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Whether you are an art student, a seasonal painter or a veteran artist, you’ll need a good easel to bring your ideas to life.
Even if you are not new to buying an easel, it can get pretty confusing when you are out and about in the market.
From the type of easel to the price and quality, buying an easel can turn into quite an ordeal really fast.
QUICK COMPARISON: Our Top 3 Picks For Painting Easels
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To help such artists out, in this article we aim to list our top picks for easels for various uses. And to help you judge which one is the right easel for you, we have also added a comprehensive buyer’s guide at the end.
So, stick around till the end and let’s get on with it.
Best Painting Easels
- Best Painting Easels
- Best Easel Buyer’s Guide
American Easel Oak Yazhi Easel
American Easel Oak Yazhi Easel is an affordable full wood A-Frame easel that is made out of quality Red Oakwood. It weighs about 11 lb. and it can accommodate up to 44” of canvas length. A great bonus is its non-skid rubber feet. It’s a great option overall but exceptionally good for beginners.
After using it, we believe that this easel is best suited for students (beginners).
First, it is very nicely manufactured. It is made out of quality Red Oakwood that feels like it would last ages before it finally gives in.
Second, it covers all the basics of a good easel with a sturdy, long-lasting structure and it selectively skims on features that only a professional would miss.
It has good quality non-skid rubber feet and it can be conveniently tucked away when not in use, with its fold-flat design.
Even if we highly recommend this for new artists, we still believe veteran artists should stay away from it because it isn’t made for painters with an established workflow and tight schedules.
It doesn’t have a tray, which is a serious red flag for many professionals. Also, it can’t accommodate large canvases.
But finally, it’s still on our list because it’s a great quality budget option retailing at only around $80 or so.
Mont Marte Floor Easel
Mont Marte Floor Easel is another great beginner’s easel, albeit a little more fleshed out and professional than our previous entry. It is made from good quality beechwood and it has a decent weight of about 18 lb. It doesn’t skim out on trays and can be height adjusted. Also, it can accommodate canvases of size up to 47”.
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It has a beech-wood construct and balanced weight of about 18 lbs. Due to its heft, it won’t be pushed around easily when you start to play a little rough. And the excellent beechwood will ensure that it’ll last many more years of harsh treatment.
More importantly, it’s not barebones like our last entry. You get a comfortable little organizational tray to hold brushes and solvents when painting.
And you also get an incredible slider to perfectly adjust the height of the canvas. Doesn’t matter if you are short or tall, or you are sitting or standing; this easel can give you the perfect level for comfortable painting every time.
However, it’s a little tricky to assemble as the included guide is pretty vague but once you set it up correctly, you get a great easel that can be conveniently tucked away owing to its lay-flat design.
FineColour Portable Painting Easel
FineColour portable painting is our top pick for a portable easel. It’s also the cheapest on the list so far retailing somewhere around $30 at the time of writing. It has a camera tripod-like design and its height can be adjusted between 21-65”. It can accommodate small canvases up to 35” in size and 15 lb. of weight.
It’s a great option only when you want to go outside and paint, and hence, we don’t recommend this easel for everyday use or heavy workflow.
We recommend having a hefty and well-built easel where you usually paint and having this around for when you need to go outside to paint.
It’s made up of aluminum and design-wise, it’s really similar to camera tripods. So similar that it almost looks like they just replaced the top camera mount with a canvas holder.
But that’s not bad news because like camera tripods it can be folded and conveniently carried around in a cylindrical carry bag.
Its amazing portability coupled with a cheaper price tag makes it a great easel for outdoor use.
The height is highly adjustable as well – from 21” to 65”. And if you want to, you can fold its legs entirely to use it as a tabletop easel.
US Art Supply Tabletop Easel
US Art Supply is a renowned company when it comes to art-related products and this tabletop easel is another one of their excellent products. It’s a great easel for hobbyist painters with a surface limit of 18-31.5”. And its casual use is also supported by its extremely low price.
It’s a durable easel made out of good quality beechwood. It has an A-frame design which can support up to 31” of canvas surface.
We love the fact that it can also double as a painting showcase because it is ultra cheap and it sits on your table.
But we only recommend it for casual painters or people who only paint as a hobby. If you are in any shape or form serious about painting, steer away from this right away.
