Black Ink is a new, non-realistic GPU based painting application that, instead of imitating traditional tools, brings new inspirations to every artist. Forget about pen and paper or watercolor and discover a new, generative and truly computer based way to create.
User reviews: Very Positive (253 reviews) - 91% of the 253 user reviews for this software are positive.
Release Date: Sep 6, 2013

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Early Access Software

Get involved with this software as it develops.

Note: This Early Access software is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to use this software in its current state, then you should wait to see if it progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“We are an independent development team with our own vision on creation. We want to create a new way to draw on the computer with dedicated tools and technology, the freedom to create any non-realistic brush you like and a focus on speed and user experience.

In order to achieve this we chose to put Black Ink in the hands of the users as soon as possible to gather feedback, adapt our development to their needs and also help us finance the project while staying independent.”

Approximately how long will this software be in Early Access?

“Black Ink will stay in early access as long as we feel something too important is missing.
This is an iterative development and no fixed date is set but we hope we can call it complete within the next two years.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“Every feature in the full version will appear during the Early Access process as we develop them.
We are planning on adding more options to brush creation and even a way to mix them together, more drawing tools like symmetry and cloning, better management of layer number, more customization options like custom keyboard shortcuts, new presentation for some UI elements and other improvements asked by the community. We also aim at releasing on OSX.

You can see a detailed list of planned developments here

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“Black Ink is fully functional and each update is tested and stable. The ongoing development is all about adding features. A lot of people are already enjoying drawing with Black Ink (here) and are giving us feedback on what to add next to make it better.”

Will this software be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“Black Ink’s price will raise as it becomes more complete and attain a full version value once it leaves early access.

We will announce major price-changing updates in advance so everyone can get a chance to get it cheaper.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“We closely monitor our community activity for feedback, bug reports, feature suggestions and of course drawings! That’s how we keep Black Ink stable and usable.

Each feature development is evaluated according to what our users are asking and we are of course happy to publish the best drawings on our network.

We also have an ‘Alpha’ program that users can sign up to. This version is a work in progress of the next release, it contains the features we are working on and testers can help us make them as complete as possible and stabilize the release.”
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Buy Black Ink

Learn more about the Black Ink beta from the store page below.


Recent updates View all (11)

December 30, 2015

Happy new year!


In this holiday season we’d like to keep you updated on Black Ink’s progress.
We’re working on a whole new system that will make our brushes way more powerful. This new development will allow us to add texture, blur, smudge and many other effects to the brushes while maintaining Black Ink’s speed. Stay tuned for further informations!

In the meantime we hope you had a great christmas and we wish you a very happy new year!

Bleank team

Doodles made by Bleank Team during the Talent days exhibition in Lyon

9 comments Read more

September 4, 2015

Black Ink 0.249.2089

The Version 0.249.2089 is now available

Dear Black Ink users,

We hope you had a wonderful summer and we’re happy to present you a new version of Black Ink!

This update includes a lot of features you asked for as well as new innovative tools:
We now have an autosave feature, resize and crop functions for your document, new drawing helpers with interactive straight lines and angle snap, a very useful new type of brushes and more.

Please have a look at this video to discover all these new features and please let us know what you think!

We hope you’ll enjoy drawing with Black Ink as much as we do and we’ll be back soon with more exciting features!

Bleank Team

Changes in motion :

List of changes :

  • New Straight Line Draw mode( Shortcut: K )
  • New Pressing the Shift key when drawing now displays a Snap Angle Wheel. The angles can be edited in the Straight Line Parameters
  • New Angle snap parameters on the main Toolbar

  • New Simple line default brush.
  • New Pencil default brush.
  • New Free Fill default brush.
  • New Polygonal Fill default brush.
  • New PondPlant Fill default brush.
  • New Angle line Fill default brush.
  • New Ruins default brush.
  • Felt pen default brush has been updated (It now uses the tilt and the pressure of the stylus to adjust opacity).

