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Krita vs Sketchbook: Which is better for Artists & Designers?

Krita vs Sketchbook: Which is better for Artists & Designers?

In this article we compare two of the most popular digital painting apps on the market, Krita vs Sketchbook. This blog post is aimed at artists, graphic designers and photographers who want to find out which app is the best for them between the two.

Whether you are a graphic design student or a professional artist, both Krita and Sketchbook can help you create top-notch digital artwork. If that’s the case, and both apps have excellent reviews, which one is best for you?

To help you decide which app is ideal for you, we have explored all the unique features of the two drawing softwares and highlighted their differences. In this blog post, we compare Krita vs Sketchbook in terms of brushes, painting toolbars, drawing tools, user interface, photo editing tools, and more.

If you’re considering Procreate in the mix, then see our post: Autodesk Sketchbook vs Procreate: Which is Better for Drawing?

Related: Sketchbook vs Photoshop: Which Digital Art Software is Better? This is helpful for those torn between sketching software.

We will also compare pricing, the developers behind them, and their long, successful history in the world of digital drawing. By the end of this read, you’ll know which software is the best fit for your needs.

Krita vs Sketchbook: Which is better?

Krita vs Sketchbook_ Which is better_

To determine the best software between Krita and Sketchbook, we will first examine each app individually. Let us start with Krita. We can safely say that this software needs no introduction. For more than 15 years, Krita has been one of the most popular raster graphics editors on the market.

Krita is an open source software developed by Krita Foundation, a team of professional artists and designers. For this reason, Krita offers everything a designer or artist needs.

Krita open sourced software includes many advanced features for painting and retouching graphics. With an extensive collection of brushes, Krita is one of the best apps when it comes to creating artwork.

Finally, Krita is also a useful software for image editing. It includes many features for photographers like filters, retouching tools, layer building and more, but i can’t be compared to photoshop.

Now, when you consider that Krita has a free-forever plan, what more could you want?

Sketch is good for certain purposes

It becomes clear that this is an uphill battle for Sketchbook. However, as an app that belonged to Autodesk (the developer of AutoCAD and other programs) for many years, Sketchbook has won many battles in the past. The app was released in 2009 and has been growing in popularity ever since for many reasons.

Related: 9 Best Laptops for AutoCAD (Designers Guide)

Sketchbook is a top-notch digital art software for beginners. It offers one of the most beginner-friendly interfaces we have ever seen. With over 190 brushes and many advanced drawing and photo editing toolboxes, Sketchbook can handle any graphic.

Here are a few more key aspects to keep in mind when comparing which is better, krita or sketchbook:

  • Since both apps are offered for free, you can easily try them out to find out which one is best for your specific needs.
  • Amongst our hands on testing we found Krita to be the best app for professional artists, animators, and designers as it has more advanced features than Sketchbook and is fully extensible.
  • If you are a beginner or need to sketch something quickly, Sketchbook is a great solution.

Core differences between Krita and Sketchbook

Core differences between Krita and Sketchbook

Now that we have examined Krita and Sketchbook individually, it is time to highlight some key differences between them.

Although both apps can be used on Windows and Mac devices, neither Krita nor Sketchbook support all operating systems. To be precise, Krita can be used on Linux computers as well. On the other hand, Sketchbook is the only app that also supports iOS and Android devices between the two.

Therefore, Sketchbook is the best choice if you want to create digital art on tablets or smartphones.

As for the system requirements, both apps are pretty lightweight. In any case, you can check the system requirements for Sketchbook and Krita to make sure that your device meets them.

Another big difference between Krita and Sketchbook is in the editing and drawing features they offer. Although both apps are very powerful, Krita offers more extensibility and allows you to work on multiple layers with ease. This is a similar experience as medibang in a sense.

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

For this reason, Krita is better suited for large, complicated projects. Let us dive deeper into the tools and features that Krita and Sketchbook offer.

Features and tools

Features and tools

As an app that can be used on most desktops, laptops, drawing pads, and mobile devices, Sketchbook is a software that you just have to try. Most of us have more than one device to create artwork.

Let us say you have a combination desktop and drawing pad and a touchscreen tablet with an active stylus. In this case, Sketchbook is a smart solution to work on your projects from both devices.

