Choosing An Easel

How To Pick The Perfect Easel

Are You Looking For An Easel As A Gift Or For Your Studio?

Ezel” is Dutch for donkey which is quite apt for this time of year.  Many of you will be looking to treat the artist in the family to an Easel and it can be a minefield with so many styles and sizes.


Artist Easel


The following scenario happens every year without fail and has prompted me to write this guide.

It’s Christmas Eve ten minutes before closing,  Flustered shopper walks in, “I need an Easel for my wife; son; aunt”.

Great, an Easel makes a great gift and this in itself is not the dilemma.  However upon questioning the shopper does not know whether the artist paints in oil or watercolour, what size is worked on or where the Easel is to be used!  Just that one must be sitting under the tree on Christmas day wrapped in a big red bow!

Make your shopping trip a little less stressful this year with our guide on how to choose an Easel.  Rest assured our staff will always be there to help.

Requirements do vary between artists whether they are a beginner or professional and we want to make sure that you choose the best one for your requirements.

It’s a process of elimination really.

What Medium Is The Easel For?

This will immediately rule out a number of Easels.  If watercolour, liquid acrylics or inks are being used you will need one that allows you to work at a low angle.  A Table Easel that tilts to different angles will be ideal so that the paint doesn’t run.  The Hamilton Studio Easel is great for those who paint large scale watercolours.  Although classed as a Studio Easel it tilts to varying angles.


Winsor & Newton Hamilton Studio Easel
Winsor & Newton Hamilton Studio Easel


While most Easels suit oil and acrylic painting working vertically or slightly tilted will prevent dust from settling on drying paint.  If the easel is to be used for life drawing then you will want something light and portable.

Some of you may remember the Winsor and Newton Thames Radial from your art school days.  It is a staple for life drawing. It has short tripod legs and the tall upper part is adjustable.  It can take small and large canvases unlike the H frame and can be folded up when not in use.

There are exceptions to these rules depending on your painting style.

Where Will The Easel Be Used? 

Are you working in a studio?  Do you need to transport the Easel to class or will you be doing plein air painting?

For working outdoors you will need a lightweight portable Easel possibly with a box for storing your art supplies.  Look at the Windrush Easel.  Winsor and Newton’s Tyne Aluminium Easel is light for transport and its telescopic legs can be adjusted.  This Easel also features a camera mount allowing the Easel to be used as a camera tripod; great for painting outdoors.  The Winsor and Newton Dart Sketchers Easel would be a great budget choice for the beginner.


Winsor & Newton Windrush Easel
Winsor & Newton Windrush Sketching Box Easel


For studio painting space not weight will be the main consideration.

What Space Is Available?

If you are lucky enough to have a spacious studio space then go for it and invest in a sturdy Studio Easel; especially if you like to work on a large scale.  However if your work space is tight and the Easel will have to be packed away for storage a studio style would be a waste of money.  You should look at Sketching Easels or an A frame.


Winsor & Newton Tay Table Easel
Winsor & Newton Tay table Easel


Buy a Tay Table Easel if you want to work at a desk or kitchen table.  Table Easels make the most of limited space and adjust to the best working angle in a seated position. The Reeves Art & Craft Workstation takes up to A2 size and is suitable for children and adults.

What Size Is Worked On?

For smaller works a Table Easel is adequate. The Arun Table Easel is my personal favourite.  It will hold the largest size paper or canvas, making it very popular.  It also has a side storage drawer for easier access. For painting larger pieces a Studio Easel is needed.  An A-frame such as the Winsor & Newton Mersey Easel is ideal for drawing and painting large canvases, is light and folds flat.


                        Winsor & Newton Arun Table Easel      Winsor & Newton Mersey Studio Easel

How Do You Paint?

The heavy handed among us should steer clear of Sketching and Table Easels.  An H-frame Easel would be ideal.  It is robust and can last a life time.  Although not portable it will not move even if you are painting vigorously.  Look at the Winsor & Newton Shannon Studio Easel.


Winsor & Newton Shannon Easel
Winsor & Newton Shannon Studio Easel


Also consider whether this Easel is for a child, a beginner or a special gift to last and of course your budget.

All of the above will dictate your decision. Take your time and our staff will gladly help you make the best choice.

For great deals on Easels and quality Art Supplies shop online with Pullingers Art Shop.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *