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Why Ink is Important

a full ink well

Ink is the fuel that lets you keep drawing. Ink is displayed as a percentage number below the ink-well next to the color-selector. As you paint your ink is depleted. You should pay attention to that number, because when you run out of ink, you lose your ability to draw. You must wait until your ink slowly recharges itself. A full recharge takes many hours.

Mitigating Factors

The way you paint has a huge effect on how much ink is consumed.

The larger your paint brush is, the more ink it consumes when you use it.

The faster you move your mouse, the faster ink is consumed.

Ink Conservation Strategy

  • Don't scribble!
  • Draw your lines slowly and carefully
  • Use the smallest brush you need to get the job done
  • Try not to repaint parts that are already the same color (wasted ink)
  • Parallel lines are an efficient way to fill without overlapping your own lines
  • Be mindful of how much you let your lines overlap (overlap is more wasted ink)
  • Consider using a Tool to efficiently fill large areas

Ugly Details

The in-game display of your remaining ink percentage is quite different from how the server actually tracks ink.

Ink is tied to your external IP Address. Any additional computers from the same external IP address all share the same pool of ink.

Your ink constantly regenerates, even when you are not on drawball.

Drawball rewards returning IP addresses with faster ink regeneration, up to double the rate you initially start with.

New IP addresses start with 1,515,000 ink. (1.515 million)

An IP address will accumulate ink up to a maximum of 6,010,000 ink (6.01 million).

... thus, new IP addresses effectively start with 25.2% of their maximum potential Ink.

Projecting those numbers onto the webpage number of 6816% starting ink, the "over 9000" range could be thought of as encompassing ink values between 9,000% and 25,800% - the estimated maximum if the client would display it. -- That's why you can draw for so long and still stay "over 9000%" - because your ink well can hold 16,800% more ink than it will display.

This is the NEW chart on ink consumption due to previous errors I made in the way I measured ink consumption. These numbers are quite different from the original numbers that were posted here. The previous conclusions about larger brushes having a disproportionately high efficiency are no longer supported. (my humble apologies for failing at science)

Ink Consumption for Dots
Brush Diameter Ink Consumed
1 pixels 2-3 ink units
2 pixels 6-7 ink units
3 pixels 11-12 ink units
4 pixels 17-18 ink units
5 pixels 25-26 ink units
6 pixels 35-36 ink units
7 pixels 46-47 ink units
8 pixels 59-60 ink units
9 pixels 73-74 ink units
10 pixels 89-90 ink units
11 pixels 107-108 ink units
12 pixels 126-127 ink units
13 pixels 146-147 ink units
14 pixels 168-169 ink units
15 pixels 192-193 ink units
16 pixels 218-219 ink units
17 pixels 244-245 ink units
18 pixels 273-274 ink units
19 pixels 303-304 ink units
20 pixels 335-336 ink units
21 pixels 368-369 ink units
22 pixels 403-404 ink units
23 pixels 439-440 ink units
24 pixels 477-478 ink units
25 pixels 516-517 ink units
26 pixels 557-558 ink units
27 pixels 600-601 ink units
28 pixels 644-645 ink units
29 pixels 690-691 ink units
30 pixels 737-738 ink units

Annoying Conclusions:

  • All of the brushes are roughly equal in terms of efficiency