As an easy-to-use app, Sketchbook is a great choice when it comes to quick sketches and designs. But that does not mean the software does not include all the important tools and features for drawing.

On the contrary, Sketchbook has numerous brushes and many editing tools like guides, perspective, fill, crop, and more. For this reason, Sketchbook is an excellent choice for both beginners and professionals.

See our post: Procreate iPad: Which iPad is Best for Procreate?

However, Krita is simply the best software when it comes to accurate blending and advanced drawing. With numerous texture tools, masking techniques, and advanced photo editing features, Krita is the perfect all-rounder.

Which is the better free drawing program: Krita or Sketchbook?

When we first tested Krita, we could not believe that such a top-notch digital drawing program was offered for free. Krita is the better free drawing program, especially when it comes to using several different drawing tools.

While using Krita, we were also pleased to find that the software has a beginner-friendly, modern user interface. If you plan on using the Apple pencil as your stylus, then you’re likely using an iPad & Procreate (which is not free).

Sketchbook vs Krita: All in all, Krita is by far the most comprehensive digital illustration app. Therefore, it is a better choice than Sketchbook for detailed projects that require customizable brushes or a requirement for blending brushes.

However, Sketchbook is the best choice if you want to work on your projects from multiple platforms.

Comparison Table: Krita vs Sketchbook

Comparison Table_ Krita vs Sketchbook

Krita appeared to excel as far as the following categories go: tool selection, potential brush presets, interface, plugins, support access, supporting formats, and overall intuitive workflow.

As far as compatibility, learning curve, and overall functionality both Krita and Sketchbook matched fairly even in terms of ranking.

Here is a comparison table of Krita vs SketchBook and it’s features:

Created forGraphic design, digital art, photography editingGraphic design, digital art, photography editing
DeveloperKrita Foundation, KDESketchbook Inc. (initially released by Alias System Corporation)
Release DateJune 21, 2005September 17, 2009
Current VersionKrita 4.4.8 as of August 25, 2021V5.2.5 (July 30, 2021)
PricingFree-to-use (Krita)Free-to-use (Sketchbook), $19.99 (Sketchbook Pro)
Supported OSMicrosoft Windows, MacOS, Linux. Check the supported devices of Krita hereMacOS, Microsoft Windows, Android, iOS. Check the system requirements for Sketchbook here
Multilingual SupportKrita is available in many languages. It automatically uses the system languageSketchbook offers multilingual support as well (English, German, French, Spanish, Japanese, and more)

When it comes to stylus, any compatible stylus or digital pen that has pressure sensitivity will work well. (unless you’re using an iPad). See: What Stylus Pen do Artists use to Draw on iPad? A Beginners Guide.

Why Krita is good for Cartoon and illustration work?

Why Krita is good for Cartoon and illustration work_

We have already explored why Krita is an amazing software when it comes to digital drawing. This is why it is preferred by many professional graphic designers. But, is it also a good choice for cartoonists and artists?

Absolutely. The best free software cartoon artwork & 2d animation is Krita. Our pick for next best alternative to Krita as a free option is TVPaint.

Whether you want to draw your cartoon characters or animate them in 2D, Krita has you covered. For more than 5 years, Krita has been improving when it comes to basic functionalities and animations.

Krita is a great, free sketchbook pro alternative with a more advanced UI.

If you’re an animation student, see our post on the 7 Best Laptops for Animation Students, particularly if you’re looking for a strong budget laptop to use with Krita drawing software.

It is perfect for traditional animation (even if you’re a beginner). For example you can easily draw a cartoon character and animate it individually. Then you can use another app like Kdenlive (open sourced) or Adobe After Effects for video and sound editing.

Related: 7 Best Digital Art Tablets for Beginner Artists

Disadvantages of Krita

This program is more suited to digital painting and other forms of drawing expressions. Krita is less useful for photo editing or other types of image manipulation than many others.

Although Krita misses some advanced features that ToonBoom has, it is an amazing software if you want to explore the fascinating world of animation. Therefore, we can easily say that Krita is perfect for beginner cartoonists and students.

One good thing to note is that we did not detect any malware, ransomeware or viruses when using Krita.

Who should use SketchBook over Krita?

