How to create art on your Chromebook

May 12, 2022

“Can you draw on a Chromebook? … Two years ago I would’ve said no, but things are changing!” — Brad Colbow

About Chromebooks

Just in case anyone needs an introduction, a Chromebook is a simplified laptop that runs Google’s Chrome OS. Their main app is, you guessed it, Chrome, and they’re intended primarily as vehicles for browsing the internet and using web services.

But recent versions have introduced the ability to run Android apps via the Play Store, a subtle but game-changing feature for users of specialized programs like artists. Despite what you might have heard about them in past years, they’ve come a long way lately, with manufacturers increasingly rolling out mid-range and even high-end Chromebooks, with specs comparable to Windows laptops — and far faster actual performance, since the OS consumes next-to-no system resources.

If you have a Chromebook, simply add a Chromebook-compatible Wacom product (Wacom One pen displays and One By Wacom pen tablets are Works with Chromebook certified, and Wacom Intuos pen tablets are compatible with most Chromebooks) and the right creative software, and your Chromebook can become a drawing tool that allows you to express your creativity and your unique style.

What specs will I need?

There are a limited range of art programs you can run on the Chromebook, all of them lighter than desktop image editors, but if you’re shopping for a Chromebook you want to go for at least a mid-range one so you don’t suffer from cursor lag when drawing. Generally, anything with at least an Intel Celeron processor and 4 GB of RAM should be enough to run any of the programs listed below.

What tablets can I use?

One By Wacom pen tablet

One by Wacom

The flat tablet distilled to its essence. While it lacks the shortcut keys and eraser of higher-end flat tablets, its textured surface and excellent responsiveness make it feel as good to draw on as ones I’ve used that cost four times as much. Available in Small and Medium.

Wacom Intuos medium drawing tablet with bluetooth

Wacom Intuos

The gold standard for pen tablets since the 90’s. The Intuos Small is currently the only one to feature ChromeOS support, but its form factor is perfectly suited to the Chromebook’s 13-inch screen size, and it’s the most budget-friendly option anyway.

Create art with a Wacom One pen display

Wacom One

Our entry-level drawing monitor, counterpart to the One by Wacom, offering the same peerless drawing experience as the Cintiq in a smaller, more budget-friendly package. Both the monitor and its pen are lightweight, making the screen excellent for travel or just limited-space setups, and the pen breezy to sketch and paint with. It has the side benefit of bringing the image closer, so you don’t have to view your painting on your laptop’s small screen from the distance past your keyboard.

What art software will run on Chromebook?

The ability to run Android apps gives you far more choices than you’d have in-browser alone: too many to fit a real guide to them into this article. And for even more, they can also run Linux programs with some prep work.

Your best options

Here are what I consider the top options, followed by a bunch more that might be just as good, but that I just haven’t tried.

  • Clip Studio Paint: The mobile version is somewhat limited compared to the desktop, but CSP in any form is still, in my personal opinion, the GOAT art program. (Just don’t tell Adobe.) Many Chromebooks come with several free months of CSP—but in case yours doesn’t, the Wacom One does too!
  • Autodesk Sketchbook: Simple, lightweight, app famous for its drawing tools.
  • Krita: Differentiates itself from the others in that it’s not a phone app, but a whole “desktop-class” art program that’s merely installed through Play Store.
  • GIMP: Also a full-featured program, but for Linux. Capable, if awkward: can do anything Photoshop can, just not as fast.
  • Magma Studio: The pro version of wildly popular browser-based painting app, upgrading it with far more brushes and robust team-management features allowing up to thirty people to work side-by-side.

Magma software in use

Above: three artists collaborating in Magma Studio software.

Other options

Browser-based Apps: AggieSketchpadYouiDrawInspirARTionPhotopeaKlekiPixilart DrawSketch.ioSumopaint

Android Apps: Medibang PaintTayasui SketchesInfinite PainterSimpleDraw Pro, Ibis Paint, ArtFlowArtrage VitaePicsartPixel StudioDotpictPaperColor

That’s 25 in total! So if there’s anything stopping you from drawing on your Chromebook, it won’t be a lack of options.


CS Jones avatar

About the Author

Cameron “C.S.” Jones is a West-Philly-based writer and illustrator who’s been contributing to Wacom for three years now. You can see more of his work, including most of his contributions to this blog, at, or follow him on Instagram or Twitter.

Related posts:

Wacom at the 2023 International Society for Technology in Education Conference

Wacom at the 2023 International Society for Technology in Education Conference

Expired: Celebrate Gaming Week and save

Expired: Celebrate Gaming Week and save

Shop the Wacom eStore*

When you shop on the Wacom eStore you get access to discounts, financing, extended warranties, and our industry-leading customer support team.

Connect with Wacom on Social

With a mix of illustration and 3D, @kentushi shares with us his #WacomWorkspace, and even recreates how he was making it! ✨✍️⁣
Zoom in to see all the fun details! 🐕✏️⁣
#MadewithWacom #digitalart #art #deskspace #wfh #officegoals
1214 7
When our inner critic arises, it’s difficult not hear it 😭

Sometimes our internal voice criticizes, judges and makes us doubt of our work telling us that we are not good enough. It happens to all of us!

But it’s all in our heads, trust the progress you’ve made so far and don’t give up!

Have you ever felt this way? 👇

#Artistslife #Innercritic #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth
433 9
Who's your favorite Pokémon? 💦🍃🔥⚡⁣
Some nostalgic friends for #FridayFanart with amazing art by @philipsue_art. If beautiful landscapes, process videos, and art tips are your thing, Philip's page is the place to visit!⁣
#MadewithWacom #digitalart #animation #art #artprocess #fanart #pokemon #pikachu
6348 26
Digital kitchen time! 
Here's the last of @patrick_4d's digital burger tip series. We hope you tried making your own burger or at least went out and got one for sustenance 🍔🍔🍔
Thank you Patrick for making us the most delicious digital burger we could have wished for. 
607 16
This is a reminder for you to embrace your geek side! 🚀

For those who spend hours designing a new skin for their character, creating 3D models of their favourite video game or programming special effects for movies.
Your art makes us proud!

How are you going to celebrate? 👇

#GeekPrideDay #Geek #ArtistsLife
857 5
Tag your other half. ✨💕⁣
We had to share the love with @yuyo.psd's heartwarming illustration. 🫶⁣
If you like the flow and colors of Yuyo's design, make sure you check out their page for more colorful artwork! 💜⁣
#MadewithWacom #digitalart #illustration #art #graphicdesign
700 8
From concept to reality, @pixebo’s home office is brought to life to create a cozy place to sit down with their Wacom Cintiq and get to work! ✨✍️

#WacomWorkspace #digitalart #homeoffice #deskgoals #wfh
1732 13
Discover the technology behind #CintiqPro24 🚀⁣
The #WacomProPen2 provides state-of-the-art creative pen technology, meaning every stroke, every move of your hand is followed with unerring accuracy. 💫⁣
Want to discover how it feels to draw with it? Check the link in bio!⁣
#Cintiqpro24 #CreativeProfessionals #CintiqPro
711 14
Colorful creative portrait by artist @valerie.loves.colors to start off your week. 🌈☀️🍃⁣
Valerie finds that people and colors give her the most inspiration. She points out that everyone is unique and vibrant in their own way, much like the color spectrum! 🎨⁣
#MadewithWacom #abstractart #digitalart #art #portrait #illustration
475 6