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12 Years of Teamwork


We have been developing Black Ink as a team of two for over 12 years!

Allow me to introduce myself; I'm Geraldine, co-founder of Bleank, a small French company that I established in 2005 with David, my partner, and two friends as associates (Benoit and Bruno). We are the parents of two children, a 12-year-old girl, and a 9-year-old boy. Both of us have been working full-time on Black Ink for 12 years, with me as a graphic designer and David as a programmer.

Black Ink, it's just the two of us! 💕

Siggraph 2013

Just before the official launch in 2013,
David and I were at Siggraph with Benoit, our associate.

Brush prototypes

First brush prototypes in 2011 that validated the creation of Black Ink.

Brush prototypes

The very first version of Black Ink was released in 2012.

Black Ink 2023

The current version : Black Ink 2023

To see the other versions, you can visit our Changelog section.

The free lifetime update, after 10 years, was a mistake...

We understand the frustration or disappointment of some of our users regarding our latest update, which became paid after 10 years of free updates. For us too, a word is a word, and it's true that we committed to providing free updates for life at the launch of Black Ink, but it turned out to be a mistake on our part. Why?

Initially, we thought of a shorter development time, around 5-6 years to achieve what we had planned. Black Ink would have been drawing software specialized in creating original brushes with the ability to paint on very high resolutions, and that's it.

Planned Development Schema

Planned Development Schema for Black Ink up to the Final Version

With the success we encountered at its launch, we wanted to do more by offering comprehensive software to meet the expectations of our users. This meant integrating common features for drawing software, more layers, more tools, and so on. Meeting these goals while honoring our promise of free updates took time, numerous investments, and many sacrifices. At some point, whether we liked it or not, the situation became untenable.

Why did it take longer?

With the multitude of drawing software on the market, some established for years, even decades, like Photoshop, Painter, Gimp... what would be the point of creating something identical and adding features one after the other without much concern for overall coherence? That's why we wanted to propose a different approach, one that truly brings flexibility to graphic creation with non-destructive editing tools and leverages the processing speed of graphics cards to maximize performance on very large resolutions, somewhat in the idea of some 3D software.

All this may not be visible to many of you, but it required a huge interface work and thinking to ensure that the development seamlessly integrates with logic.

Bleank Technology

Development of 2D display technology,
for UI but also for the brush engine.

Layer editor

An Innovative layer editor with nodal operators

BSL & Controllers

A new Shader language system for brushes, allowing the creation of brushes from scratch, and Controllers to finely tune their parameters.

What does the paid update serve for?

The paid update is not just for a feature like the bucket fill, as we saw in one of your comments, nor is it out of greed. This update provides you with what has been developed and also gives you the right to what we will add in the coming months (and we hope for years to come). We think it's important to keep a fair measure of the cost of this update and not fixate on a promise that was no longer possible after so much time.

This is the only way we found to go beyond and make Black Ink a true player in the drawing software market.

With your support, we will continue to devote all our energy to this goal and, perhaps, hire collaborators to support us. Otherwise, we will have to stop.

Want to help us?

We've faced strong criticism following the paid update that caught our customers off guard: Steam reviews went from very positive to very negative, significantly undermining the software's credibility and hindering our ability to reach the expected clientele. Your help is crucial for us to navigate through this challenging situation.

Some suggestions to help us:

Leave us a comment and a positive rating; if you have been satisfied with our software for the past 10 years. (Go to Steam


Update the software, and keep in mind that you can always await exceptional promotions.

Share your drawings with us; we may feature them in our upcoming updates or videos.

Follow Us on Youtube, X (Twitter), Instagram, Facebook, Discord to be notified when some news about Black ink emerge

Spread the word; talk about Black Ink with those around you.

Use Black Ink, and share your feedback and evolution wishes.

Learn how to use it. If there are missing details in the documentation, or points you find confusing, ask us your questions on Discord or elsewhere (Youtube, Steam,...)

Write a Wikipedia page; it's beyond our capabilities, yet we have tried!

Support us on Patreon if you wish. It's with small drops that we make an ocean (Go to Patreon


Consider investing; if you're a business angel and believe in us, feel free to contact us.

In conclusion

In any case, because we learn from our mistakes, we will now keep you better informed about the progress of Black Ink with this blog. But keep in mind that we are a very small development team for now, trying to make our creation live as best as we can.

Thank you for your attention and understanding. We look forward to hearing from you and seeing your creations!

In the meantime, we wish you all a wonderful holiday season with your loved ones ✨

See you soon!

Geraldine & David