Do You Have To Pay For Clip Studio Paint?

With so many drawing and painting programs on the market today, choosing the right one for your needs can be a daunting task. One popular digital art software that artists gravitate towards is Clip Studio Paint. But with all its robust features, do you have to pay to use Clip Studio Paint?

Let’s take a closer look.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Clip Studio Paint is offered in both free and paid versions, so you don’t have to pay to use a basic version of the software.

An Overview of Clip Studio Paint

Clip Studio Paint is a popular software used by artists and animators for digital drawing and painting. It offers a wide range of features that make it a powerful tool for creating stunning artwork. Whether you are a beginner or a professional artist, Clip Studio Paint has something to offer for everyone.

Brief history and description of features

Clip Studio Paint, formerly known as Manga Studio, was developed by Celsys, a Japanese software company. It was initially designed for creating manga and comic books but has since evolved into a versatile software used for a variety of artistic purposes.

The software provides a wide range of tools such as brushes, pens, and pencils that mimic traditional art mediums, allowing artists to create artwork with a natural and realistic feel.

One of the standout features of Clip Studio Paint is its powerful brush engine. Artists can customize and create their own brushes, giving them complete control over the look and feel of their artwork.

The software also offers advanced features such as 3D modeling, perspective rulers, and a wide range of special effects, making it a comprehensive tool for creating digital art.

Availability of free and paid versions

Clip Studio Paint is available in both free and paid versions. The free version, known as Clip Studio Paint Debut, offers basic features and is a great option for those who are just starting out or on a tight budget.

However, it does have certain limitations, such as the number of pages you can create and export, and some advanced features may be unavailable.

The paid version, Clip Studio Paint Pro, offers a more complete set of features and is targeted towards professional artists. It provides unlimited pages, additional brushes and tools, and access to more advanced features.

The Pro version is available as a one-time purchase, making it a cost-effective option for artists who require the full range of features.

It is worth noting that Clip Studio Paint also offers a monthly subscription plan called Clip Studio Paint EX. This plan includes all the features of the Pro version, as well as additional features such as animation support and access to a vast library of pre-made 3D models.

The subscription plan is ideal for artists who require these advanced features on a regular basis.

What the Free Version of Clip Studio Paint Offers

Clip Studio Paint is a popular software used by artists and designers for digital drawing and painting. While there is a paid version of Clip Studio Paint, there is also a free version available for those who are looking to try it out or have limited budget.

Let’s take a look at what the free version of Clip Studio Paint offers:

1. Canva size limitations

One of the limitations of the free version of Clip Studio Paint is that it has size limitations for the canvas you can work on. While the paid version allows for larger canvas sizes, the free version restricts you to a certain maximum size.

This can be a drawback if you require a larger canvas for your artwork or design projects.

2. Restricted brush sets

In the free version of Clip Studio Paint, the available brush sets are limited compared to the paid version. The paid version offers a wide range of brushes and tools, allowing artists to have more creative freedom and versatility in their work.

However, the free version still provides a decent selection of brushes to get you started.

3. Limited technical drawing tools

For those who require technical drawing tools such as rulers, perspective guides, and symmetry features, the free version of Clip Studio Paint may not meet all your needs. These advanced tools are more extensively available in the paid version, making it ideal for professional artists and designers.

What the Paid Versions of Clip Studio Paint Provide

Clip Studio Paint is a popular graphic design software that offers both free and paid versions. While the free version provides a range of features, the paid versions offer additional benefits and enhanced functionality. Let’s delve into what the paid versions of Clip Studio Paint provide.

EX version benefits

The EX version of Clip Studio Paint is the most advanced and comprehensive option available. It is tailored for professional artists, illustrators, and animators who require powerful tools and extensive features. Some of the benefits of the EX version include:

  • Advanced animation features, allowing users to create stunning and seamless animations.
  • Access to a vast library of 3D models and materials, enabling users to add depth and realism to their artwork.
  • Support for multi-page projects, making it easier to create comics, manga, and graphic novels.
  • Additional vector tools for precise line art and scalable graphics.
  • Enhanced text editing options, including advanced typography and formatting features.

The EX version of Clip Studio Paint is a powerful tool that unlocks a plethora of advanced features and capabilities, making it the ideal choice for professionals in the creative industry.

