The muses preset pack

Last time, we went through the options for the versatile and expressive hairy brushes. This time, we’ll discuss the brush set I’ve created for the “Muses” training DVD. Creating the brush set has been an enriching experience. Together with David Revoy and Timothee Giet, we created a standard for brush sets — and we have also created a SVG library with modular vector icons that are easy to adapt and use.  Check out Vasco Basque’s brush set, too.

So, without further ado: the Krita Training Vol.2: Muses Brush Set is here! The DVD is coming along nicely, too, and we hope to go into production soon.
Krita makes it really easy to create brush presets and if we don’t take care, we’ll create hundreds of presets. Managing so many presets is rather more difficult than 42, the number of presets of this pack. It pays to be selective!

This pack cover the basic necessities for the most painting projects. The set I created for  “Muses” was created made to complement the default set and also to be compatible with another packs, like David Revoy’s pack. Although both packs have some things in common, I think that they complement each other very well. Each has some functionality that isn’t present in the other.

The Muses Pack focuses on providing a rich and varied painting experience with a traditional look.

The set is designed for being used with tablet. It’s not necessary to have a tablet but I don’t recommend using a mouse because some presets can work in a unexpected ways because they use sensors like pressure or tilt. For the best experience, use a tablet that has tilt since  some presets use the “Ascension” parameter.

Contents of the set:

The colors of the squares are only for differentiating the parts,  they don’t have nothing to be with the colour coding we designed for distinguishing the presets.


This first part of the set covers the sketching and dry techniques phases like pencil, charcoal and hard pastel. Usually you’d use these presets in black and white, but the advantage of the digital painting is that with only one preset you can still use all the colors you want, for instance to simulate the effect of color pencils.

This part of the set covers the most common presets that you need for digital painting. The classic round brushes with a good velocity in bigger sizes, smooth contour, squared… The illustration of below, for example, makes an extensive use of the squared brush for creating the structures of the mountain. After that, you will have to do a detailing finish, of course, but is a fast way for delimiting the contours.

Personally, I use these presets all the time


Ink & Fx:
In principle, this presets aren’t for inking comics (for that see the presets created by Timothee Giet), they are for doing studies or fast sketches.
We can emulate the markers technique very easily.

Oils & water:
I use this presets for creating the brushstrokes of wet paint, for giving the painting the look and feel of oil paint and gouache. They create expressive effects and they are fast but I don’t recommend the using them at really big sizes: you can easily saturate the resources of even a beefy computer. They use the “ascension” sensor for the color-rate.

This presets mix the color that is applied in the canvas. They are quite explanatory in themselves.

This presets are used for fill big parts of the image with varied shapes like leaves, clouds, etc. They simulate effects that will take a lot of time painting it directly with normal round brush, saving us a lot of time that can be spent on places where we need manual detailing.

Hair Brush Pack Bonus:
If you have installed “Hairy presets set” you can create brush strokes where you can see a pattern of lines that simulate the hairs of the brush. Read my first post for all the details.


The brushkit ZIP can be downloaded here :
It should be compatible with 2.7 and 2.8dev
License :  the brushkit itself and thumbnails is released under the WTFPL 2.0  (compatible with Public Domain and CC-0 ).


Unzip the downloaded zip , and paste the two folders ‘brushes’ and ‘paintoppreset’ into your Krita user preference directory. Under Mint 14 KDE, the Krita pref are located here : /home/<username>/.kde/share/apps/krita/.
On Windows, it will be c:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\krita or c:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\krita.

Expressive painting with Hairy presets


Ramon Miranda here! Let’s talk about Krita brush sets. The default set is big, not huge… But certainly big enough so you can get lost easily if you don’t spend a lot of time investigating. But if you dig deep enough, and explore the huge number of options, you’ll find some real gems. So lets see what i have discovered about one type of brushes: the hairy brushes.

The Default Hairy Brush Set:

After a some thorough and productive testing time, I got to a point where I managed to get a predictable and stable performance out of the hairy brushes. the hairy brushes can be very fast when you tweak some values, and that makes them more interesting.

The current set is a very good starting point but I felt I could improve on it. Read on for what I did – and a sneak preview of the Muses Painting with Krita DVD (which is getting very close now!)


The Muses Hairy Brush Set:

For starters:
Let’s change the painting mode from Wash to Build-up and link the opacity to the pressure curve sensor. Now we’ve got something that quite useful for expressive painting, but not for a realistic style.
Let’s also improve the icons we use a bit. Check out for ongoing to work to coordinate the icons for Krita preset packs!

Next: advanced options:

  • Anti-aliasing: I haven´t seen a significant negative impact on performance and the quality improves a bit at 100% zoom level, so I’ve turned this on for all brushes.

  • Most of them use Bristle options/Mouse Pressure. This parameter uses the speed of the brushtroke to increase the size. I found it interesting, because we can make more detailed things as we paint slower.

  • All of them use a bit of Shear parameter to avoid the “superstraight” effect on bristles

  • Also some of these new presets use the Ascension with a not common ramp. This ramp is useful to constrain the amount of degrees you can rotate your hand before the brush start to rotate and covers the Left and Right rotation. You only have to modify the corners points to make this behavior more sensitive.

Contents of the Hairy Brush Pack

Contents:There are 6 presets that can be clearly identified. I designed them to be usable not just with a tablet, but also with a mouse – and still keep most of the appearance of a brushtroke. The description is for generic use, don’t limit yourself!

Hairy_Details: An easy to use detailing brush. You can see how the size changes if you go faster. Combined with different pressures and speed you get a lot of variety in your brushtrokes. Great to create edges and little details with slow speed.

Hairy_Large: To make backgrounds and cover large areas. It uses “ascension” to make it more versatile.

Hairy_Special_Blender: Not a common blender! It “paints”, but only with the color that is below the direct contact point of the stylus: it smears that color around using the opacity controlled by pressure. Sounds weird? Just give it a try!
The hairy special blender uses the “ascension” feature to make it more random and versatile. As you change the wrist angle we change the “grainy” direction so we can create “rare” patterns if we want. You’ll need a tablet that support tilt to experience the feature, of course.
If you apply low pressure, you’ll achieve a really nice kind of blending with a nice, soft grainy effect.

Hairy_Squared: This is a Squared Type brush. It can be use as a generic brush for mid size areas. And with not too much effects on parameters to make it controllable with a good predictable result like a classical bristle brush.

Hairy_Tapered: Creates a tapered brushtroke. You’ll get the best results if you combine pressure with a fast, “gestured” stroke. Moving slowly makes it usable for details, like edges. Low pressure but fast movement is useful to cover mid size areas like a glazing with semi translucent brushtrokes.

Hairy_Texture: Creates a textured look – a bit like a sponge. The user can control this effect with bristle options/random offset. Be careful with this value. Bigger values can decrease performance – but still fun to experiment with.
You can modify the Density parameter on the Brush nib to make the “spider-web” look less visible. The “density” controls the amount of the brush visible parts. Another tweak: you can vary the “density” bar on the bristle options/density

How to install:


The brushkit ZIP can be downloaded here.
The brush set is compatible with Krita 2.7 and the current 2.8 development branch.

License :  the brushkit itself and thumbnails is released under the WTFPL 2.0  ( compatible Public Domain and CC-0 ).


Unzip the downloaded zip , and paste the files into your Krita user preference directory. On Linux, the Krita preferences are located here :  /home//.kde/share/apps/krita/paintoppresets

Muses: Painting with Krita DVD
Special pre-order price including shipping and V.A.T: €27.50