Best Easels for Painting: Reviews in 2020
Regardless of whether you’re an aspiring artist who’s soon to become a pro or someone who has just picked up on the beautiful hobby called ‘painting’, you need an easel in your arsenal as soon as possible.
Today we are going to talk about what makes the best artists’ easel ‘the best’, the things you should keep an eye out open for when looking for an easel, but we will also talk about some of the best models you can get for the money.
First of all, we will start with some of the most notable reasons why you actually even need an easel.
Then, we will dive into the actual products and give you what our research has singled out as the top items on the market right now.
Finally, a brief buying guide will follow to educate you on the things to be careful about when buying and browsing. Let get this thing on the move!
Why should you get an Easel?
Although there is a plethora of reasons why an easel makes every painting better, let’s start with the most obvious one – your painting will be substantially more accurate.
The reason why this is so is quite simple – an easel holds down the paper in a fixed position which can be customized at your whim.
Secondly, most artists’ easels are quite portable. You can place them wherever you want in your home or even take them outdoors if they have proper supports.
Last, but certainly not least, you can get a high-quality artists’ easel at a very approachable price. Even though professional models cost an arm and a leg, a decent model won’t hurt your pocket by a bit. Up next, the best products.
Our top 10 Best Easels For Painting
In our humble items, the following products have proven themselves as the cream of the crop in their niche based on a variety of factors. These include product quality, value for money, user reviews, and more.
The full rundown is available below, note that each item contains its own little list of highlighted features for your reading convenience.
1. Ohuhu 4-Pack 66” Tall Lightweight Aluminium Field Easel
Let’s start off with Ohuhu’s 4-Pack aluminium field easel bundle. Essentially, Ohuhu is a brand that dabbles in pretty much everything, from garden & outdoor tools, over home & kitchen appliances, over office cards, to everything regarding art.
Their selection of easel stands is quite vast, although most models seem to be made from aluminium, with the exception of Tabletop easel bundles.
This particular easel pack features four aluminium tripod easels which are equally suited for outdoor and indoor use. Each easel in this package is made from aluminium alloy and weighs barely 0.5 pounds (the entire bundle weighs 1.9 pounds).
You will be able to adjust the height of each easel between 21 inches and 66 inches, and what’s more, each easel rocks a separate carrying bag.
The only potential downside of Ohuhu’s 4-pack Aluminium Easel bundle is that most people don’t really need four artists’ easels.
Of course, you will always be able to use the spare ones as replacements if something happens to your main one, but unless you intend to paint with a couple of friends, all you need is one really.
- Bundle of four artists’ easels
- Each easel is made of high quality aluminium alloy
- Height adjustable in the range of 21 inches to 66 inches
- Each easel weighs less than 0.5 pounds
2. Art Alternatives Marquis Artists Adjustable Desk Box Easel, Natural
Next up is Art Alternatives’ Marquis Adjustable desk box easel. This particular model is by all means unique, as it’s actually a convertible desk which boasts the ability to convert into an artists’ easel.
The first notable benefit you will potentially be able to reap by owning Art Alternatives’ Marquis Easel is that it offers unparalleled portability.
Essentially, its actual dimensions measure 15.2 inches by 12.1 inches by 4.3 inches, weighing no more than 2.45 pounds.
Once ‘transformed’ into an easel, the Marquis can be set in 4 different positions. It also rocks a little drawer equipped with 3 separate compartments where you can hold your brushes or other painting accessories.
It’s lightweight and highly robust, but due to its peculiar design it’s not exactly versatile. You could potentially even use it outdoors, but it is best used as a tabletop artists’ easel.
Additionally, you will need to go through a certain ‘learning curve’ of sorts, meaning that you will need to spend some time with it before you get to understand how assembling it works.
- Highly portable design
- Angle can be adjusted at 4 different positions
- Features a drawer packed with 3 separate compartments for painting gear
- Actual dimensions measure 15.2 inches by 12.1 inches by 4.3 inches, weighs 2.45 pounds
3. T-Sign 66 Inches Reinforced Artist Easel Stand
Here we are looking at the T-Sign’s 66 inch reinforced easel stand, which is basically a highly durable aluminium-metal tripod.
