If you use Paint Tool Sai, the Ink Pen tool at setting 1.0 on a roughly 1600x1150 canvas at 600% zoom is insanely helpful That's what I did for my lineart anyway, I dunno if these were the kinda lines you were looking for (only on the hair, I haven't linearted the rest yet) [link]
I always use a massive canvas to sketch and line, then I shrink the image down by half. That not only makes your lineart appear smoother but it also makes it thinner Also, using a thinner brush might help!
I will use my own drawing as an example here. [link] TThe canvas is 1945x3100 pixels and it has been this size when I was linearting. Here I mostly used a 3pxl round brush and linearted freehand. To obtain even thinner lines, use an even bigger cavas and even thinner brush. And remeber about high resolution (300dpi)
I don't really have an OC atm, so I don't think that's possible (even though one is in making, but will take ages, haha). If you need a character to practice, for the moment I can only offer my human self- if you'd like to try, some pics are in my gallery. That'd be an honour, but I see that you're mostly an animal artist.
Work bigger. If 4px looks too fat on 2000x3000, work at 4000x6000. Then the brush will look thinner proportionally.
But in my opinion you have plenty of lines that look thin enough, the problem is that you scribble and it doesn't look clean. When you put down ONE line and it is the right line, your work will look cleaner and more delicate.
Zooming out is not going to help you any, your problems are totally independent of zoom.
A bigger canvas is often useful. I usually don't work below 3000X4000 to start out with, and often end up making it bigger. It's not really that unusual for me to end up with it at 9000+ on a side for larger work.
But you also have to work with what your computer can handle. Mine is pretty much used only for photoshop.
What brush are you using?
And how adjustable is your tablet? Can you make it 'harder'? That may help.
There doesn't look to be much variation in the width of your lines, which I think may be part of why it looks so bulky. Part of what we interpret as flowing graceful lines are the slight variations in width that come from an individuals weight and angle.
Have you ever gone into your brushes window, where you can control individual aspects of its behavior? You can set the min. width for the taper, which will be the smallest the line gets when you have a light touch. You can also tweak other stuff. I'd suggest playing around with it some.
I notice in the ideal example you posted that there is also variation in the color of the lines, and in the horns they disappear all together. The lines there are treated as part of the object and react to the light source.
Maybe try using colored lines instead of black and see what happens. I like to sample my base color and then use one a few shades darker or lighter. You just need enough of a difference to make it obviously a line.
I've never played with taper. I'm not exactly sure what tab it's under either I have played with the brush presets for shape dynamics and smoothing. And I'm using Brush 2 with about a size 4 or 5 on Basic Brushes and I check the shape dynamics and smoothing boxes on brush presets.
When I worked on a bigger canvas it seemed to help a lot, so I think that was the main problem. Thank you so much for your help! Did you want me to test a character of yours to attempt for thinner lines?
I've got CS2 so it maybe different, but where I can choose what to show on my workspace ('windows' I think) one of the settings is for brushes. It lets you control individual aspects of the brush- what the taper is and how small to make it, the angle of the brush (it lets you reverse it, too), whether or not it scatters, color dynamics, there are probably about 10 or so aspects you can mess with.
I don't see too much difference in the line size in the second drawing compared to the other artist except their lines are a tad smoother. On their lookup they said one of the programs they use often is SAI. You might try that. I've always had better luck at getting thinner lines on SAI than photoshop.
DPI does absolutely nothing in PS unless you resample, it's there for printing purposes only. What you want is a high pixel resolution.
For more on DPI and PPI(what PS should change DPI to imo) see here: [link]
Also, a quick trick to use if your lines are overall too thick is to Ctrl+click the layer thumbnail, and go to Select>Modify>Contract, choose an appropriate number, then press Ctrl+Shift+I, and finally delete. If only parts of it are too thick, that won't work so well though.