  • New Crop Tool (shortcut: Shift+C)

  • New Image - Resize Dialog
  • New Auto Recover - Auto recover option can be accessed throught the Preference Panel in the General Tab section
  • The New.. Dialog has been redesigned. It has default and user presets and the ability to define a starting background color.
  • The Fill layer tool is now directly accessible in the Main toolbar. It comes with these associated shortcuts:
    • G - Fill the current layer or selection with the current fill color
    • Ctrl-G - Fill the current layer alpha with the current fill color
    • Ctrl+Alt+G - Fill the empty areas of the current layer with the fill color.
    • Alt+G - Switch the Eyedropper between the current brush color and the fill color
  • Fixed The time parameter wasn’t reinitialised between strokes ( issue )
  • Fixed When cancelling the transform operation of a selection the selected area was erased ( issue )
  • Fixed Using the “Del” shortcut when using the transformation tool clears the canvas instead of the currently transformed object
  • Fixed Problem occurred when using the stylus button when drawing ( issue )
  • Fixed Grayscale JPG can now be opened
  • Fixed Random crashes
  • Better Image sampling after a transformation ( less blur after a simple Transform -> Move operation ).
  • The shortcut for Flip Vertical has been changed ( previously G, now Shift+F )
  • Be carefull if using the Tilt stroke parameter in controller because now return a value between 0 and Half PI ( previously 0 to 1 )

13 comments Read more
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About This Software

Black Ink is a new, non-realistic GPU based painting application that, instead of imitating traditional tools, brings new inspirations to every artist.

Forget about pen and paper or watercolor and discover a new, generative and truly computer based way to create. Black Ink’s non realistic tools makes creating original pictures fast and easy, whether you’re an experimented artist or never used a painting program before.

Black Ink gives you the freedom to modify your brushes in any way you want and no real life constraint is going to stop your imagination. You can create the perfect brush, or the most crazy one, and share it with other users for unlimited variations and effects.
Black Ink’s unique and simple node-based system allows to very easily assign behaviors to your brush as well as create limitless advanced setups.

And thanks to Black Ink’s GPU technology you can forget about the pixels and work on high definition documents. Don’t worry about the resolution anymore and just create a 4, 8 or even 10k picture and draw without slowing down on real, full bitmap documents.

Tutorials | Brush making | Tips and tricks

Key Features

  • GPU rendering technology offering unprecedented speed with full bitmap high resolutions documents (4K, 10k and more)
  • Non-realistic brushes for generative computer based creation
  • Powerful node-based brush customization tool
  • Unique and intuitive user interface

Upcoming Features

  • Tools upgrades:
    More layers options, transformation tools, search and filters in the Brush Manager, blurred shapes, canvas flipping, stroke modifier, new controllers nodes…
  • New features:
    Preferences, shortcut customizations, symmetry and duplicate tools, tile tools to loop strokes over the edges of the picture...
  • New brush types:
    Multi-splines, polygonal, multibrushes...
  • More details

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP (SP3)
    • Processor: Single Core Processor at 1.6 Ghz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Graphic card with support of pixel shader 3.0 and 512 Mo of VRAM
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Storage: 50 MB available space
    • OS: Windows 7 SP1
    • Processor: Quad core processor
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Graphic card with pixel shader 3.0 support and with 1 GB of VRAM
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Storage: 50 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
127.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 25
Early Access Review
I really love this program, it has a lot of brushes and even more when you costomize your own, it runs very well, even on my mid-low end PC and theres many more things i love about it, keep up the wonderful work to everyone that has this program.
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20 of 20 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 9, 2015
Using this program has been interesting. Here's a pseudo review and half feedback. This is after an hour run. I'm also using Windows 10 and if the developers are interested, I can give them an indepth overview of my system specs.

> Checking the documentation in Help would just leave me in a google search and opens internet explorer. Despite the fact Chrome is my default browser setting. I also wish the documentation is offline as I want to turn off the internet when working and in order to focus. The documentation is also incomplete. Making me unable to fully appreciate the full features of this program as I trial and error throughout the entire time.