This artists’ easel is pretty compact, as it can fold down to the size of 21 inches and extend up to 66 inches, making it perfect for tabletop painting and displays.
This easel accommodates canvases and panels up to 33 inches in height and 1.2 inches in depth for as long as they aren’t heavier than 25 pounds.
On top of that, the T-Sign’s easel rocks a spring-loaded clamp on the top which can hold a canvas securely in place, providing a substantial boost in terms of reliability and stability.
As a matter of fact, the T-Sign’s easel is one of our top choices due to its incredible durability. It rocks a reinforced design and boasts a superb level of wind resistance, making it not just suitable, but perfect for outdoor painting.
You will also get a free complementary carry bag supplied with a shoulder strap you can use to transport this easel from place to place with ease.
Overall, this is a premium quality artists’ easel which brings a wide array of benefits to the table. We highly recommend it to both professionals and enthusiasts.
- Adjustable height between 21 inches and 66 inches
- Can accommodate panels and canvases up to 33 inches in height and 1.2 inches in depth
- Reinforced frame design
- Made from lightweight metal-aluminium
- Comes with a gratis carry bag supplied with a shoulder strap
4.Artist Easel, Ohuhu 2-Pack 66” Aluminium Field Easel Stand
Following up is another easel bundle from Ohuhu – this time it’s the pack of two aluminium field easel stands.
Basically, this particular bundle is almost identical to our first pick (The Ohuhu 4-pack 66 inch easel bundle) with the only difference being that this is a 2-pack bundle.
Most artists adore the Ohuhu easel design, but not everyone has such a loose budget so as to afford four tripod easels.
On another hand, there are also people who don’t really need all four, which is one of the main reasons why we’ve decided to include this bundle set in our review as well.
That being said, let’s quickly run over the features again. Ohuhu’s tripods feature an adjustable weight in the range between 21 inches and 66 inches, they’re made from lightweight aluminium, and they’re perfectly suited for both outdoor and indoor use.
Additionally, these easel models have been improved with a spring-loaded clamp on the top for additional reliability. You will be able to make rapid height and angle adjustments by turning the knobs found on the metal bar between the leg supports.
- Adjustable height in the range between 21 inches and 66 inches
- Spring-loaded clamp for extra reliability
- Make quick height and angle adjustments with the easy-turn knobs
- Made from aluminium material
- The bundle contains two Ohuhu adjustable easels
5.Artify 73 Inches Double Tier Easel Stand
Here we are looking at Artify’s 73-inch double-tier easel stand. What sets this model apart from the rest is its design. Basically, this particular artists’ easel is slightly taller than an average human, being able to extend up to 73 inches in height.
Its superior adjusting range comes at the expense of weight, though, as it weighs approximately 2 pounds.
The actual dimensions of Artify’s double-tier easel stand measure 24.2 inches by 2.8 inches by 2.8 inches when folded, which basically means that it won’t take up too much of your storage space when you’re not using it.
It’s made from premium-quality aluminium alloy and sports a robust self-tightening clamp on top, a tube made from lightweight aluminium alloy, and anti-slip feet for extra stability.
- Anti-slip rubber feet
- Aluminium-alloy tube
- Self-tightening clamp on the top
- Made from aluminium material
- Weighs 2 pounds, dimensions measure 24.2 inches by 2.8 inches by 2.8 inches when folded
- Can extend up to 73 inches
6.VIZ-Pro Light Melamine Tripod Whiteboard Flipchart Easel
The Viz-Pro tripod easel is one of the best professional-grade artists’ easel models on the market. It sports a non-magnetic surface and can accommodate papers and canvases up to 34 inches in height and 22 inches in width.
It’s fairly easy to install it, although you will still need to assemble it before you can use it. The maximum height this easel can reach is 64 inches while its dimensions measure 37.9 inches by 24.4 inches by 2.1 inches. You will also receive a bonus in terms of a complementary pen tray and a hook.
