Clip Studio Paint vs Photoshop – What’s Better? Complete Comparison

As an online course business, you will need to look for good graphic design software to create illustrations that will engage your students. 

We recommend Clip Studio Paint or Adobe Photoshop but only one will be most suitable for you.

So in this Clip Studio Paint vs Photoshop review, we will closely look at the features, benefits, and pros and cons of both programs.

FeaturesClip Studio PaintAdobe Photoshop
User interface3 stars4 and a half stars
Ease of use3 and a half stars4 stars
Pricing4 and a half stars3 stars
Subscription plans4 and a half stars4 stars
Plugins3 and a half stars4 and a half stars

This is just a brief overview of some of the important factors for these applications. Let’s discuss them in detail in this Clip Studio Paint vs Photoshop article. 

Clip Studio Paint Review – The Artist Software

clip studio paint photoshop better clip studio paint tools color wheel painting mode learn through paid tutorials

Clip Studio Paint (formerly known as manga studio clip) mainly focuses on digital art, illustrations, and comics.  

There are two versions of Clip Studio Paint:

  • EX version
  • PRO version

The EX version of Clip Studio Paint is best to draw comics and stories for comic books. It makes the creation of digital art on multiple page layouts at the same time easy. 

Meanwhile, the PRO version is your standard graphic design platform used to create character art, concept art, and illustrations. We recommend this version for you as an online course business. 

Clip Studio Paint is an affordable option if you want good graphic design software. You can get it for multiple devices including:

  • iOS devices
  • macOS
  • Windows
  • Chromebook
  • iPad
  • Galaxy 

Features of Clip Studio Paint 

  • PSD compatibility
  • Vector layers
  • 10,000+ free downloadable materials and brushes 
  • 3D drawing figures and models
  • Customizable brushes and pen tools
  • CMYK and RGB compatible
  • Technical Support 
  • Free web community and services 
Pros Cons
Natural and smooth brushes

Shape tool best for creating comics

Permanent business license available with up to 50% discount 

Eye strain prevention with Dark Theme

Customizable interface

A huge price difference between EX and Pro versions due to importing OBJ files

Limited brushes system with incompatible extension for other software Limited functionality 

Benefits of Clip Studio Paint 

After thorough research, our team found that the animation tools are far more intuitive in Clip Studio Paint. It is equipped with extensive features such as the frame border tool, shape tool, and balloon tool

These digital painting tools can create exceptional digital artwork. 

We believe that Clip Studio Paint has the best color tools. There is a color window that opens a detailed color wheel. This feature within the Clip Art Studio allows you to control select colors more efficiently.  

Furthermore, there are two more windows: brushes window and layers window which allow you to work with multiple images at a time. 

We admit that the main interface can become a bit messy with multiple pages and windows open along with a series of different brushes and pens. The good news is that you can close some of the toolbars to allow better sight. 

Factors to Consider Before you Decide to Buy Clip Studio Paint 

Clip Studio Paint User Interface

The main user interface is extremely cluttered. It displays NEWS, ads, and the latest artwork which should not be a part of a paid software. The main interface also looks outdated as compared to other graphic design software.

Moreover, the interface can be quite intimidating for novice users. There are a lot of windows to be opened which disrupts a smooth workflow.

Clip Studio Paint Pricing

This digital painting and image editing software offer a single-time purchase for two versions with different purposes:

  • Clip Studio Paint Pro for USD 49.99
  • Clip Studio Paint EX for USD 219.00.

The EX version will help you in basic image editing tasks for your concept art. On the other hand, the PRO version has advanced functionality which can create incredible comics. 

Clip Studio Paint offers a generous free trial that varies for different platforms:

  • Galaxy: 6 months 
  • Windows, Android, Chromebook, MacOS: up to 3 months
  • iPad: Free every day  


Since Clip Studio Paint was aimed at comic experts, it greatly benefits those with a clear vision in mind. 

Clip Studio Paint helps this cause with a well-organized brushes panel which includes:

  • Ink Brushes
  • Painting Brushes
  • Dry brushes
  • Airbrushes 
  • Blenders and effects

You can get brushes online from other graphic design software for your Clip Studio Paint app. If you want Clip Studio Paint Photoshop brushes then you can import them easily from Adobe Photoshop.


