I don't know how you can apply "pressure" with a mouse.
One thing that puts some variation on how the paintbrush works is "Brush dynamics":
Make sure it is set to "Dynamics off".
Otherwise, the paint brush interpolates pixels, so slight shakes may some edge pixels darker or lighter. If you want to draw a clean straight line:
I guess it's not a photo. It may have been a photo, but someone has inserted black edge strokes with some cartoonizing or edge emphasis filter.
Wood bodies are also in many places white or nearly white. Color based methods do not save them intact, the original non-cartoonized photo is needed for it. Alternatively you must make a manual selection (=draw path ...
If you're using Photoshop (and you can't just set the blending mode to multiply) I would recommend using "Blend If" in the Layer Styles.
Double click on the layer to bring up the Layer Styles dialogue box.
Make sure "Blend If:" is set to Gray.
Start dragging the white caret on the right to the left (you should see the white start to ...
It's also possible with BoltBait's Paste Alpha plugin.
Copy the transparent PNG to the clipboard
Create a completely red layer
Go To Effect / Object / Paste Alpha
From the second dropdown, choose "Alpha channel on clipboard".
You can adjust Curves. Use it in RGB mode.
The tool allows you to adjust R,G and B separately or together. I removed the selection check from G anB and lifted only red. You can turn black to any combination of R, G and B by changing the place of the checkmark.
"I have tried various combinations of pathfinder options, knockout
group, and compound paths, with poor results."
Tried as in you used them as they were intended and there's something not working despite expectations? Or tried as in these are tools you are unfamiliar with, but you assume they should get you the results you want?
I ask because it ...
manage to find the answer myself. It caused by windows paint don't have preserve transparent ability when save as png. Initially i didn't realize because when save the same image after editing, it won't prompt warning of original transparency will gone. Till I use "Save As" then the warning come out, then I found out it was limitation of the ...
I've recreated an example logo:
Keep GaryLang, white Group and black stroked Group shapes in separate layers. Let's call GaryLang as L1, black stroke Group as L2 and white Group as L3.
Select L1 layer and Object > Compound Path > Make
Select L2 layer and Expand it. Then use Pathfinder Unite.
Make L2 layer too a Compound Path.
Make sure L2 layer is ...