographers working on complicated projects. On the other hand, Photoshop is by far the most popular software for creatives.

You can absolutely edit images on Krita, however photoshop has many more capabilities for professional artists. The ceiling of potential complex art you can achieve of photoshop is nearly unlimited excluding the type of work you’d get out of an app like AutoCAD or Blender.

Is krita hard to use or is photoshop harder

Related: 9 Best Laptops for AutoCAD (Designers Guide)

With more than 449 million downloads, Photoshop needs no introduction and comes from a long line of history and brand credibility..

Advantages of photoshop

Conversation is krita better than photoshop

Adobe has created an app that has everything a professional needs and more. In fact, very few designers and photographers around the world know what Photoshop can do.

With its endless editing and drawing features, Photoshop is simply the most powerful software created for digital artist and graphic designers looking to edit and manipulate a photo. However, the negative side of photoshop is that the software has quite a steep learning curve.

Krita is comparable in the sense that it is the most powerful free graphic design software on the market that is also useful for animation…

See our post: Autodesk Sketchbook vs Procreate: Which is Better for Drawing?

When you add that it’s also used by numerous professionals, there’s no reason why beginners should not give it a try if they are ready.

How strong is photoshop adobe

On the other hand, Photoshop is the best application for serious professionals who require selection tools to change, warp, and closely fine-tune retouching of photos. It also integrates well with Adobe products like adobe illustrator & animator.

So which software is the best for you? Let us take a look at the main differences to find out.

Core differences between Photoshop and Krita

Core differences between Krita and Photoshop

We have come to the conclusion that both Krita and Photoshop are simply fantastic. So how can you decide which one is the best for your needs? To do that, you need to know the main differences between them.

As for the operating systems supported by Krita and Photoshop, both applications can be used on Windows and Mac computers. Moreover, both Krita and Photoshop can be used on Android, iPadOS, and iOS mobile devices. However, when it comes to system requirements, there is a big difference between them.

If you’re looking to create digital art or draw on Apple, then see our post on Procreate iPad: Which iPad is Best for Procreate?

Here are some core differences when comparing Krita vs Photoshop:

Core differences between Photoshop and Krita
  • Generally, Krita runs smoothly on an entry-level device, especially when it comes to simple digital drawing tasks. Photoshop, on the other hand, is more demanding. To find out if your machine can handle this software, you just need to check the system requirements for Photoshop and Krita.
  • Another major difference between Photoshop and Krita is their price. Krita is indeed a completely free software. On the other hand, Photoshop is one of the most expensive editing software in the market.
  • Of course, this price difference is reflected in the editing and drawing features of each app. To be precise, Photoshop simply can not be beaten when it comes to advanced drawing and photo editing features with its selection, transformation and shape tools.

Although Krita is very powerful when it comes to digital painting, Photoshop can handle everything from 3D models to photos and animations. Now let us take a look at the features and tools each app offers for creatives.

Related: Krita vs FireAlpaca: Which software is better for artists?

For learning advanced animation, the ideal device is a semi-powerful laptop and drawing tablet. See our post on the Laptops for Animation Students.

Features and tools

Features and tools

We have already mentioned that Photoshop is a clear winner when it comes to drawing and image editing features. Does that mean Krita is not suitable for professional artists? Well, not at all.

Krita is a very reliable software, especially for digital drawing. It offers an amazing blending experience and has numerous masking techniques, texture tools, and drawing toolboxes. For this reason, Krita is the best free software for illustrations and cartoon designs.

During our test, Krita also proved to be a beginner-friendly, modern user interface. All in all, this app is a very advanced software and the fact that it is offered completely free is simply amazing.

Krita vs Photoshop full comparison review

Although Krita is very powerful, it does of course have its limitations. For example, it cannot handle 3D drawings and is not an advanced software when it comes to animations. On the other hand, Photoshop offers every advanced feature imaginable.

For stylus choices, see the Best Stylus for Photoshop & Adobe Illustrator

Photoshop has been improving for more than 30 years. The results of this long history are simply breathtaking. There is nothing a creative person can not do in Photoshop. The app offers the ultimate control over animations, digital drawings, photos, shapes, colors, etc.

In a few words, although Krita is the most advanced free software for artists and a good choice for beginners, Photoshop is the clear winner when it comes to tools and features.

Comparison Table: Adobe Photoshop vs Krita

difference between Krita vs Photoshop

Is Krita good for digital drawing or should one invest in Photoshop? Below you’ll find our in-depth comparison table based on our hands on testing of both Krita and Photoshop:

Created forGraphic design, digital art, photography editingGraphic design, digital art, photo editing, animation, 3D image creation
DeveloperKrita Foundation, KDEAdobe
Release DateJune 21, 2005February 19, 1990
Current VersionKrita 4.4.8 as of August 25, 2021v.22.4.2
PricingFree-to-use (Krita)$20.99 per month, $19.99 for students and teachers (all Adobe apps bundle)
Supported OSMicrosoft Windows, MacOS, Linux. Check the supported devices of Krita hereMacOS, Microsoft Windows, Android, iOS. Check the system requirements for Photoshop here
Multilingual SupportKrita is available in many languages. It automatically uses the system language Photoshop is available in numerous languages (including English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Korean, Turkish, Chinese) 

What is Adobe Photoshop best used for?