It is meant to be used on a table so it doesn’t come with any storage facility. You’ll have to use your table to keep your brushes, solvents, and colors while painting.
And if you want to paint while standing then you’ll have to come up with ad-hoc solutions to bring it to your standing height – which, honestly, isn’t a legitimate solution according to us.
Ultimately, it’s an excellent quality product at a dirt cheap price but it is only meant to cater to hobbyists.
Mabef Convertible Easel M-18
Mabef Convertible Easel M-18 is a decked out heavy-duty easel that will impress any painting enthusiast. Mabef is famous for creating some of the best easels in the world and as expected M-18 is no slouch. It can support up to 88” canvas surface which is the largest on this list. And with its oiled beechwood built, it’s not just a utilitarian perfection but is also a sight to behold.
It has a convertible design that allows you to set up your canvas either horizontally or vertically. And the adjustment mechanism allows you to get the perfect tilt while painting every time.
You also get a very large tray which provides more than just ample space for conveniently putting all of your gears while painting.
The impeccable oiled beechwood construct is not only more durable than any other easel on this list but it also looks absolutely gorgeous.
It is also one of the heaviest easels we have ever seen – about 52 lb. – so, don’t expect a lot of portability from it.
You can still move it around every now and then in the studio with its 4 wheels at the bottom which also lock down to provide a sturdy structure while painting expressively.
It’s a professional grade easel for serious artists who have ample floor space in their studio and the price matches its quality.
US Art Supply 72-Piece Deluxe Acrylic Painting Set
This painting set by US supply is an excellent bargain for the absolute beginner. The set has two easels, 24 tubes of acrylic paint, a palette, a color mixing well and various kinds of paint brushes. With this set, you are ready for painting right out from the box. It’s an incredible buy for any new painter.
It can be a huge ordeal sometimes to get started with painting. You’ll need a lot of things – like paints, brushes, mediums, palette, etc. – just to get started with painting.
But with this convenient little painting package, you get all the stuff that you’ll need for just about $110. The art supply material is pretty good for an absolute beginner.
In the supply kit, you also get two easels. One is made out of aluminum with a portable camera tripod-like design that can fit about 32” of canvas surface and the other one is a wooden tabletop easel that can hold canvases up to 11×14” in size.
The wooden tabletop easel also has a tray to hold all the art supplies that come with the kit.
We agree that any intermediate or professional artist will never even think about settling with this and we don’t recommend it for them.
It’s a great deal only for the absolute beginners who want to learn painting as a hobby in their free time.
Melissa & Doug Deluxe Standing Easel [For Children]
Melissa & Doug Deluxe Standing Easel is a great easel that is designed to be used by kids from age 3 to 7. It’s a great buy if you are looking for an easel that brings out your kids’ creative side. It’s made out of good material unlike some of the other plastic easels for kids. That’s why it’s our top recommendation for kids.
The quality and the functionality of this easel is top notch. It’s made out of excellent material ensuring that it’ll last for quite a long time.
One side of this easel is a chalkboard and the other side is a dry erase board. Both of the boards are of good quality and we found no blemish even after testing it for quite some time.
Because of this double-sided design, it can be used by two children comfortably at once. You can also use paper for drawing as it also has clips and a dowel.
The easel has conveniently placed trays – one on each side – to hold brushes, paint, pens, etc. And the easel is also height adjustable. So, you can keep using this easel as your kids grow up.
It’s super easy to clean as well because both the trays and the boards are detachable and can be washed in a sink without any hassle. When not in use, you can also fold it and tuck it away for a clutter-free experience.
Best Easel Buyer’s Guide
We have decided to include some parameters in this section, considering which you can decide whether or not an easel is good for you.
Types of Easels
There is a wide variety of easels that are available in the market. Some easels are compact while others are portable or heavy duty.
Therefore, it can be confusing while buying one for your own. To help you out here are some kinds of easels that you should know about:
If you don’t have a lot of floor space to dedicate to painting then compact easels are the best for you. They are a great alternative to heavy duty easels and bring most of the features while still having a small footprint.
The following are the different kinds of compact easels that you can find.
In a bench easel, you get a small to medium sized canvas holder and, of course, a bench. You can usually find one in an art class as it is suited for drawing and painting while looking at a live subject. It is a straightforward easel to use but hog quite a lot of floor space.
