Chrome Canvas: all about this creative tool from Google

The Google Chrome Canvas tool is a handy tool that allows you to draw on a digital device, no matter what device you are working on. You work in the cloud, so drawings you make on your Chromebook are also available when you dive behind the PC again.

Using Chrome Canvas

Chrome Canvas is very simply an online drawing tool. When you go to Google’s website, and it’s your first time, you’ll need to sign in with your Google account. After logging in you will arrive in the drawing window. So you can immediately start drawing, for example with a mouse, if you want. When you’re ready, you can go to the selection screen by pressing the house in the top left.

If you want to make a new drawing, you can press the big, blue button on the screen. If you want to edit an existing drawing, simply click on the thumbnail on the screen. A thumbnail is a scaled-down version of the image in question, so you know exactly which one you’re opening.

There is also a third button. The white button allows you to open an image you have on your computer or Chromebook. So you can import and edit an image. Handy for when you want to add funny effects to photos or other images.

Do you want to delete an image? Then press the button at the top left for the selection screen. To do this, click on the house icon. There are three dots in the thumbnail, at the bottom right. This opens a small menu. Here you will find the option to delete an image.

Chrome Canvas
Via: Wesley Akkerman

The menu

That menu has several other options.

  • Rename: change the name of the image
  • Save as image: export the image and save it to your computer or Chromebook; you save the file as a .png file
  • Share: this button lets you share your creations with other people
  • Duplicate: by clicking on this you create a copy of the image in its current state

Discount on Office 365 for Chromebook

In principle, images are saved without a name. Saving is done automatically. If you want to give an image a name, you have to do that afterwards. The chosen name will then appear below the thumbnail in the overview screen.

Chrome Canvas
Via: Wesley Akkerman

The different tools

Back to the drawing board. By opening a new or existing image, you will see a number of options on the left. We walk you through them, from top to bottom:

  • Color palette
  • Brush Size and Opacity
  • Pencil
  • Pen
  • Highlighter
  • Chalk
  • Eraser

Some options are self-explanatory, such as the bottom five options. The color palette is where you pick your colors. By clicking on it, you get access to all colors that are offered by default. If you click on custom, you can select your own color.

The second option is also interesting to name separately. This determines the thickness of the brush (and thus the line you draw), as well as its transparency (how transparent that line is). By experimenting with this, you can give your creations a completely individual face.

Chrome Canvas
Via: Wesley Akkerman

Working with layers

At the top right is another important tool: layers. By working with different layers on your digital drawing, you can easily adjust or restore different facets of your drawing. A stripe on one layer is not a stripe on the other layer. This makes it easy to erase or remove it, without affecting other parts.

If you press that button, you can create, delete or hide a layer. You create a new layer by pressing the plus button in the small menu. You delete a layer by pressing the trash can icon next to the layer in question. You can hide a layer with the eye icon. This way you can find out how a certain effect turns out, if you are in doubt about an aspect.

In addition, this is the menu where you also color the background. By default, the background is white. But in the layers menu you see a button with a bucket in it that is being emptied. By clicking on it and selecting a color, the background color changes almost immediately.

Of course, you can do a lot more with your Chromebook, such as using apps for photo editing or playing video games.

Image: Wesley Akkerman