Clip Studio Paint offers customizable assets in the form of:

  • Materials
  • Brushes
  • Comprehensive image and 3D objects libraries 

These plugins are both paid and free. 

Clip Studio Paint Subscription 

A better Clip Studio Paint version would be with subscriptions because this program becomes a lot more affordable. 

If you use this program across four platforms then:

  • Clip Studio Paint PRO: USD 8.99/monthly
  • Clip Studio Paint EX: USD 14.99/monthly

If you use this program on your mobile device only then:

  • Clip Studio Paint PRO: USD 0.99/monthly
  • Clip Studio Paint EX: USD 6.49/monthly

What Do the Customers Think?

The majority of the Clip Studio Paint customers have used this platform to create comics therefore have highly appreciated the extensive panel of brushes. The advanced functionality of each brush allows smooth drawing.

Clip Studio Paint is designed with professional artists in mind, so no matter the artistic ability of anyone, the features offer a one-of-a-kind experience. 

The software’s vast capabilities that provide tools for animation, illustrations, comics, 3D images, and designs have certainly become a customer favorite. 

A few of the customer comments we found online include:

clip studio paint vs photoshop
clip studio paint
clip studio paint

Best Digital Art Software 

Clip Studio Paint offers state-of-the-art features for comic lovers as well as graphic designers. The extensive tools for photo editing and drawing are extremely affordable.

Adobe Photoshop Review – Inspired Graphic Design Tool

huge difference adobe photoshop graphic design software same window free version unavailable

Adobe Photoshop is extremely popular amongst professional photographers and has recently branched out into concept art and visual development. 

This graphic design software is the best photo editing and video editing software out there. We highly recommend Adobe Photoshop to create illustrations, digital images, and raster graphics for your online course business.

The Adobe Photoshop software features a multitude of tools for RAW image adjustments, lens correction, retouching, and HDR such as:

  • Pen tool 
  • Brushes 
  • Styles
  • Filters
  • Fonts
  • Effects

Features of Adobe Photoshop 

  • Layers
  • Pen tools
  • Selection tools
  • Shapes 
  • Vector mask
  • Slice tool
  • Retouching tools
  • 3D Photoshop
  • Smart objects
  • Photoshop brushes
  • Content-Aware Fill
  • Adobe Sign
  • Premier Pro
Pros Cons
Professional Color Modes

Integrated with a huge stock library

Multipurpose software

Smooth workflow

A very interactive user interface

Expensive long-term subscription plans

Lack of support for vector graphics

Few features in the toolbar

Benefits of Adobe Photoshop

We found that the tablet pens have pressure-sensitivity functionality which gives you a lot of drawing control. Moreover, you can also get customized brushes online from the ABR extension present in the software.

The masking tool might seem like a basic photo editing task however we assure you, it’s not. It allows image manipulation where you can edit backgrounds. Moreover, the adjustment layers allow you to better control the colors of the illustrations.

We find the Light Version of Adobe Photoshop most convenient. This is a portable version of the software known as Photoshop Lite that can be loaded to USB drivers. 

Adobe Photoshop allows you to upload files into multiple file formats such as:

  • JPEG
  • PSD
  • PNG
  • GIF
  • EPS
  • TIFF
  • PDF

Our team believes that if you sign up with Adobe Creative Cloud, you can rest easy as all of your graphic design needs will be fulfilled. You will also get updates automatically as soon as they come out.

Adobe is more than just a photo and video editing software. It comes with a suite of impressive tools that we think could be beneficial for you as an online course business.

You can get many useful Adobe programs with Creative Cloud such as Adobe Bridge, a file management tool. Furthermore, Adobe Illustrator can help you create interactive illustrations with all the appropriate tools.

Factors to Consider Before you Decide to Buy Adobe Photoshop


Adobe is famous for its intuitive user interface. Unlike many other graphic design software, it is not cluttered and the main interface is clean. This offers a smooth workflow and an easier learning curve. 