PRO version benefits

The PRO version of Clip Studio Paint is designed for hobbyists, enthusiasts, and individuals who want to take their artwork to the next level. It offers a range of benefits that go beyond the limitations of the free version. Some of the benefits of the PRO version include:

  • Access to additional brushes, patterns, and materials, allowing users to experiment and expand their creative horizons.
  • Support for high-resolution artwork, ensuring that every detail is captured and preserved.
  • Advanced layer management options, making it easier to organize and edit complex projects.
  • Improved export options, enabling users to save their artwork in various file formats.
  • Enhanced customization features that allow users to personalize their workspace and streamline their workflow.

The PRO version of Clip Studio Paint provides a solid set of features that caters to the needs of hobbyists and intermediate-level artists, offering a great balance between functionality and affordability.

Subscription options

In addition to the one-time purchase options, Clip Studio Paint also offers subscription plans. These plans provide flexibility and affordability for users who prefer to pay on a monthly or yearly basis.

By subscribing to Clip Studio Paint, users gain access to all the features and benefits of the paid versions without the upfront cost. This subscription model is especially beneficial for artists who want to stay up-to-date with the latest software updates and improvements.

Whether you choose the EX version, PRO version, or opt for the subscription plans, Clip Studio Paint offers a range of paid options that cater to the diverse needs of artists and designers. Investing in the paid versions of Clip Studio Paint unlocks a whole new world of creative possibilities and allows artists to unleash their full potential.

Free Alternatives to Clip Studio Paint

If you’re looking for a free alternative to Clip Studio Paint, there are several options available that can provide you with similar features and functionality. These alternatives are great for artists, designers, and illustrators who want to create digital art without breaking the bank.


Krita is a highly acclaimed digital painting program that offers a wide range of tools and features. It is known for its user-friendly interface and powerful brush engine, making it a popular choice among artists.

Krita is available for free and is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. With Krita, you can create stunning artwork, manipulate layers, and experiment with different textures and effects.

For those interested, you can download Krita from their official website:


GIMP, short for GNU Image Manipulation Program, is a versatile and powerful image editing software that can also be used for digital art. While GIMP may not have all the specialized features of Clip Studio Paint, it offers a wide range of tools for creating and editing artwork.

With GIMP, you can manipulate layers, apply filters and effects, and create custom brushes. It’s available for free and is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux.

You can download GIMP from their official website:


Inkscape is a vector graphics editor that is perfect for creating illustrations, logos, and other scalable artwork. While it may not have the same functionality as Clip Studio Paint, it offers a unique set of tools for creating digital art.

Inkscape supports a wide range of file formats and allows users to manipulate paths, shapes, and colors. It’s available for free and is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux.

If you’re interested, you can download Inkscape from their official website:

While these free alternatives may not have all the advanced features found in Clip Studio Paint, they are still powerful tools that can help you create amazing digital artwork. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced artist, give these alternatives a try and see which one works best for you.

Is the Paid Version of Clip Studio Paint Worth It?

Clip Studio Paint is a popular software used by artists and designers around the world. While there is a free version available, many professionals wonder if it’s worth investing in the paid version. Let’s explore the benefits and considerations of upgrading to the paid version of Clip Studio Paint.

Value for professional artists

The paid version of Clip Studio Paint offers a range of advanced features and tools that can greatly enhance the artistic process. With features like vector layers, 3D models, and advanced brush settings, professional artists can unlock their full creative potential.

The paid version also provides access to a vast library of pre-made materials and brushes, allowing artists to save time and experiment with different styles. For those looking to take their artwork to the next level, the paid version of Clip Studio Paint is definitely worth considering.

Ongoing costs to consider

While the initial cost of the paid version may be a consideration for some, it’s important to also take into account the ongoing costs of using the software. Clip Studio Paint offers both a one-time purchase option and a monthly subscription plan.

Depending on your usage and budget, it’s worth evaluating which option makes more sense for you. Additionally, it’s worth noting that updates and new features are regularly released for the paid version, ensuring that users have access to the latest tools and improvements.

Educational discounts available

For students and educators, Clip Studio Paint offers educational discounts that can significantly reduce the cost of the software. These discounts are a great opportunity for aspiring artists to access professional-grade tools at a more affordable price.

Students and educators can visit the official Clip Studio Paint website to find out more about the eligibility criteria and how to avail of these discounts.


In summary, while Clip Studio Paint does offer a free version, the paid versions provide significant extra features and tools for artists. The EX and PRO versions give you access to more canvas space, brushes, and advanced capabilities aimed at professionals.

For hobbyists and casual users, the free version may suffice, and there are also free open-source alternatives like Krita and GIMP. For serious artists who will use the software extensively, the paid version is likely worth the investment.

Evaluate your needs and budget to determine if purchasing Clip Studio Paint makes sense for your digital illustration goals.

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