On the downside, the Viz-Pro tripod easel weighs around 9.88 pounds, which is several times heavier in comparison to most models we’ve reviewed so far.
- Non-magnetic surface
- Weighs 9.88 pounds, dimensions measure 37.9 inches by 24.4 inches by 2.1 inches
- Minor installation required
- Comes with complementary pen tray and hook
7.Folding Easel for Display Magicfly 63 Inch Floor Poster Easel Stand
Magicfly’s Folding easel is the first model that belongs to the ‘display easel’ category. If you are unfamiliar with this easel type, it’s basically meant for displaying your art rather than being a tool which would help you create it.
This is a bundle of two Magicfly’s easels, each weighing approximately 3 pounds and measuring 16.4 inches by 5.8 inches by 2.9 inches.
Though these easels are slightly heavier and bigger than most, they do sport a folding design which allows you to fold them down to 15 inches for simple transportation or storage.
They’re generally great for paintings and glasswork frames of all sizes, but we don’t recommend that you hang works that weigh more than 5 pounds on them.
- Made from tubular steel
- Anti-slip rubberized feet
- Each tripod weighs approximately 3 pounds
- Height-adjustable up to 63 inches, can fold down to 15 inches
8.U.S. Art Supply Coronado Large Wooden French Style Field and Studio Sketchbox Easel
The U.S. Art Supply’s Coronado easel is the second wooden easel tripod in our review. Basically, this is a French-styled tripod table which can convert into an easel, allowing you to be very creative with how you want to use it.
When ‘unfolded’, it’s practically a petite briefcase which can be held by hand from place to place with great ease.
Unfortunately, it’s quite heavy as it weighs approximately 14.7 pounds in total. Its actual dimensions measure 17.7 inches by 24 inches by 7.9 inches.
One of the best things about this easel is that it rocks a solid beechwood construction which rocks clasps made from solid metal, a set of fasteners, as well as several box joints which provide a substantial boost to it sturdiness.
This easel also comes supplied with a storage divided into 4 compartments where you can place your painting accessories and gear. Speaking of which, you will also receive a complementary 18-inch painters palette made from wood.
- French-style easel made from premium quality beechwood
- Features clasps made from solid metal and fasteners
- Box joints reinforce its already robust construction
- Four compartments for painting accessories and gear
- Gratis wooden palette
9. Audio-Visual Direct Pack of 10 Lightweight Aluminium Telescoping Display Easel
If you want to buy artists’ easels in bulk, we highly recommend that you give Audio-Visual Direct’s Telescoping easel bundle a try.
Basically, this is a set of 10 aluminium telescopic tripod display easels which you can use to equip a good portion of a museum with your art.
Obviously, as a display easel you shouldn’t experiment with it too much, so we recommend that you stick to hanging your works on them rather than using them for painting.
Each easel in this bundle features height-adjustable telescopic legs which can retract from 37 inches to 70 inches, as well as three anti-slip rubberized feet.
- Pack of 10 display easels
- Made from aluminium material
- Each easel can extend from 37 inches to 70 inches
- Rubberized feet
10. Tosnail 9” Tall Natural Pine Wood Tripod Easel Photo Painting Display
Let’s wrap it up with Tosnail’s 9-inch pine wood tripod easel. One of the biggest benefits the Tosnail easel tripod has to offer is the quality of the material from which it is made.
Namely, this particular easel model is made from natural pinewood, which you will easily be able to tell by simply feeling it out once the package arrives at your doorstep.
This is one of the few wood-made easels in our review, and we’ve made sure that it’s a valuable one. In fact, the Tosnail’s pinewood tripod easel is also one of our top choices.
It’s fairly small with dimensions measuring 9 inches in height and 7 inches in width, and it’s incredibly light for a wooden tripod, weighing only 15.5 ounces.
Its smallish size and lightweight build make it one of the most portable artists’ easels available for the buck.
On the flip side, though, you will need to invest a bit extra effort in terms of maintenance since pinewood is slightly more difficult to repair and look after than, say, aluminium.
