In this tutorial video I’m going to show you how to draw this digital painting of an angry orange from start to finish. In this tutorial I’ll be using Krita version 4.2. The alpha version of 4.2 was just released a few hours ago when I record the video. So I guess this will be a perfect chance for us also to test drive this new release.

Here are the links to all of the 3 parts of this tutorial series.

  • Part 1 which is this article you see now where we cover:
    • Base coloring
    • Shading the body
    • Creating the eyes
    • Creating the eyebrows
  • Part 2 where we cover:
    • Creating the mouth
    • Merging layers
    • Shading the eyes area
    • Mouth casted shadows
    • Eyes casted shadow
  • Part 3 where we cover:
    • Twig color
    • Leaf shading
    • Leaf casted shadow
    • Adding textures
    • Adding backlights

For this illustration I’ll be using these brushes in here. You can find all of these brushes in Krita by default. I’m not using any custom made brushes in this tutorial. If you want to follow along just pause the video now and put these brushes to your pop-up palette.

Brush presets we'll be using in this project
Brush presets we’ll be using in this project

Before we continue, I want to explain in advance that this tutorial is not intended for a complete beginners who have never used Krita before. You should already know the basic stuffs like how to navigate the canvas, how to work with brushes, layers and most importantly how to use the vector features in Krita to create shapes and selections. And finally you need a drawing tablet. It will be very very hard to paint anything using only just a mouse. Okay.

Base coloring

Okay let’s begin with the background. We really don’t want to start any digital painting with a pure white background like this. Because this can influence our brain to choose colors brighter than it should. So unlock the background layer.

Lock and unlocking layer in Krita
Lock and unlocking layer

Find a bright grey color. Then press Shift + Backspace to fill the background layer with the grey color.

The color selector in Krita
The color selector

Lock the layer and activate the “layer 1” again. So we’re working on a layer which is actually a transparent layer. First let’s draw the orange body. For this we can use the “ellipse” tool. Make sure the “fill” option is set to “foreground” color and the “outline” option is set to “no outline”.

The ellipse tool in Krita
The ellipse tool

Next let’s find a nice orange-color for the head or the body base color. And then just click drag like this. I don’t want to make the orange a perfect circle. I actually want it to be a bit squashed horizontally.

Creating a rectangular shape in Krita

For the top twig, let’s create a new layer. Zoom in a bit. We’re going to create the twig a bit bigger and later we can resize it to fit the orange head.

Create a new paint layer
Create a new paint layer

Let’s use the “bezier curve tool”. And just like the “ellipse” tool before, set the “fill” option to “foreground” color. And the “outline” option to “no outline”. Pick a green color.

The Bezier Curve tool in Krita
The Bezier Curve tool

Click release in here (1). Click and drag in here like this (2). Then hold the Alt key. Release the mouse or the pen. Click in here (3). Just like before click drag (4). Then hold Alt and drag like this until this point. Release the pen and then click on the initial vector point.

The process of making the orange's twig

Now the top area may need some more refining. There are many ways to do this in Krita. We can use the brush tool, or use the selection tool, or we can just use the same method like before which is using the bezier curve tool.

To resize the twig we can press Ctrl+T which is a shortcut for the “free transform” tool. We can scale it down, rotate it and move it so it sits more or less at this location. Then move this twig layer so it is below the body layer.

The free transform tool in Krita
The free transform tool

Next let’s create the leaf. For the leaf we need to create a new layer. We’re going to use the same “bezier curve” tool now, but with a slightly different color. Make it more towards yellow, a bit brighter and more saturated. Click release in here (1), click in here (2). And at this point we need to click drag like this (3), then hold Alt and turn the handle to the other direction. And just continue the process (4-5). Now, we have created one half of the leaf.

The process of creating the leaf

To create the other half, create a new layer again. Put the new layer under the existing leaf layer. Now, besides dragging the layer like before, we can also click this this down button to move a layer down.

Moving a layer down using the layer down button in Krita
Move layer down using this button

Next, pick a darker color than the previous leaf color. And just create this shape. Okay guys from this point forward I won’t be explaining how to do vector editing again to save time. I will assume you already know how to do this.

The process of making the darker colored leaf

Next, I think I want to make the leaf bigger. So I need to select both of these layers. Then to merge layers in Krita you can use Ctrl+E shortcut.

Selecting multiple layers in Krita

Then press Ctrl+T or you can also click directly on the “free transform” tool. Make it bigger and rotate it a bit as you see fit. This is just a personal preferences so there is no right or wrong about this. Okay. Let’s zoom in and fix the end of the leaf. We can pick the previous leaf color from the color history and use the “bezier curve” tool again.

Color history strip in Krita
Color history strip

Shading the body

Next let’s add shading on the main body or the head. For this we need to turn on the “alpha lock” option in here. If the “alpha lock” option is on. We can draw anything in this layer and the result will always be inside the existing pixels. We won’t be able to create new pixel areas, which is great for certain scenarios such as when adding shade colors. Okay.

Alpha lock will constrain editing only on existing pixels
Alpha lock will constrain editing on existing pixels

Now for shading the body we’re going to use a very simple technique. First let’s pick this glazing brush. Then to sample the existing body color.

