Having the skills and tools in any trade go hand-in-hand with each other, and a skilled artist needs the right tools in order to be 100% happy with their final piece. That's why it pays to research and shop around before settling on any old purchase. Today we are going to look at how you can choose the right artists easel, but first let's look at what an easel actually is.
What is an Easel?
An easel is a fundamental part of an artist's setup, and they come in a variety of styles and materials that we would touch upon a little later. An easel is a piece of equipment that artists use in order to fix and display their work onto. Usually it's a three legged design that tilts to a 20 degree angle (vertically) and allows the artist to work with both hands free.
How to Choose an Artist Easel?
Firstly, everyone has their own needs when it comes to painting so you need to look at what comes as a priority when looking to buy a new (or first) easel. Do you want an easel that has a full inclining mechanism that is made out of wood and with attachable paint holders? Or would you prefer an aluminium based easel that has a fixed design rather than an inclining one? To help you get an idea on the specific models out there, let's take a look at the type of easel you can buy.
Types of Easels Available
The A Frame Easel
The A frame easel is perhaps the most common type of easel out there, this easel is ideal for artists who don't have a great deal of room to work with on small to medium sized projects. This frame is also known as Lyre easel.
The H Frame
H frames are targeted for artists who have more room to work with than an A frame, but need that extra stability that comes with a stronger bodied frame. H frames are also ideal for those who are paining on larger canvases.
The Single Mast Frame
Single mast frames really don't have much to them, usually a tripod design with a single piece of materials that runs from the base to the top. These are very simple and cost effective frames but do lack in stability.
These easels are for the professional artists who need more than 8 foot to paint in. You wouldn't be able to use these in many painting classes san diego as they are in line with dedicated studio use were space isn't an issue.
If you don't have much room for an A frame then the chances are you are going to be looking at a tabletop frame which is the smallest frame style that you can get. These are popular, cheap and sit nicely on top of a table to help you create small art work pieces.
One step ahead of the tabletop easel we mentioned above is the hybrid easel also known as Convertible. Now these are more expensive than tabletops but if you have the budget then they are worth investing in because they convert from normal sizes easels to tabletop easels. So essentially you get the best of both worlds.
For Plein Air artists that are constantly on the move, a portable easel is not only as cheap as they come if you are looking for the aluminium body designs, but they are lightweight and easy to carry and setup to begin work.
If you want everything in one place then the bench easels come with a place to sit and an easel to work at, all combined into one neat design. Prices obviously are expensive for these type of designs but they are ideal for artists who want to spend a long time in outdoor locations where seating is a must.
We move away from easels that are used for work purposes and into display easels. These easels are used to showcase your talent and work in galleries or studios.
The final type of easel in our list is children's easels, which are designed with the younger generation in mind. These are adjustable easels that grow with your children. Hopefully this guide will help you identify the type of easel that you need for both the purpose you intend to use it for, but also the location that you are going to be using it in. Remember, pick wisely.
Written by: Paul Gilbert
ArtOn30th is an Art to Market Community that offers Art Classes and host regional & national art shows and call for artists events in a lively & classic gallery setting, honoring the artists mentored by taking their art to market.