- Weighs 15.5 ounces, dimensions measure 9 inches in height and 7 inches in width
- Made from natural pinewood
- One of the Amazon’s top choices in the ‘wood easel’ department
Things to consider before buying Easels
It doesn’t matter whether you’re looking for your first artists’ easel or if you’re out there searching for an upgrade – finding the right one is not such a simple task.
Namely, there are so many brands offering hundreds and hundreds of models, not to mention that they all look relatively the same to an untrained eye.
In this section of our review we’re going to talk about some of the most important aspects of quality regarding artists’ easels, so without any further ado, let’s get straight to it:
The price is the most obvious factor, as everyone is basically limited by their pre-determined budget. Needless to say, there are ‘beginner easels’ that are available at a bargain price, but on the opposite end of the spectrum we have professional easels that are made from premium quality materials, that are larger, and generally superior in terms of durability and performance.
However, the price does not necessarily reflect the true value of an easel model. In certain occasions a budget model might perform just as great as a mid-priced one, and alternatively, boutique and professional easels are not ‘perfect’ by default.
That’s the reason why price is the most obvious, but not the most important factor you should consider when buying an artists’ easel.
The dimensions of the easel you are considering to buy are important for several reasons. First and foremost, smaller easels can’t accommodate larger canvases and paper types, which means that your paintings will roughly be the same size (if not even smaller) as your easel.
Secondly, there is the issue of storage space. Studio easel models are so big that they won’t fit in a normal-sized room (with a ceiling of normal height) as they are absolutely huge. Additionally, most H-frame styled easels are too big for residential use altogether.
On another hand, some people don’t want to buy an artists’ easel to paint professionally, which means that they won’t be using it every day per se.
This means that under such circumstances the easel needs to be stored elsewhere (preferably in a dry, clean room). Take stock of how much space you can spare for an easel before you buy it.
3. Material quality
Generally speaking, there are two basic types of material most artists’ easels are made of – wood and aluminium. Each type of material offers a different set of benefits and presents different disadvantages.
The artists’ easels made from wood are slightly heavier than aluminium-made ones, they’re usually a bit bigger, but they offer more stability and reliability.
Additionally, these easels ‘feel’ more authentic and often they would inspire artists to create more creative paintings than ‘artificial’ aluminium ones.
On the other side we have aluminium easels. They’re significantly lighter, which means that they’re superior in terms of portability, but on the negative side, they’re also a bit flimsier. One of the best things about aluminium artists’ easels is that they’re incomparably easier to repair and maintain.
4. Easel type/intended use
There are several types of artists’ easels from which you can choose from, so let’s break them down:
- Paint stations – typically stationary consoles supplied with a variety of holsters, support platforms or sockets and slots which can accommodate painter’s buckets, canvases, or paint buckets. They’re the biggest category of artists’ easels and take up the most space, but offer convenience in terms of accessory storage.
- Display easels – they are different from traditional artists easels in terms that they’re slightly bigger and meant for presentation rather than for actual painting. Display easels are commonly supplied with angle-adjustable mechanisms and durable bases.
- Facilitation easels – practically, facilitation easels can be used for interactive presentations as they’re tweaked with in such a way that they allow the audience to interact with the painting (for example, colour certain parts, write on them, or such).
- Darkroom easels – although darkroom easels aren’t exactly ‘artists’ easels’ by definition, they do fall under this category. They’re commonly used by artists to hang photographic papers upright or enlarge their paintings via optical manipulating techniques.
- Studio easels – easels that are meant to be stationary and models that do not require any form of portability are sometimes referred to as ‘studio easels’. They sometimes include caster wheels which the artists can use to move them from one place to another (or alternatively, from one room to another). Studio easels are typically very large and weigh more than 200 pounds.
- H-Frame Easels feature a fixed angle design (in the shape of the letter ‘H’), although they too can be adjusted and customized to a certain extent. The main purpose of an H-Frame easel is to provide unparalleled support for bigger paintings on heavier canvases.
Things you should be careful while using Easels
Artist Easels are generally quite easy to use, but there are a couple of things you should know which will help you use them even more efficiently. Let’s start from the very top:
1. Location of your easel is very important
There are plenty of reasons why the location of your easel is of utmost importance. Some spots are just perfect in terms of lightning, others in terms of convenience.