What is Adobe Photoshop best used for_

In short, Photoshop is a raster graphics editor designed by Adobe specifically for creative professionals. Raster graphics are all types of visuals that consist of dots and pixels.

The image is divided into tiny squares called pixels. Each pixel is assigned a color. When these pixels are put together, they form the image or drawing.

Most professionals use Photoshop to edit images and make them look professional. If you want to create a photo album, Photoshop is perfect for that. However, if you want to create a website, you should use another software like Dreamweaver.

For quick sketches, you may want to compare Sketchbook vs Photoshop to see which software is better for your specific needs.

Photoshop is also a great tool for drawing, especially if you want to create realistic drawings. However, Photoshop is not a substitute for sketching ideas on paper first. If you want a quick way to draw, you can use a beginner-friendly app like Krita, Procreate, or Sketchbook.

Related: Is Procreate worth it for Beginner Artists? (The Truth)

So it’s clear that Photoshop is a professional solution for artists, photographers, and designers of all disciplines. Keep in mind you can choose between using a drawing tablet for photoshop or a tablet to edit your photos.

What is Krita Best Used for?

What is Krita Best Used for_

There is no denying that Krita is a top-notch free digital drawing software. Beginner and professional artists and photographers use Krita to create digital artwork and edit images.

Unlike Photoshop, Krita is an excellent drawing program for beginners. It has a variety of features such as layers, filters, and brushes. The user interface is modern and easy to learn.

However, it lacks some advanced features like perspective correction, making it less suitable for professional artists.

Do PSD files work on Krita? Krita does have the ability of being able to utilize, open and save the .PSD format that photoshop uses. 

All in all, Krita is a great starting point if you are a beginner artist. Of course, many professionals prefer Krita over Photoshop, mainly because it’s an easy-to-use software. So it all depends on what you want to produce.

For example, Krita is a good choice for draft digital drawings and small photo editing projects. Be sure you’re using a Wacom or related compatible tablet as Krita is limited in the type of drawing and graphics tablets allows to be used, especially when compared to photoshop.

Photoshop vs Krita: Which is better for student artists and designers?

Photoshop vs Krita_ Which is better for student artists and designers_

Both Photoshop and Krita offer similar features, such as layers, filters, and adjustment layers. However, Photoshop has a much larger user community, which means you can find tutorials and support for Photoshop.

Krita, on the other hand, has a smaller community, but one that is growing quickly. Also, Krita is by far the most beginner-friendly app. So it’s a good choice for students.

Also, aspiring artists and designers should consider the features and tools of each software. Photoshop, for example, might be harder to learn than Krita, but that’s also understandable. After all, Photoshop has many more advanced drawing and editing features than Krita.

So if you want to become a serious creative, Photoshop might be a better choice for you. If you learn to use Photoshop at the beginning of your career, it will be a great advantage in the years to come.

After all, you can learn both Krita and Photoshop. As a beginner artist or graphic designer, it’s important for you to explore all the alternatives. Since Krita is also a free app, there’s no reason why you should not give it a try. You never know, it might prove to be a better app for you than Photoshop.

What are the software alternatives to Krita and Photoshop?

What are the software alternatives to Krita and Photoshop_

The best alternative to both Krita and Adobe Photoshop is GIMP. GIMP is free, open source, cross-platform, and offers many of the features of Photoshop and Krita. However, GIMP lacks some advanced features such as layers and filters.

Of course, there are many other alternatives to Adobe Photoshop. Some of them are Paint. NET and Corel Painter.

These programs are also free and open source. However, they are obviously less powerful than Photoshop and do not support some advanced features like Smart Objects and advanced collections of filters.

Related: Best Digital Writing Pads (Electronic Notebooks)

On the other hand, Krita is not the only digital drawing app out there either. For example, there are apps like Procreate (for iPads and iPhones) and Sketchbook that prove to be just as powerful and reliable. Adobe Illustrator is also an amazing app for digital drawing. Let us find out if it’s better for artists than Krita.

Krita vs Adobe Illustrator: Which is better?

Krita vs Adobe Illustrator_ Which is better_

We have already explored why Krita is one of the best free apps for digital drawing. However, there is a top-notch digital drawing software developed by Adobe: Illustrator. To use this app, you need to pay a monthly subscription.

Since Illustrator is a paid app, is it better than Krita? To answer this question, let us look at the history of Illustrator and learn about the drawing features and tools it offers.

Krita vs Photoshop which is better for beginner artists and designers

Like Krita, Adobe Illustrator is a vector graphics editor for Windows and macOS. It was originally developed by Macromedia, which was acquired by Adobe Systems in 2005.

The program has been around since 1987 and is used by designers, illustrators, and other creative professionals. It is also used by educators to create educational materials such as textbooks, posters, and presentations.

