Feature request: "Watercolor edge" (dark edge) to brush stroke

Yes, it is version 5, maybe it looks different since the interface is in Spanish.

Here is a screenshot of the interface in English.

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Oh, sorry! I’m so stupid. I didn’t know I needed to change it to “soft” to be able to edit through curves. Thank you! I will experiment.

I share something I just did, maybe it is close to what you are looking for.

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Hello @all,

At first glance I knew current Krita wouldn’t be capable of reproducing this kind of brush 100%. So I felt compelled to give a try in making a brush to test myself and Krita brush editor.
After giving some though and trying some experiments, probable the better approach is using a RGBA brush.
Here is mine, it is far from perfect but maybe it help others to achieve better results.

The outer edge is black because I left the brush’s border (almost) pure black. If you change the brush tip to a milder grey the edge will be a darken version of the chosen color (AFAIK).

Edit: I found out that enabling the property Lightness Strength can result in an edge the same color as the stroke, but darker. I enabled Pen Pressure, from the range of 25% to 50%.

Here the brush tip: Brush Tip

And my settings for this brush:
Opacity = OFF
Flow = OFF
Size = ON (Default curve from the brush b) Basic-2 Opacity)

Attention to this initial rotation

This is to make the moment you start a stroke to have the back of the stroke with the darker edge.

Hope this helps.


Let me add myself to the discussion. :slight_smile:
To sum up everything after reading the thread:

  • I wanted to achieve this effect some time ago before this thread, so I believe it’s good to have it, and I support the request.
  • It’s not currently possible in krita right now - implementing it from scratch would probably require some calculating the distance from the closest alpha (which sounds really bad in terms of performance, especially if it would have to be done real-time) or using another mask layer (paterns, masked brushes - there are already so many of those things in krita)
  • Workaround proposed by @Daishishi looks nice, and is something I initially though when I wanted to get this effect myself, but I abandoned this idea, as it should fail once you want to paint a bigger area, and not just a single line.

My best idea so far to integrate it with krita:

  • Add a lightness mode to the existing masked brush feature
  • As with this feature you basically dynamically paint a pattern that modifies current stroke, existing “Lightness mode” from “Pattern” could be reused.
  • Areas that are painted on the mask don’t get affected in terms of value, unpainted areas are slightly darker.
  • This way you can have a smaller hard round brush to get this darker contour applied to each stroke (as masked brush resets for each stroke), or use a soft brush to get softer darkening around the edges. You could also use some more complex texture brush to create a pattern for your stroke (dynamically, with better control in edge area than with existing “Pattern” with “Lightness mode”)


  • If you want to have a complex shape of a brush (like those leafy ones), and want a hard contour, you would need to manually create another brush tip for this masked brush, which is rather discouraging for everyday use.
  • There are some options needed in the brush editor specific for this mode: strength that specifies how much darker is the edge, checkbox that allows to make it lighter instead of lighter, and inversion that will make the mask affect the inner area, leaving the edges in a default color.

I believe that this solution is more in scope, than adding this as a single feature - mainly as krita currently can’t do much stroke post-processing, and starting this topic is a huge thing that goes beyond this single feature request.


Thank you very much to everyone who participates in the topic and offers their solutions!

This topic is very interesting too and it offers an interesting concept that could also solve this problem New concept: minor brush


I just want to correct what I said about the brush tip edges - it’s only the back edge that needs to be open (no outline) because the subsequent dab in the stroke overwrites the preceding front edge. Daishishi’s example demonstrates this. :+1:

I did a test using a cloned layer with an edge detection effect, overlaid on the paint layer - that works a bit like the stroke layer style, but maybe closer to what you want. Still far from ideal though; any opaque area has no edge information so the effect isn’t applied.

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Yeah, I was thinking about the filter brush engine too. If there was some kind of filter that could use the selected color + create an edge… But that sounds too complicated to me.

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Ooh! I’ve not looked into filter brushes before; There’s some interesting options in there! :thinking:

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Yes! This is a great field for imagination. And besides the filter, you can use this engine brush in blend mode, so it gives a new effect.

I’ve just had a quick play and think the filter brushes aren’t viable for this effect because they apply to what you paint over rather than the stroke itself.

With the layered approach I tried before, I was able to get only the outline to apply over the top of the base layer.

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Yes, I thought so. I just thought it might be possible to create a combination filter so that it takes the color you selected and puts it on the layer, along with the stroke. Well, you know, like a filter that makes a fill in the selected area and adds an edge to it. It sounds unnecessary like a filter on its own, but if it could be used like a brush. But I understand that this is too much.

Maybe we can simulate the watercolor effect in krita in another way


This is just called the watercolor edge in other programs. But this is not about the watercolor feeling. The thing that is needed is an expressive darker edge on every stroke.