When searching for a new painting easel, there is no shortage of choices for the artist. Easels come in a range of sizes and styles. Different types of easels suit different purposes.
When shopping for easels, it is important to know what is out there. Not every easel is appropriate for every situation. The type chosen should depend on where you paint and your typical size of canvas.
There are other factors you may also want to consider. If you paint rigorously, look for a sturdy easel. If you enjoy plein air painting, you may want to look for a portable, light, folding easel. Table top easels are sufficient for artists who mainly paint small.
For areas with little space, a wall mounted or single mast easel will do. Oil painters should use an easel, as paintings dry faster and collect less dust in a vertical position.
Below is a list of some of the popular types of artist easels. Do you own any of these? Please tell us about your easel below in the comments.
Types of Painting Easels
A Frame Easels
Two legs meet together at a point at the top of the frame, and a folding leg at the back helps support the frame.
Depending on the model, the canvas can be laid on a horizontal base and held in place by adjustable clamps. These clamps can be adjusted to hold different canvas sizes.
H Frame Easels
They are heavier and take up more space than A framed easels.
Some models allow for forward tilting and other adjustments, and even a place to hold a palette or painting tray.
Wallmount easels are useful for artists with limited floor and studio space.
These are obviously sturdier than conventional easels because of mounting on a wall. Adjustments can be made to hold various sizes of canvases.
Heavy duty models, such as the Best Wallmount Easel to the right allow for large canvases and tilting forward for glare reduction.
These are also recommended if the artist paints on small canvases or they have little floor space.
Tabletop easels are available in numerous styles, including sketchbox, plein air, H Frame and A Frame.
Single Mast Easels
The one pictured here, with its triangular base, can easily be tucked away in a corner.
These can be used to save space in studio class settings, and can be folded and stored when not in use.
These can often be easily converted for use for acrylic, watercolor and oils.
Many hybrid easels are also shaped like H Framed easels.
If you create paintings on canvases exceeding 8ft in height, you may want to consider getting one of these. Giant easels are also well built and sturdy.
The Abiquiu Studio Easel to the right can hold 300lbs and canvases of up to 12 feet high!
It includes 3 extendable legs and adjustments to fit various sized canvases. Leaving the legs closed can allow it to be used as a tabletop easel.
French easels also have storage space for art supplies and a drawer which can open to hold a palette. All of these features make these easel an ideal choice for the plein air artist.
What type of easel do you have? Can you tell us about it?