How we chose and ranked our top pick:

How we chose and ranked our top pick

We chose our top picks in this post based on pricing, usability, digital painting, different brushes and tools, and compatibility. 

As far as the compatibility of photoshop, we found that it had the disadvantage of only being available on the MacOS and Windows operating system. Krita on the other hand is compatible on Mac, Windows, and Linux.

As Far as pricing, Krita is free, while photoshop is not and requires a subscription model pricing. users find the brushes and tools of Krita more intuitive, which had us rank Krita higher as far as user interface and ease of use is considered. As far as ease of use, Krita is the clear winner.

Krita vs Photoshop which is better for graphics and vectors

However, even though the learning curve of photoshop is steep. It has Photoshop has more advanced capabilities and professional artists and experts have been using it for years; making the level of available information out there to learn and educate yourself on using photoshop unmatched. 

When it comes to brushes and tools, photoshop has an endless amount of photo manipulation and editing tools, while Krita has the tools required for digital art, animation, and graphic design. So to give a clear winner, Photoshop has the most amount of capability.

Cons of Photoshop

Photoshop Pros and cons vs krita

The main disadvantage to Photoshop is that it has an extremely steep learning curve, especially when compared to intuitive digital art softwares like Krita or Procreate. I also found photoshop also tends to exports projects with a surprisingly high file size. The updates that occur with photoshop may be an issue for some and the compatibility is vast, but issues do occur.

If you’re having an issue with the pen not working, then see our post on How to fix Photoshop Pen Pressure not working. This is a common issue for those on older laptops running the adobe suite.

Another core disadvantage of photoshop is the price point. It can get expensive to run photoshop and further embed yourself into the adobe suite with other options like the adobe creative cloud: adobe illustrator & adobe animate.

What are the disadvantages of Krita

What are the disadvantages of Krita

Even though Krita is free, it has the disadvantage of not having dedicated support because it is open sourced. Paid apps like photoshop on the other hand have better support and requirement payment to access and use the software for drawing and photo editing. You also can not use Krita (for drawing) on anything other than laptop or desktop, so it has its limits with compatibility. 

The core issue with Krita that is very important to understand is that it is open sourced, meaning you are lacking support. So if a problem occurs, you can’t reach out and create a ticket to the creator with the same level of efficacy and confidence in response time as that of a software like Adobe photoshop.

Disadvantages compared to photoshop

Krita is a great tool for drawing and painting, however when it comes to photo manipulation and retouching compared to Photoshop, there are some disadvantages. Krita’s layer system lacks quite a few features when working with images such as non-destructive filters or practical transformations like resizing, which can be very helpful in manipulating photos.

Photoshop also provides a wider range of selection tools that allow users to refine the edges of objects more precisely with one click whereas on Krita you may have a tougher time going through each pixel making the process much less streamlined.

The clone tool in Photoshop is incredibly efficient at removing or replacing specific parts of an image while Krita’s clone tool still has some room for improvement as far as the other advanced capabilities it integrates with.

Finally, Photoshop offers many more powerful selection tools and sample options than Krita does. In general, Photoshop is superior in terms of photo manipulation and retouching compared to Krita, so if these tasks are your main focus then it would be best to use a program like Adobe’s software over open source ones like Krita.


Is Krita as good as Photoshop

Krita is not as good as photoshop when it comes to photo editing. It is better than photoshop when it comes to 2d Animation and digital painting as the learning curve is less steep and the price point is free. Both tools are ‘raster-based’, which means they utilize a single pixel grid.

Is Krita a good free alternative to Photoshop

No, Krita is not a good free alternative to photoshop because it does not accomplish the same level of photo manipulation tasks. Krita does not excel in editing images like photoshop does, but rather has the benefit of easy creation of animation and digital painting projects.

Both work well for professionals level artwork, but Photoshop is ideal for developing graphic design projects on a professional level. 

Bottom Line

Krita vs Photoshop summary comparison

When comparing Krita vs Photoshop, the core differences are the price, style of artwork, and learning curve. Krita is free, while Photoshop requires a purchase to download and use. Krita is aimed at being used for digital painting, precise brush strokes, and animation.

Photoshop is different than Krita because its area of strength is in image editing, but it is a solid all around graphic design software as well. 

Photoshop also comes from a well known. credible brand (adobe). Krita is much different since it is ‘open-sourced’ and is completely free. This causes the support to slack for Krita, while Adobe has a more responsive team to help with crashes and bugs.

As far as features and tools, Photoshop has more capability, but is harder to learn. Krita has a fair amount of features for digital art and animation and is also more intuitive and straight forward for learning to draw digitally than Photoshop.

About the author:

Photo of Paul Michael, Founder of MediaPeanut

Paul Michael

Paul Michael is a media and technology expert whose research reveals how technology and media are being used in the world today. He has expertise on computers, the internet, streaming, Roku, electronics, and education. He also enjoys graphic design & digital art. Paul has his Bachelors of Arts and Science(s) from Rutgers University-New Brunswick, NJ