There are so many different easel styles, that it’s important to find which one works for you and your painting style. From table top to french style easels, I will show you my top picks for everyone’s unique style. In this article I go over table top easels, tripod easels, french style easels, as well as a few tips and questions for you guys. Enjoy!
U.S. Art Supply Coronado French Style Easel & Sketch box
This elegant Coronado French Style Easel by U.S Art Supply is one of my favorites on the market. I personally have this easel and it has everything I need when I paint. It’s pretty much the perfect easel for painting at home or on the go! To view availability and pricing click here.
Also great for small apartments or large studios. This Coronado sketch box is really cool because it’s a fully adjustable field easel and storage unit all in one. It features a 12″ wide sliding drawer with divided compartments, an 11″ x 18″ removable wooden palette, and an adjustable shoulder strap. I use the wooden palette all the time and it’s super convenient. The sketch box is very roomy and can hold a lot of paint.
What I love about this easel is that it’s perfect for my house but it can also convert into a tabletop easel. There aren’t that many easels that you can just turn into a tabletop one. It’s portable, compact and affordable.
This easel is made from hand sanded beech wood and it is finished with brass hardware. It also includes a durable leather handle. When I’m painting I need to move my canvas and myself to adjust to the painting, but with easel, it has a completely adjustable orientation which I find incredibly helpful to my work.
It fully extends to 71″! Yet it is small enough to store in your closet..but also large enough to hold a 34″ canvas. It really is a one in all kind of easel. This easel also comes with brass hooks that allow you to transport your wet canvas, which is pretty neat.
Unfolded Dimensions: 28 1/2″ X 45″ X 71″ Folded Dimensions: 17″ X 6 1/2″ X 22″
I highly recommend this Coronado French Style Easel if you are looking for a reliable, adjustable and all in one type of easel.
Many users stated that they love this product because of it’s diverse functions. They love that it’s heavy duty enough for their home or studio, but also compact enough to convert into a tabletop easel. Buyers love that the sketch box has lots of room for paints and supplies as well.
From the many reviews I’ve read, many buyers also stated that they like taking this easel from room to room to paint, or even on hikes an the outdoors. It’s a great portable and affordable easel if you’re looking for an all in one. I highly recommend this product!
Ohuhu Aluminum Tripod Easel
This Tripod Easel is pretty neat because it extends to 72 inches! It’s super compact as well for an easy travel accessory. To view pricing for this Ohuhu Tripod Easel, click here. This adjustable easel extends from 25 inches to 73 inches! It features telescopic legs, and each leg can be adjusted individually to provide and even or uneven surface as you need.
Not only is this tripod easel ideal for canvas, art projects and painting on posters, but some buyers even claimed they put their dry erase board on it too! This is a great multi-functional field easel in my opinion and I definitely recommend it. It’s super lightweight, perfect for when you’re on the go, yet super sturdy and reliable.
It’s crafted from high quality aluminum alloy, so you know it’s built to last. A really cool thing about this tripod easel is that it even goes down to juts 25 inches, so you can use it as a tabletop easel as well. It has a non slip base so your project won’t get ruined, and each leg is equipped with rubber feet so the easel always stays put.
Tons of buyers claimed this easel was perfect for them because it’s so compact and lightweight. They claimed the set up was super easy and straightforward. Users also stated that the maximum height of 72 inches was perfect for someone standing while painting, and they were 5″7.
Many buyers love that each leg adjusts separately so they can achieve that angle they’re looking for to paint. It’s convenient because you can use it on the table or the floor, so that’s a plus. If you’re looking for a compact, multi-purpose easel, then I recommend this Ohuhu tripod easel.
US Art Supply Malibu Extra Large H-Frame Deluxe Easel
My last recommended easel is this US Art Supply Malibu H-Frame Deluxe easel. This is truly an artist’s easel and it’s definitely one of my favorites. To view availability and pricing click here. This awesome easel can hold canvases up to 90 inches!
It includes a forward tilt for pastel and portrait works. It has large 4 point knobs that allow quick and accurate adjustments. The casters extend mobility and the locking system ensures your easel will stay in place. The dimensions are, 26″Wide x 27-1/2″Deep x 80″High, (Adjusts to 139″High.)
I recommend this easel if you are an artist or work on portraits as well as large canvases. It’s super sturdy and reliable. The tilt is very helpful to those who need that special angle in their work. I know I tilt my canvases all the time to get that specific stroke. This is a very reliable and durable easel.
It’s crafted from beechwood, and it also includes a large canvas tray which allows quick and easy access to art supplies. Rolling caster wheels that provide easel mobility and allows art to be placed at any location. You can also remove the wheels if you prefer a stationary easel. Overall, this is an amazing easel for large canvases and reliability.