Single Mast Easel
Single Mast easels have a single central backbone to support the canvas. Of course, for that reason, it also has a very small footprint. And it’s also very affordable.
Even with a small footprint, this easel is capable of accommodating canvases of large size. That is why many artists love this kind of easels.
A-Frame easels are one of the most popular kinds of easels. Typically used by students or intermediate artists, these frames are capable of holding a variety of canvas sizes due to its sliding bar design.
The reason these are called A-Frame is that the backbone resembles the English letter ‘A’ in looks.
One added bonus is that A-Frame easels can also be stowed away when not in use.
Table-top easels are just shrunken down versions of A-Frame easels. It’s a great choice for those who don’t paint regularly or do large scale painting.
If you only paint occasionally or you don’t have a lot of room to have an easel stand on the floor, a table-top easel will be the right thing for you.
For painting on the go, portable easels are the best. For the artists who love to capture the real world while being out and about, a portable easel is the best companion. With the capability of being “packed” and conveniently carried, these easels are the best friends of many painters around the globe.
The following are some types of portable easels that you can find in the market.
Nothing tops the classic French easel when it comes to portability. The ability to fold this easel in a small briefcase gives it unmatched versatility. It’s a great choice for artists who like to paint outdoors or who paint on the go because you can virtually carry this anywhere you want.
The Field easel is almost like a cut-down version of the French Easel. It doesn’t give you a lot of versatility because it lacks things like the drawer, storage, palette resting area, etc. and you’ll have to carry all of the gears in a separate backpack. But it’s a very light easel giving it some advantage in terms of portability.
For the established and professional artists who have a tight schedule and a commitment to never bother their art with anything but inspiration, a heavy-duty easel is the best way to go. These easels have it all when it comes to painting anything with the most hassle-free experience.
Here are some of the common kinds of heavy-duty easels that you can find in the market.
The H-Frame easel is the fully decked option for professional artists. It is great for artists who produce commissioned art because it can accommodate large size canvases very easily and gives an array of features like cups, non-skid grips, trays, etc.
Although this easel has a large footprint, many artists are willing to make that sacrifice for increased productivity because most of them have room for painting already.
Wall Mount Easel
Wall Mount Easel is a better alternative to single mast easel when it comes to saving floor space in your apartment. It does need a wall to mount and is not portable at all but it can accommodate a huge variety of canvas sizes.
When it comes to easels, like other art products, the higher the price the better the quality. But the price can vary a lot also because of how many kinds of them are available.
Good easels should at least have a way to stay steady when drawing with locked wheels or rubber feet.
Usually, you’ll find good quality easels in the price range of $80-200 but there’s always an option for super expensive easels if one desires to.
Easels are made up of either wood or metal. You may prefer one over the other depending upon your needs and preferences.
For the people who like the classic style, wood is a great choice. Usually, in wood easels, beech wood is used and it is very long lasting and durable.
Beechwood is also very sturdy and won’t budge easily. But it is heavier than metal variants.
Those who want something light and portable, the aluminum easel is a great option. It’s great for occasional painters because of how lightweight it is.
But aluminum easels don’t have great structural rigidity like beechwood. So, if you are a serious artist, we recommend you going for wood easels instead of metal ones.
Heavier easels are sturdier and more long-lasting than lighter easels but you’ll have to compromise on portability.
On the other hand, lighter easels are, of course, easy to carry but are not that rigid or durable.
We recommend you to get a heavy easel if you are a professional artist or a regular user and get a lighter one if you are a casual painter or do painting only occasionally.
These are some miscellaneous factors to keep in mind while buying an easel.
Almost all kinds of easels have some sort of adjustment mechanism. Most easels give the option to adjust height and tilt but there are some easels that are convertible – that is, they give you the option to move the canvas horizontally.
But the most important thing to consider is whether your easel is for standing or sitting. A good easel might even give you the option for both.
While some easel manufacturers like to advertise their easels specifically designed for a medium – like acrylic or oil; in reality, it is not that important.
Most easels allow you to use any medium of your liking anyway. It’s more of a marketing ploy of art supply manufacturers.
So that’ll be all for this article.
In this piece, we have mentioned some of the best easels we could find along with our reviews after using them for a reasonable amount of time.
The entries listed here cater to different needs, so, there’s no ranking of any sort.
With that, we hope this article was helpful to you and thank you for reading!