The brush preset we are using for shading the orange's body

We can hold Ctrl and then click on this existing pixel area, or we can just pick it from the “color history strip”. Before doing any shading, you must always consider on which direction the light will be coming from? In this illustration we just want to have a single light source at the left top area. So this way, in general, the shadows will appear at the right bottom area. And because our object is basically a sphere, when adding shadow color you need to create a round motion like this.

Defining the light direction and how it affects the shading colors

Okay. So let’s pick a darker color now. For this you can select it manually. Or you can also use the “K” keyboard shortcut in Krita. As you can see Krita will pick a darker version of the previous active color. Make the brush a bit bigger. And just add brush strokes like this. Use different pen pressures to control the brush opacity. Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to look perfect now. Next press K again to get even darker color. And apply more brush strokes. Essentially we want to make the right bottom area the darkest part of all.

Rough shading result with glazing brush and 2 colors
Rough shading result with glazing brush and 2 colors

Okay, now to smooth out these brush strokes we need to use the blur brush which is this brush in here.

The blur brush preset we use to smooth out colors

Make the brush size bigger. And just drag it a couple of times on the rough shading result. We can see how this brush helps a lot to smooth out the pixel so we get this nice gradation of colors. Okay.

We have smooth shading colors after applying the blur brush
Smooth shading colors after applying the blur brush

Creating the eyes

Next, let’s create the eyeballs. For this we need to create a new layer again. For the eye color it is important to pick an off white color. I’ll explain later why need to do this. And also make is slightly towards orange to simulate a bit of color bleeding. Use the ellipse tool and click drag like this. While dragging, we need to hold the Shift key to make the shape a perfect circle.

Creating the eye basic shape
Creating the eye basic shape

Turn the “alpha lock” on. Pick darker color by pressing K. And let’s use the airbrush brush preset now and apply the darker color around the border region. Let’s pick yet a darker color, this time I’ll do it manually. And then add more darkening on the edges.

Add darkening around the border of the eye

Again, it doesn’t have to be perfect because we’re going to use the blur brush again to smooth them out.

The eye after the blur brush
The eye after the blur brush

Next let’s add a black pupil. Pick an almost black color slightly towards brown. And, if before we keep using the “ellipse” tool, I’m going to use a different method now and that is using this basic round brush in here. Again this is just one of the default brushes available in Krita.

The basic round brush
The basic round brush

Just click in here. And we have a pupil.

The pupil created using the basic round brush

Next we need to create speculars to make the eyeball looks glossy. For this I’m going to use another brush which is this one.

The brush preset we use for adding specular

And then pick a pure white color. So now you understand, why we shouldn’t use pure white color before for the eye base color. This is because we are preserving the white color for things like specular colors like this. Okay.

The process of adding speculars
Adding speculars

Now our orange looks like Mike Wazowski. We need to scale this layer and move it to the correct location. For this we use the “free transform” tool.

Using the free transform tool to resize and position the eye

For the right eye, well our right side that is, press Ctrl+J to duplicate the layer. Now in Krita, If you only want to move a layer without scaling or rotating it we can simply use the “move” tool which is T for shortcut.

Using the move tool
Using the move tool

Creating the eyebrows

Next, we want to create the eyebrows. For the eyebrows we’re going to create them using similar techniques that we did for the main body. It is just a small version of it. Okay. So create a new layer. Use the “ellipse” tool. And pick the base orange color. Create an ellipse like this.

Using the ellipse tool in Krita to create the eyebrow

Then we can add shading to this elliptical shape just like before. Turn on the “alpha lock” option. Use this brush again and pick a darker orange color. Add the first phase of brush strokes. Then pick even darker color. And stroke again. Now what makes this eyebrow different from the body is that we are adding highlight colors on it. We can pick brighter color manually or use the shortcut “L” in Krita. Then just apply the highlight color on the top area of the eyebrow.

How to layout colors in the eyebrow

Then just like before use the “blur brush” to smooth out the colors. Okay.

After smoothing the colors using the blur brush preset

The rest is obvious, I guess. We can use the “free transform” tool to adjust the eyebrow. Our goal is to make it looks angry. Press Enter.

Using the free transform tool again

Ctrl+J to duplicate the layer. Move it down. Press Ctrl+T again. Now to flip this layer, we can simply go to the “tool option” docker in here and click this “flip horizontal button” down here.

Duplicate and flip the left eyebrow
The flip horizontal button

Move it and adjust it as you see fit. Now we need to select both of the eyebrows layers. Press T and move them so the center of these layer is slightly towards the left direction. To give the eyebrows a sense of depth. Okay. Now for the second eyebrow, of course we’re not going to have this large tumor on its head.

We want to remove the left excessive eyebrow

To cut this excessive eyebrow we can use the “bezier curve selection” tool. This tool works like the “bezier curve” tool but it will only create selections, not shapes. Just create a selection like this. And then press Delete.

Using the Bezier curve selection tool in Krita
Using the Bezier curve selection tool

Okay guys. I will wrap up this article as the first part of the tutorial. I’ll see you guys in the second part article, in sha Allah. Wassalamualaikum.