My head is exploding from all the digital media research I've been doing. Pardon if I haven't had time to really spend on any particular art package, such as Krita specifically. I'm still figuring out what tablets do or don't work on Windows 10, etc.
I spent some time reading the Krita forums, to understand whether that community is something I would want to stick with long term. Particularly as I'm a computer programmer and wondering whether or not it's worth contributing to their project. I came across an Update to Krita's Vision
of the future of their project. Some discussion in their Developer forum ensued, with someone worrying that Krita might not be committed to "painting" anymore. The core devs assured that they are committed to "painting", however that commitment is to digital
natural media simulation. From commentary on their new vision statement:
Finally, the last paragraph got almost completely rewritten. Gone is real-world materials as an inspiration, and in are our users as inspiration: we won’t let you dictate what Krita can do, or how Krita lets you do stuff, UX design isn’t something that can be created by voting. But we do listen, and for the past years we’ve let you vote for which features you would find most useful, while still keeping the direction of Krita as a whole in our hands.
They seem to have decided, through painful experience as an open source project, that natural materials simulation is slow and hard to do. They aren't interested in, say, digitally duplicating the viscosity of oil paint, or the fluid flow of watercolor. They seem to be plenty interested in tools that are sorta
like that, as to how they work. The quick 'n' dirty versions, if you will, rather than any rigorous simulation or faithful representation of traditional analog media.
Now, as an acrylic painter whose work very much depends on the textural mixing properties of the paint as it rapidly dries, I feel myself forced to ask...
Just how good is this sorta
I know this gets into the realm of personal taste. But I've seen a smattering of digital artwork out there, that looks like it doesn't care about the fine grained textural properties of the surface at all. If this were photography back in the digital stone ages, we'd be arguing that digital media simply didn't have the resolution of chemical film. I've seen a fair amount of work, where it looks like the artists don't even know what the hairs of a brush are, or why anyone would care about using them a certain way. I'd go so far as to say, paintings made with oven mitts.
Sure, the texture of brush application doesn't always matter to a work. Color Field Painters certainly weren't worried about that, for instance. It matters very little to Mondrain's most famous work, even if the relevance in person is not, strictly speaking, zero. But Impressionists certainly cared. You stand in front of Monet's Water Lilies, it matters
. It's half of what's going on in the application of paint.
Have you noticed how many "bad Impressionism" filters are out there in the digital realm? It looks horrible. Granted, that's typically a postprocessing effect on an image, not a painter working on the placement of every stroke. But the effect is similar: extremely bad handling of low level texture. To those of us who care about that sort of thing, in Art.
Is Krita an appropriate software package for me to be bothering with, given that this is a core concern of my work in analog media? Or should I be looking at other art packages, that have more of a focus on the textural implications of "natural media" ?
I'm not necessarily hung up on how one gets the texture. But it had jolly well better be happening, or I would just dismiss a software package as not an acceptable medium.
I also find myself with some consternation, that all of these software packages are basically different media. Rather like comparing oils to alkyds to heavy body acrylics to acrylics with various additives to watercolors.
A related issue, is that if one's working process lives and dies by a particular software package, is that package still going to be around? Is it going to morph and change in ways you don't want? This becomes an issue with Krita because they got in some financial hot water recently, due to a misunderstanding of their tax status. They recovered, but IMO they are definitely at risk of burning out at some point. They aren't wealthy developers, nor numerous. They are a small contingent of scrappy open source people making very little money for the time spent. I can empathize, I've totally been there and done that in my so-called career as a programmer. But I have to be pretty hard nosed about whether this is something I would sink serious time into.