Most people prefer to keep their canvas stands next to windows so they can catch a bit more sunlight. This will in turn improve their perception of how the end result will look like under normal circumstances.
Imagine this –you’re in a poorly lit room without windows and ready to start painting. This darker ambient of sorts will somewhat distort your perception of colour, leading you to use brighter shades even when that’s not particularly necessary.
That aside, there are other reasons why the location of your easel is important. For instance, there will always be certain spots in your home that can be described as ‘crowded’, be it the dining room, the common room, or the family room.
It’s not uncommon for a painter to feel inspired when surrounded by friends and family, but that doesn’t mean that putting an easel in a place where there’s a lot of ‘traffic’ is smart. First and foremost, someone might tip it over by accident.
An ideal location for an artist’s easel is in a ‘dedicated’ room (such as your personal studio, for example), preferably right next to the east-side window (this will allow you to get the most sunlight).
2. Get the right tools
By ‘right’ tools we mean adequate brushes, colour palettes, but also the right containers for your paint. When using an easel, if you want to get the most out of it, make sure that you’re well prepared beforehand.
In short, an easel provides you with a bit more convenient way to paint, but that’s pretty much it. An easel will not be able to compensate for low quality brushes or flimsy canvases.
On another end of the spectrum, it would not hurt to equip yourself with some handyman skills. Most artist aisle models can be customized if you have the know-how.
You will be able to ‘cut’ around the parts that you don’t need and add extra stability to the easel by reinforcing its base, for example.
3. Different models are made from different materials and require a different approach
You should take a different approach to your easel model depending on which model it is made from. There are two basic type of construction material used in the manufacturing process of consumer grade easels – wood and aluminium.
Additionally, there are several ‘types’ of easels which differentiate between one another in terms of their intended use.
First and foremost, the ‘artists’ easel’ is one of the most traditionally designed easel types. This category is pretty versatile as most models feature built in anti skid plates which prevent them from sliding.
Some of the most notable features supplied to this easel type include the collapsible and angle-adjustable design and the pivoting mechanism.
The Artists’ easel offers basic flexibility options as you are free to set the angle between certain parameters. Their stability is also quite impressive.
You shouldn’t confuse Artists’ easels with ‘Display Easels’, as these are typically more robust and bigger. This easel category is also used by artists, but rather than for painting, it’s used to present the paintings that are already done.
A sub-category of artists’ easel is the ‘tripod easel’. The tripod features an additional post (three rather than two) and offers slightly more flexibility and versatility. On the downside, tripod easels are usually far less durable.
4. Perform regular maintenance and check-ups on your easel
Regardless of which type of artists’ easel you have opted for, you will need to perform regular check-ups and maintenance if you don’t wish it to wear, tear, and eventually, get broken and useless. So as our final word of advice, you need to make sure to keep your items in proper condition.
Of course, the type of maintenance you will be performing largely depends on the material from which your model is built from.
If you’ve purchased a wooden easel, you should purchase wood polishing tools and make sure that the wood can ‘breathe’ as much as possible.
Keep the room where you’ve put your easel ventilated and avoid storing your easel in the basement when not in use. Damp environments will make the wood ‘rot’ quite quickly.
As for the aluminium-made tripod easels, all you will need to do is simply check the hardware and replace the bolts, nuts, and screws that have started to corrode.
These mini-tools are the lifeblood of a tripod easel, so make sure to purchase quality hardware once the factory screws go out of the picture.
At the end of the day, the best thing about artists’ easels is that you have so many options to choose from. It’s true, though, that you should keep in mind all you’ve learned about the things that make the best artists’ easel, but in the end, it’s up to you to decide which model suits you best.
We’ve taken the liberty of picking out 10 of the most popular models on the market of today, so if you don’t know where to start your search, make sure to check out some of the finest artists’ easels available for the buck.
We hope that you have learned something new from our guide and that you feel confident to get down to business and make the big purchase.
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