How can you find the artist easel that will work best for you? When looking for an easel that best suits the needs of your individual practice, consider how and where you will be using it – you may need a sturdy easel because you push hard against the canvas as you paint, or an easel that will tilt to horizontal for watercolour painting, or a small easel for your cosy shed painting space.
Because it can be difficult to tell what features will work and not work for you just by looking at it, we asked artists to tell us which easel they use, why they chose it and what about their easel makes it the right one for them. This collection of feedback gives an insight into a range of easels – from why you might want a Tavy easel, whose bottom picture rest can be raised independently to prevent damage to low ceilings, to why a drafting table might solve the issue of wanting to have an easel which you can use at 45 degrees, 90 degrees or even flat. It clarifies some of the particular benefits of different easels as well as helping you decide which one would really suit you.
“I own three Frank Herring easels. The best being The Herring Versatile easel. Light, extremely versatile for both oil or watercolour, very stable and strong. A joy to work on and one that I recommend when demonstrating or running workshops. It’s simply the best.” – Rob Dudley
If Frank Herring easels are what you want, keep checking the Easel Department on the Jackson’s website as we will be stocking them shortly.
“Sturdy, wheels, adjustable height and angle for working, enough room for larger canvases.” –Carole Russell
“I have a Winsor & Newton Thames Radial Easel. I chose it because it holds large canvases and it is easy to move around and store as until now didn’t have a permanent studio space . I’m just setting up in my new studio, I think it still looks the part.” – Sarah Pooley
“I have the Daler Rowney Cotswold Studio Easel. Tall and sturdy, I love it.” – Helen Boyd
“I have a huge studio easel I have had for decades but I now live in a tiny cottage with ceilings too low to raise it to working height. My last studio was too cold to warm up to working temperature. I can’t win.” – Peter Helton
“I have a Tavy easel. You can move the bottom picture-rest up without raising the central pole and punching a hole in your ceiling!” – Emily Morgan
“I have the Rustic Oak Vintage Drafting Table from Studio Designs and I absolutely adore it! The size is good at 42 x 30 inches with Adjustable Angle Table Top from Flat to 90 Degrees and Built-in Pencil Groove with 24″ Pencil Ledge. At 90 degrees, I can paint large canvas’s with acrylics or oils resting on the ledge like you would with an easel, but after I finish those and use pastels, I angle it to 45 degrees which suits me, or flat for watercolours or pencils. I opted for this table as it’s super sturdy, after what is referred to in our house as ‘Easelgate’, where I battled with my old easel for 2 hours as it kept slipping, the canvas eventually hit me on the head, I almost threw the whole lot off the terrace and down the hill. Sense prevailed and instead did some research into what would suit me best, and this drafting table ticked all the boxes for me.
The things that almost put me off, is that a) it’s not height adjustable – but, as I sit in a height adjustable office chair, the problem cancelled itself out. b) it doesn’t have a side table – but my husband is building me a side table with a pullout underneath (like a keyboard slide out on a desk) to put my stuff on while painting. As I work from home, it was more important to me to have something stable that I can use at 90 Degrees to flat, rather than something that could be transported like for plein air (which I never have time for anyway). This drafting table was perfect for me and as a bonus, I can even use it for my sewing machine, it is that sturdy!” – Joanne Kane Pays
If you’d like a Studio Designs drafting table we stock a selection at Jackson’s and we will be adding the Oak Vintage drafting table soon.
“I used to own a draughtboard too. It was so good and may just be the answer!” – Mona George
If you want more information to help you find your perfect easel you can read The Ultimate Easel Guide on our blog.
At Jackson’s, we have a vast range of easels so that you can easily find the right one for you, whether you want to use it in the field, the studio or need one that can be packed down to save room at home. Go to our Easel Department to see the options available.