TLDR; An exciting platform capable of producing HUGE resolution paintings with highly customizable brushes. I have never used a painting application and been inspired BY the painting application itself before Black Ink.
To get a good impression of this product and its developers visit the Black ink forum: http://forum.bleank.com/viewforum.php?f=3
The following is based on my personal experience and user feedback I've read in the discussion boards.
Be aware that this software is:
- In development. Updates roll out on a regular basis, and u2 (developer) is highly responsive to suggestions and issues. Some tools you might depend on may not be included in the current version. For example, at the time of writing this review there is no smudge tool but it is slated for inclusion.
- Highly GPU intensive, but from what I can tell most dedicated gpus work fine. Check for compatibility. If you're not super familiar with computers or other painting applications, know that this is unusual. GPU vs CPU will mean that just because other painting applications work for you, it is not guaranteed that this one will. It did not work at all on my laptop, but works wonderfully on my desktop. Try the demo. Paint something HUGE. ;)
- Has node-based programmable brush controllers. Your typical sliders (color, size, opacity, etc.) are still there, but you can go under the hood to customize your brush by tying the behavior of various brush parameters to the input of your choosing. There is a lot of untapped potential here. If you're the experimental type or mathematically inclined, you have to check this out.
- Focuses on non-realistic painting, but CAN do realistic just fine. For either type, visit the brush section of the forum to see what the community has created.