I’ve been doing evening digital painting studies on weekdays after my Illustration work quota for the day.
I use a program called Krita for doing digital painting. It is still not very well known despite having been available to public from 2004 onwards, being developed as an Open Source application by developers all around the world. It developed into a great free program for doing digital painting and started getting really good around 2016, which is the time I began using it instead of a program I used to use called Corel Painter.
I had gotten really frustrated with Corel Painter which had been getting more and more bloated and buggy with features I did not need and increasingly expensive to update with no free updates for little bug fixes. The layer system in Corel Painter was probably one of the worst I’ve ever used in a painting software and it was really complicated to use compared to Krita and Photoshop. I was under the false impression that Corel Painter was better for digital painting than Photoshop and had simply not tried alternatives for a long time. It is always worth trying other software out. I’m sure there are many artists who use it still, but I just got too frustrated with it.
I started using Photoshop more for painting after 2015 when I realised what I’d been missing with a layer system that worked properly. My sister Katherine still uses Photoshop and has created amazing Illustrations with it, but I think she uses Clip Studio Paint more for her digital painting work now. I’ve been trying to get her to use Krita and Affinity as well. After I used Krita more I started to prefer it to Photoshop for digital painting and eventually changed Photoshop for the Affinity Suite by Serif for any additional image editing work I needed to do.
The thing that I love the most about Krita is that I can still get the feel of using natural mediums with it with blendy brushes and paper textures, and use layers and other useful tools within the software reliably. Oh and that it is completely free and being continuously developed and improved helps a lot. It has a new community art forum at Krita Artists if you are interested in seeing what other artists, concept designers and Illustrators do with it.