When it comes to a mouse, it usually depends more on the surface you're using it on as opposed to your actual precision. Of course, yes, it is still difficult to draw with a mouse, but usually if you just try to take the drawing slowly you can get nicely drawn curves and lines. I'd recommend using a surface like a thin cloth or a couch surface even. This will give you some friction to work with instead of a slippery surface like a desk. Mouse pads work wonderfully for this kind of thing as well.
less choppy lines? I feel your pain. I used to be in your shoes a few years ago. a few options...
1. pen tool (hate it, but it can work. only thing is you would need to scan in a piece of work.) 2. The Hard Way ( ctnrl/cmmd+Z fifty billion times and re-draw the line till you get it as close as possible.) ultimately, in the end, this teaches you great line control in the future when using other tools. 3. tablet and/or program that has top notch line clean up (like illustrator.) [tablet is cheaper option]
Something that helps me out sometimes is making a really rough drawing on one layer then reducing the opacity. Then making a new layer and drawing over that one using the rough drawing as a guide only the new drawing is being tightened up and having more detail added to it. Repeating the steps as needed until the drawing looks the way I want it to. And after that using the pen tool to trace over the drawing as the final line work if I want my lines to be extremely crisp.
I draw with a mouse, if I'm patient and careful I can almost get straight clean lines but it really hurts my hand and wrist and takes forever to make decent art. My advice is to play with your brushes and eventually you'll find something passable, but as long as you use a mouse you're likely to always have a bit of trouble. It doesn't allow for the control or precision of a tablet with a pen and it never will. I borrowed my friend's tablet once and it was almost like drawing with an actual pencil, no mouse can compare for me. My advice to you is to save up for a tablet, which is what I'm doing currently.
A long time before artist used a tablet they were confused to believe the trackball was the best artist tool.
It is easy to think anything is better than what you have, but that is just propaganda. All commercials are propaganda so art people that like to convince you the mouse is not the best tool for an artist. They play on you lack of skill to sell you a distraction, which is just another tool to get use to rather than deal with the real problem. The lack of skill.
A lot of sales people see this as a good sales opportunity. Any thing that can be a good sales opportunity you know some people can not pass up. It is like marking your face with the words sucker all over. A fool and their money will soon part.
So a tablet is not the best tool, because the mouse has been around much longer. I don't like people who pick on peoples faults for profit, but that is exactly what makes everyone thing the tablet is better. In a way it could be, but it is not necessary as people like to make you and everyone believe.
To be honest the first tablet I ever saw was on the Disney's 600 million dollar computer system, that created cartoons. On one end you have a VHS recorder that records the animation, because it made people believe it can create a 30 minute cartoon in 30 minutes. I could never know if that was a lie, but I was artist using the tablet for the first time, and it wasn't until the next decade before you could actually buy a tablet.
So people can make you believe anything to sell you a tablet. Yes, they have been around for years if you wanted to buy the 600 million dollar computer. the offer for just the tablet was never offered back then. It was another sales gimmick. If you want this you have to buy this, type of thing.
I am sure some of the best digital artist you know were great before they knew about a tablet.
If you want to do more with a mouse, then practice doing more. If you practice hand writing with a mouse you will get good at it, the same as you would the tablet, because that would be one thing you would practice doing.
Your skills don't get worse, they just need to follow a new set of rules, and with a tablet you will still need to jump through the same hoops.
Mouse, indeed very hard to handle... First time, second time I was using mouse, my hand was cramp (╥﹏╥) ~
But, without I realize I already tame my lovely mouse and as result all my work was on this DA \(^‿‿^)/ and I can't stop using it till now~ cause I'm still can't buy pen tablet (─‿‿─)
The key is... never give up with what you started, always try and be better and better~ to make better lineart, I was done two things so far~ - rough sketch with pencil > scan it > Clean it in photoshop with adjusting brightness/contrass or Threshold - explore the pen tool in photoshop for better line art (So far I'm using this method) Athough, The big challenge is coloring and shading... ヽ(`Д´)ノ