Many buyers love this easel because it’s of artist’s grade and very reliable. Some claim they have had this easel for years and they still love everything about it. The most popular feature about this easel is that it can hold an canvas up to 90 inches, which is pretty hard to find.
This easel will also lay flat if need be, and an conveniently roll away into storage. Every user loved this product, and I highly recommend it as well.
What Is an Easel?
Whenever you picture an artist, you always see them engrossed in their colorful world standing at an easel. Like many other essential materials for a good piece of art, an easel too is an undeniably important part of any artist’s gear.
An easel is a simple instrument used by artists to hold the canvas in the right position when painting or to display a work of art. The simplest of an easel design is typically tripod, with three upright posts joined at the top end.
There are many different sizes and shapes of easels, some that I have recommended above, such as A-frame, H-frame, table top, plein air etc. You can choose an easel that best suits your painting style, medium of use and your budget. Artists’ grade easels are typically made of wood, in functional designs that have changed little for centuries, but now new materials and designs are available such as aluminum as one of the products I recommended above.
Do I Need an Easel to Paint?
You may be wondering whether or not you need an easel to paint. Although it’s not required per se, it does help you paint more accurately since you are painting vertically and at a level. Easels have been around for hundreds of years and it’s pretty much the same as not having a paint palette. You don’t technically need one, but it goes hand in hand with your work.
Also, since vertical is our position, when we generally perceive things, it also helps to keep the perspective precise. Moreover, working on an easel also minimizes the risk of spilling paint, medium or your coffee on it! It also deters dust to settle down on it. Another of the major benefits of using an artists easel, is the fact that you can step back to review your work and analyze its progress.
I would like to point out that for some techniques or projects you may need to have your canvas laying flat. This depends on the type of work you are doing. I have had some projects where I needed to lay my canvas on a huge table to get that angle I was painting. I do definitely recommend having an easel if you paint though.
It’s a great tool that every artist, or even hobbyist should posses. After I’m done with my painting I will let it dry on the easel and keep it there for display as well. So the answer is yes, in my opinion everyone who is painting who have an easel for their work.
Who Invented the Easel?
You might think of an easel being used maybe in the 1500’s from those famous paintings such as The Mona Lisa, or Salvador Munti, but the first formally recorded use of the easel goes as far back as the first century CE when Pliny the Elder wrote about a large panel being painted on by an artist who had propped it up on what could have only been one of the first easels.
Published in AD 77, it was and is used as a reference material to all history that comes before that date, including most of the famous artwork. Because Pliny the Elder, whose real name was Caius Plinius Secundus, wrote about some of the art being worked on while propped on easels in his book, we can correctly surmise that the easel was invented prior to 77 AD.
More artistic proof of an easel was discovered in Asia’s history. The depiction of “a contemplative scholar“ by the artist Wang Wei seems to show the man studying or reading and making use of an easel-like structure. Art from China is thought to have been created during the 8th century. We also know that illuminated easels were used in the 12th century by Monks.
In need of something to write their manuscripts on, some monks used a form of an easel to produce their famous works. Because their manuscripts were so precious, using an easel was necessary to ensure that the monks came out with the best possible finished writing creations.
The need for easels spiked greatly in the 13th century when canvas paintings became more popular. As the demand for murals diminished, easels and the art painted upon them became more and more ubiquitous. As the renaissance progressed, the easel became a staple in the art society.
Artists’ needs were constantly growing and changing during the renaissance period. To accommodate the boom in commissioned art, many artists modified the basic easel structure to better fit their needs. The invention of the portable easel and storable oil-based paint in the 15th century are the two factors in the boom of landscape artwork.
Suddenly, artists were able to pack up their materials and traipse the country sides, capturing anything they wanted on their canvases.
More recent history shows that antique easel dating from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries have become quite valuable to antique collectors and restorers. By the 17th century, easels themselves had become works of art. Ornately decorated easels are still widely popular today, and the older they are, the more valuable they are.
What Is a French Easel?
French easels are for the traveling artist. French easels contain a sketchbox, an easel, and a canvas carrier in a smaller package. The sketchbox holds paint supplies and a palette, and the legs and canvas arm collapse for ease of travel.
Many of these easels are excellent for painting outdoors, also known as plein air painting. If you paint on location, you should consider using a French easel. Many French Easels also fold down to a tabletop easel like the one I mentioned above in this article.
They offer many uses for the artist. I personally have a French Easel and I love all the benefits it has. It folds so I can use it on my table, it’s made from a nice beechwood, it has a sketchbox for everything I need to put in it.
It accommodates any incline position painting you do, which is great for precise painting, it’s adjustable and provides great support for my work. I think everyone should own a French Easel at some point. Definitely one of my favorites!