Perhaps the best thing about digitally “inking edges” is that my fingers are clean. Or maybe it’s that I don’t need several colors of inkpads. Either way, here are some step by step instructions for simulating inked edges.
Step 1:  Begin with an element that you wish to “ink”.  Create a blank layer above the element.  This is the layer that will have the “ink” so it can be “clipped” to the shape.

Step 2:  Use a texturizing brush.  I chose number 23 and lowered the size to about 100.

Step 3:  Make some adjustments to the brush–these adjustments work in the full version of photoshop.  Some adjustments can be made in Elements.    Lower the spacing adjustment to about 15%.  Raise the angle jitter to aover 50%.  The actually numbers are not critical–differences will result in unique “ink”.

Step 4:  Brush along the edges of the element.  I click on the corner, then move to the next corner, hold down shift and click again.  You CAN create a path and stroke the path, but I believe the uniqueness that results from doing it “by hand” adds to the realism.   Especially on circles.  Inking with a square/flat inkpad on a circle does NOT turn out smooth or even.

Step 5:  Go around the element twice to establish a “base”.  Clip the ink layer to the element.  It will be easier to see your results.

Step 6:   This is where you get to be creative.  Change the size of the brush.  Brush it up here and there.  In this screenshot I’m getting started on the left edge.

Step 7:   Keep going until all edges are tweaked.  Go a little thicker on the corners.

Step 8:  Not really a step…change the color of the inked layer…adjust the blending mode…try a light color & screen to simulate sanding the edges.


  1. Fernanda

    I started this year with wanitchg what I ate. I only bought big breads, not the small croissants and other good stuff, but now I’ve started to do that. Partly because I am lazy and can’t resist it, partly because I have a side job now so I can afford it’. But when I look at what I eat now, it is way, way more expensive.You can save a lot of money on eating wisely. Nice list Nate, I’ve stumbled it.

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