Adobe Creative Cloud Pricing

Creative Cloud is an entire suite of 20+ desktop apps, 100 GB storage, and much insightful software. 

The Creative Cloud subscription is as follows:

  • $599.88 Pre-Paid Annual subscription 
  • $79.49 Monthly fee 
  • The annual plan paid monthly for $52.99

Ease of Use

While Photoshop has a very intuitive interface, it takes time to get used to.

It will take some time to figure out where the tools are. 

Photoshop Subscription

As an online course creator, you might not be interested in the expensive plans of Adobe Creative Cloud. So for your basic photo editing needs, you might want to avail the Single plan:

  • $20.99/month
  • 100GB Cloud storage
  • Desktop and iPad versions
  • Adobe Fresco
  • Adobe Spark


Photoshop has a range of plugins that are far more versatile as compared to competitors. They have the ability to cater to the needs of customization very efficiently. 

For example:

The ABR brush extension is highly customizable.  

Other Factors

There are other pricing plans to avail the tools of Photoshop. 

We would recommend the Photography Plan since you can get Lightroom and Lightroom Classic along with Photoshop for a more affordable price. This plan is only for $9.99/month which will benefit you greatly and is not a large business expense either.

Photoshop Elements is the only Adobe software available for a single-time purchase at $99.99. The latest features from Photoshop are always added to this software and you can unlock hidden Photoshop features from a plugin called Elements+. 

What Do the Customers Think?

Adobe Photoshop has received positive comments from customers throughout its tenure. It can take on complicated visual tasks and is heavily depended on by professionals. 

Customers have reported using this program across many departments. They could easily resolve any difficulties with the help of the free in-depth tutorials offered by Photoshop.  

A few of the many positive comments about Adobe Photoshop we found online include:

adobe photoshop
adobe photoshop
adobe photoshop

Best Inspired Photo Editing Tool

Adobe Photoshop is an extremely popular graphic design and image editing software preferred by experts and professionals. It offers value for money with one-of-a-kind features and incredible quality. 

Do you want usable graphic design software to create interactive visuals for your online courses?

Corel Painter, Affinity Photo, and Krita are good software to look into.

Clip Studio Paint vs Photoshop – Buyers’ Guide

clip studio paint vs photoshop

We understand that as an online course creator the main priority is to engage students. You can do this by including interactive graphics, visuals, and videos in your content. 

The best graphic design tools can be very expensive and they offer a lot of tools you might not require. Therefore, you need to weigh your options and filter the unnecessary ones out. 

For this purpose, consider the following factors you should look into before you purchase a graphic design software:


As mentioned above, do not choose a graphic design software that has too many tools. Chances are you will not use most of them. Select a software that has just the right tools for your minimal photo editing and graphic design.

This will save tremendous costs. 


The UI of a program can have a great impact on your experience with the software. If the interface is cluttered and difficult to navigate then it will waste a lot of your time. 

If you do find software that does not have user-friendly software then try to see if it has video tutorials to help you navigate easily.

Ease of Use

An intuitive user interface does not always guarantee ease of use. While the interface may be clean, tools might still be difficult to find. 

Easy-to-use software is one that displays tools upfront and offers an easier way to find features. 


Since most graphic design programs are highly expensive, they almost always offer subscription plans to make them more affordable for users. 

We recommend that you should opt for an application that offers affordable subscription plans.


Plugins are additional tools to help customize features in software. These tools can be extremely helpful in graphic design apps since you can get more customizable brushes, templates, or images of your choice. 

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Final Verdict 

This concludes our Clip Studio Paint vs Photoshop review. 

Both Photoshop and Clip Studio Paint are great graphic design and illustration programs.

If you choose Clip Studio Paint, we recommend the PRO version because it will handle your graphic design needs at an affordable price. You could create very interactive visuals with the vast array of features this tool offers.  

However, at the end of the day, we believe that Adobe Photoshop remains unbeatable. The quality and the extensivity of tools that Adobe offers can not be matched. Moreover, its features are more suitable to create graphics for your online course business. 

We hope we have helped you form the right decision, let us know which option you will choose.