By now, you’re probably no stranger to Chromebook Perks – Google’s free goodies for Chromebook owners meant to kickstart their journey with their new device and get the most out of it by providing them with free trials to popular apps, games, and services. From notetaking apps to Disney+, a full year of Google One, and even tools for creatives, Chromebook Perks have come in all forms. I was actually perusing the Perks page this morning as one does, and I happened across a little app called Clip Studio Paint which was recently added. After doing a bit of research, I found that this was no ordinary software, but in fact, a full-fledged alternative to Photoshop for artists – and it’s now available on Chromebooks!
Clip Studio Paint as it now goes by used to be called Manga Studio – that’s right, the popular and long-running art and comic book software! I actually still have a disc-based copy of Manga Studio for Windows 7 laying around somewhere and I had hoped to use it one day, but I didn’t want to go through installing it and such – now, I don’t have to. Manga Studio began only 13 years after Photoshop and has powerful and well-developed tools for the following types of artistic workflows:
- Concept Art & Painting
- Character Art & Drawing
- Illustration & Design
- Comics & Manga
This app is primarily for those who have a stylus and can draw on the screen – at least if you want to use it to its full potential. If you have a USI Stylus then you can get pressure sensitivity and vary your brush strokes whereas a mouse or touchpad will have severe limitations. While you’re at it, you should take some time to check out our Artists guide to sketching and drawing on a Chromebook!
Clip Studio Paint has cloud backup, layers, various brush types including and so much more. To get started with it, just visit the Perks page using the blue button at the bottom of this article or open the Explore app on your Chromebook and scroll down to the Clip Studio Paint perk to claim it. You’ll have to do this using your Chromebook though and you can’t claim perks using a different device!
For anyone looking to use their Chromebook to scratch their artistic itch in a more meaningful way than they’ve previously been able to with Chrome OS, this app is worth checking out. It joins the likes of Krita, which recently became available in its full, uncompromised form on the Google Play Store, proving that some developers are actually thinking about how they can build full-screen experiences for Google’s laptops – something I recently ranted about.
Clip Studio Paint is not as perfect as Photoshop, but it’s so extremely good that it’s proving that Adobe just doesn’t have that market cornered anymore. Each software has its strengths and weaknesses, primarily in their pricing and feature sets though. You can check out this great video below that compares the two. It’s long and in-depth, so if you’re seriously considering this app for sketching and drawing and so on, you’ll want to watch it in its entirety.
In regards to pricing and availability, the full version of Photoshop is available to Windows users via a monthly subscription, but not available on Chromebooks. Clip Studio Paint is available on pretty much all platforms and you buy it once to own it – a rarity these days!
- You get 3 months of Clip Studio Paint EX for free which comes to a total value of $26.97
- Thereafter, you can keep it and pay a one-time payment of $219 USD to own it.
- You can downgrade to Clip Studio Paint Pro, and pay a one-time payment of $49.99 USD to own it
- You can cancel altogether via your Google Play Store subscriptions management page.
There’s a great video by Youtuber Duke Stamina where he discusses his top 11 reasons for switching to Clip Studio Paint from other art software over the past few years. You can also view the official tips and tutorials page if you want to make the most of your three-month perk trial. All in all, Clip Studio Paint is a promising piece of software that’s been developed for almost as long as Photoshop. It also has highly competitive and well thought out features that will satisfy Chromebook users who are serious about finding a Photoshop alternative for the platform.
It won’t be for everyone, but it’s the best example of an extremely capable piece of editing software we’ve seen on Chrome OS aside from something like Krita. If you give it a go, let us know in the comments what you think about it! It did receive bad reviews on the Play Store for its one-hour trial on Android, but with your Chromebook perk, you won’t have to worry about that. Have fun!