Who should use SketchBook over Krita_

We have already analyzed why Krita is better than Sketchbook when it comes to advanced drawing and editing features. So is any reason why someone would prefer Sketchbook over Krita? The truth is yes… in fact, there are some occasions when Sketchbook proves to be a better choice than Krita.

For example, Sketchbook is probably the most beginner-friendly graphics editor out there. For this reason, it’s perfect for those of you who have no experience with graphic design.

If you’re considering a stronge device for sketchbook, then see the 10 Best Laptops for Sketchup (Designers Guide)

Also, in most cases, Sketchbook is a better choice than Krita when it comes to quick sketches and designing drafts. Many professionals even use Sketchbook as an idea collector. So maybe you can use Sketchbook and Krita at the same time. You can illustrate your initial ideas in Sketchbook and then draw the final designs in Krita.

Both apps allow for layers, art import, easy to navigate canvas, and an experience that is close to physical drawing or painting. It’s important to note that most creative professsionals tend to prefer an application with a combination of brushes and color tools.

Finally, Sketchbook has another advantage over Krita. It can be used on iOS and Android mobile devices. Therefore, it is your only option if you prefer to draw on your tablet or smartphone.

Krita vs Autodesk Sketchbook: Which is better for student artists, designers?

Krita vs Autodesk Sketchbook_ Which is better for student artists, designers_

Both Krita and Sketchbook have a beginner-friendly interface and plenty of drawing and editing features for you to explore. For this reason, both apps are popular among graphic design students and beginners.

That said, it all depends on your personal needs and preferences. For example, if you are a Linux user, Krita is the only software that supports your operating system. On the other hand, Sketchbook can also be used on tablets and smartphones.

For example, if you want to use beginner-friendly digital art software on your iPad, Sketchbook is the best app for you. It’s not as ideal for those looking to create professional level digital art, though.

Clip studio paint is an alternative to consider if Sketchbook or Krita don’t check all the boxes for you.

However, if you want to create serious artwork, Krita is the best choice. With this software, you can work with layers, it has an extensive brush collection, works well with ink/pen sketches, and more advanced features.

See our post on the Best Stylus for Photoshop & Adobe Illustrator

Krita has many similarities with paid premium software for creatives like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, CorelDRAW, etc. Therefore, Krita is by far the best option for students who want to get more familiar with advanced features and top-notch software.

What Software is better than Krita?

What Software is better than Krita_

When it comes to choosing the best software for graphic design, photo editing and digital artwork depends on your profession and expertise. Krita, for example, is a great software for illustrations and simple animations. It also includes many photo editing features.

Does that mean Krita is the best software on the market for all these tasks? Not at all. When it comes to photo editing, there are applications like Photoshop and Lightroom that are specifically designed for the task.

As for animation, there are top-notch animation software like ToonBoom, Adobe Animate, Moho Pro and Autodesk Maya. These apps have innumerable advanced features for a stunning animation experience.

For those doing CADwork or architectural students, Sketchup or AutoCad are ideal. You can see our posts on the Best Laptop for Sketchup or the best laptop for AutoCAD depending on which route you plan to take as an alternative..

Finally, there are professional illustrators like Adobe Illustrator and CorelDRAW that have top-notch user interfaces and numerous toolboxes to help professionals.

However, all of the above apps are quite expensive. The fact that Krita as a free app has numerous illustration, photo editing and animation tools for you is simply amazing.

Krita vs Clip Studio paint

Krita vs Clip Studio paint

Many artists that get their tablet have a clip studio paint that comes with a two-year license. Most users will be using critter rather than clip studio paint as it’s simply more popular and there’s generally more discussions around it being used for digital painting.

It doesn’t necessarily mean that clip studio paint is worse than credit in anyway, in fact many users, artists, animators clean that clip studio paint works as well as credit and has a more clean, smooth software design in terms of workflow performance & using vector layers.

Krita does have an extensive free brush pack amongst art communities (it is open sourced), which may be harder to find for other drawing softwares.

Related: Best Gaming Laptops for Graphic Design

Clip Studio Paint is well known for its advantages drawing vector line art and black & white manga artwork. When using Krita on the other hand, I was able to faster create digital artwork. So each have their pros and cons.  

Do professional artists use Krita?

