So you’ve got the right paints, the best brushes and canvases as far as the eye can see – all you need now is the perfect artists easel and you’re ready to create your first masterpiece! Whether you’re working in a studio space, spare room or the kitchen, a reliable easel can be a valuable piece of studio equipment. A good easel can help your posture and offers you a dedicated painting space. There’ll be no more clearing the dining table before you begin painting!
Artists easels come in all shapes and sizes – from large, sturdy studio easels to portable easels to take on your painting trips. You may have never used an easel before, even if you have been painting for a long time. Many artists come to use them first in a college or tutoring setting. Other artists may find that they do not need an easel at all. The most important thing to consider when selecting your easel is practicality. We’ll introduce you to the different types of easels that we stock, and give you some hints and tips that will help you select an easel that is best for you.
Before you buy your first easel it’s important to think about what you need from one. Where will you use your easel? What size is your work? Which painting mediums do you use? What is your painting style like? Are you comfortable standing at an easel or would you need to sit down? Do you have any accessibility issues that need to be taken into consideration? These are all questions you will need to ask yourself that will help you narrow down your choices.
Easels offer different benefits to different artists. Some artists that use easels find that their painting process is much freer. The distance between you and the easel allows for more freedom of movement. There won’t be the restriction to making movements just from the wrist. This is beneficial for artists who favour a loose, energetic style of painting. If you do paint energetically it would be wise to consider buying as sturdy an easel as you can afford. A wooden studio easel would be able to withstand the energy of your movements. A lightweight metal easel would be more unstable. If you are working on a small scale with delicate strokes this wouldn’t be as much of a problem. You will still need your easel to be sturdy, but you could get away with using a more lightweight version.
The environment in which you wish to paint will affect your choice of easel. If you are painting outdoors you will need something compact and portable. If you have a large studio then you may have more space for a sturdier easel. In a spare room you may need to move or store your easel when not in use. You will need something lightweight or even collapsible. Painting in a communal area may mean that you are only able to work from an table mountable easel.
Easels can only hold surfaces up to a maximum height. This is something you will need to double check before you make a purchase. The weight of your work may also be a factor you need to consider. Although most easels will hold canvases of a considerable weight, artists who work with large amounts of mediums, thick paint and collage may need to double check that their paintings do not go above this weight. If you regularly paint work on weighty canvas you would probably be best investing in a heavier studio easel.