> It's also weird that the program doesn't start with the layer editor by default. And there's an 8 layer limit which threw me off. Since I'm used to making tons of sketches and making new layers instead of creating a new canvas. That made me sad. :(

> Shortcut keys are non-adjustable. And even looking at the settings stated in the documentary doesn't match up to the keys I'm seeing. Z = Zoom but it adjusts smoothing. Q is actually the zoom shortcut key. Among other things. I rely heavily on shortcut keys to have a faster workload so that tripped me up. There's also a time that when I go to Eraser (pressing E) and then erase and back to sketch (I am used to the B/N key) it will swap to the color of the canvas (in this case white). I'm unsure what causes this. I assumed it's because of primary/secondary color but I haven't seen any indication of this anywhere in the window. It also took me a while to find the color picker but once I found it, it makes sense. Speaking of which...

> The color picker, in all honest I wish was a wheel instead of the square layout because it's easier for me to pick colors to complement the one in the sketch. This is a con for me while it might not be for others. But in Photoshop or other graphic programs I use, I can either implement it as a plugin or it's there by default. I hope future iterations will also have it. Even if I have to pay an extra fee.

> Fill tool has fill canvas, alpha and its invert version. I haven't seen any option to manually fill specific parts of the layer only (For example, if I have a lineart where I want the top to be orange and the bottom to be be blue outlines like other art programs). I'm assuming it's not in.

Now that I have said all my gripes I will now spaz out as to why this program has so much promise and why I want to recommend it.

> The UI feels soooo good to draw in. It's also so nice to navigate. It is unnatural at first but it's easily fixable. The UI is also dockable and adjustable so I can do whatever workspace I want in it.

> All Basic shape options are in. That's good!

> The default brushes themselves are nice, especially when pen tips are all the types I like as well. I have no complaints. Especially when used with the Controller Editor. The ability to use gradient as a brush color is a super nice touch as well. The brush blending options (Normal, Multiply, Additive and Subtract) are a nice welcome. Now all I need is Color Dodge and my life is complete haha.

> The Controller Editor is unique and fun to use. It's almost like designed for a game engine, Adobe After Effects or Toon Boom's animation options that I'm super familiar with. I still have to create more brushes but so far I am liking it and I think it's easily one of the strengths of the program.

> The line options. Making background layouts in this program fits my workflow much better. Shift using a brush is great because it shows a wheel to show what angle you are in and helps me alot to be accurate. My space perception is horrible so this helps me a LOT. It also can be adjusted to detect pressure sensitivity or static. This is great.

> The Smoothing. I never liked using these because I am confident of with my strokes, but the way the smoothing actually helps me and doesn't feel intrusive is great. Especially the way it adjusts. It's like a better version of Flash curved line.

> The ability to put an image for referencing/tracing over sketches without having to add a new layer is GREAT. I love it. Thank you for that :)

Do I recommend this? Well it depends.

Personally, I don't see this working for any final work. I recommend it for experimental sketching or concepts. It's fun to use, great feel and has enough tools. However, compared to Photoshop especially it's blending layers, it might be lacking. Especially if you're the type to put in pictures and abuse its blending modes to get an idea for a compositional piece. The lack of documentation is very offputting but if you're used to tinkering other softwares, this isn't going to be hard to understand.

But yes, I do recommend it. I can't wait for future updates and a better documentation. I will adjust this review if an update happens.
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9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
155.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 14, 2015
Contrary to some of the reviews posted here this is an incredible piece of software for producing more than just abstract or impressionist mediums. Having dabbled with the brush setups this program is capable of producing a level of fine detail that also lends itself to all types of artwork, including something that looks almost photorealistic if required. Amazingly this can be acheived simply changing the settings of one brush throughout.

At first I will admit it was a struggle to get to grips with anything other than experimenting with the stock brushes to create weird and wonderful doodles but once you learn how to modify brushes to your liking the sky really is the limit. Compared to the price of art software of a similar quality and scope this program really is a steal.

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8 of 9 people (89%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
21.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 1, 2015
It's amazing if you use it for what it's meant to be used for... drawing.
Ain't nothin' else got quality like this, yo!
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
12.7 hrs on record
Posted: October 4, 2015
Amazing softwear I am a new Graphic Design student and have limited experience with software like Photoshop and the likes and I picked this up in less then 5 hours, very user friendly, very resonsive developers, ability to create custom brushes , all around an amazing..... program thingie, I purchased on sale for $45 and would have happily paid $100 for it not on sale. I r8 8/8 m8 no b8
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