Things can become a little abstract with this experimental software, but we say embrace its non-traditional nature!
black Ink’s publisher Bleank is honest with its aim. This isn’t art software trying to mimic traditional media. It’s digital embracing the nature of digital.
“The thing that I like most about Black Ink is how unpredictable the brushes are,” explains Tony Foti. “There are times when I need to design things with more of a random feel, and it can be difficult to not create something that doesn’t look like a group of shapes. The chaotic nature of some of Black Ink’s more animated brushes keeps you on your toes.”
Black Ink isn’t the best software if you want to paint representational art, and currently layers are limited to just eight. But if you respond well to experimental mark-making, there’s plenty here for the interested artist.
Bleank had the mobile phone user in mind when it set out the user interface – a clear space with room for complex tools. Those tools include 72 default brushes: a few ‘normal’ ones like a Felt pen and Pencil, and a lot more random ones, all of which are customisable.
For Ayan Nag, the brush controller is a huge highlight in Black Ink. “It’s a little complex when you start out, but the amount of variations you can come up with is unreal.” He also likes how the way Black Ink utilises the graphic processor. “That’s one of the reasons why the software performs so swiftly.”
The brush tip shapes can warp and pulsate with the movement of the stylus
“The brushes are all so different, but one of the standout features is how many have a particle effect to them,” Tony says. “The tip shapes can warp and pulsate with the movement of the stylus, which makes the process feel different from my usual workflow.”
As well as saving out in its native BKD format, you can also save your chaotic artworks as JPGs and 16-bit PNGs, which doesn’t enable you to save layers but retains pretty awesome precision in colours and transparencies. There are plans to soon export files as PSDs, due to popular demand, so watch this space.
pressure painting custom brushes
Some brushes enable you to change colour based on how hard you press with your stylus – ideal when you want colour variation without going back and forth to the colour palette. You can modify your brush strokes after you’ve made them, create new brushes using a huge range of controls, and paint directly into the preview window to see exactly what each tool will do for you.