Do professional artists use Krita_

Yes, Artists of many professions use Krita for digital painting, animations, drawing comics, and working with layers. While there are many other softwares that do this, Krita excels as it is free and open source. Just because Krita is free doesn’t mean professional artists won’t use it. However, those who work in studios for cartoon creation often use Toonboom as this has been a industry standard for many years.

From students, to professionals, to those who just want to create digital artwork… Krita is a first choice for many. Even Game developers and illustrators use Krita for their projects.

Is Krita good for drawing?

Is Krita good for drawing

Yes, Krita is particularly good for drawing as you can use digital painting tools such as layering, smoothing, blending, and transforming. Additional features that make Krita good for drawing are transforming, mirroring, and the overall intuitive navigation and interface Krita provides its users.

Krita is responsive to stylus of different types and allows for pressure sensitivity without lag. A few alternatives to Krita is Inkscape and ArtRage.

How does it compare to other applications for drawing? Well, for starters, the community has agreed that Krita has some core advantages over many others in that its brush engine allows for a better overall experience.

One thing that makes Krita and Sketchup standout is that it has cross platform compatibility. For example, both Krita and Sketchup work with Windows, Mac, Linex, iOS, and Android. 

However, If you are specifically performing graphic design or Photo adjustments/editing, then Krita is not the best option and photoshop or a similar alternative should be considered.

Is Sketchbook Pro better than Photoshop

Is Sketchbook Pro better than Photoshop

SketchBook Pro allows you to convert your hand drawn photos into digital form by using the sketch scanning feature embedded in SketchBook Pro. This is very useful for those who don’t want to be tied to a computer or drawing tablet and this can also lower your screen time for those who are hobbyists.

It has advanced drawing mechanisms and allows different formats and conversions as well as layering. One downside is that its toolbox is limited compared to that of other options like Photoshop where advanced features remain as its core advantage.

Keep in mind Sketchbook Pro is not free, it is the paid version of standard Autodesk sketchbook.

Photoshop also allows for bitmap graphics, retouching, and general photo manipulation in addition to color correction. You can work with a very advanced level of configurations by adjusting the settings inside photoshop… allowing you to create artwork and drawings other platforms and apps struggle with.

Photoshop is also very well known amongst the art community and there is a ton of information and research at your fingertips to help you achieve any complications or obstacles you encounter in your artwork or latest project. Photoshop is ab it more expensive than Sketchup, but experts claim its well worth it for those spending a long amount of time in front of the computer.

Can you draw in Krita like in Illustrator and Photoshop

Can you draw in Krita like in Illustrator and Photoshop

Yes, the two can be used for drawing, however you can not change adjust, or manipulate in Krita the same way photoshop allows. For example,  taking a photo, retouching it, editing, and drawing is a more ideal drawing task for photoshop, rather than Krita.

Krita is ideal as a drawing software with a toolset that allows you to change brushes, colors/pallets, and misc. tools with speed.

One alternative to Krita is gimp if you’re in search of a open sourced photo manipulation tool and are looking for similar functionality of Adobe photoshop or illustrator.

Another alternative alternative is adobe illustrator if you’re focused on vector work and are used to photoshop (rather than learning Krita, this allows you to stay within the adobe suite if thats beneficial for the artist)

Which is the best app for painting

Which is the best app for painting

The best app for painting ranges from ArtRage & Krita, to ToonBoom and photoshop. These apps range from free to paid and is aimed at both experts and students alike. If you’re using an iPad Procreate is the best app for drawing, however some also use Astropad Studio as an alternative.

Bottom Line

When comparing Krita vs SketchBook and which is the best for artists, we found that Krita works well for those in search for a free, open sourced software that allows you to quickly sketch, draw, or paint digitally with freedom.

It has an advanced toolset with a slight learning curve that works for both students and experts alike. The interface is smooth, the program is easy to navigate, and allows for different types of strokes.

SketchBook on the other hand has one of the most beginner friendly interfaces and setup for beginner artists. Sketchbook also works well for those who are pursuing graphic design, digital art, and photography projects.If you want to quickly sketch and draft a design, SketchBook works well.

It also works on Android and has one advantage over Krita. Overall Krita appears to be the best all around in most categories when comparing it’s capabilities to sketchbook.

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