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A good easel can be a game changer for an artist at any level. Easels allow you to work more comfortably, therefore, they become the hub of your creative process. They also allow you a safe place to store your artwork while you are managing the rest of life and all its needs (i.e. eating and sleeping and joys other than creating art—something we all love).
Seriously though, if you feel like you are not a professional enough artist or you are not in a place with your creative journey where you will benefit from an easel, I would urge you to rethink this decision. All artists deserve to have an easel that they love and that supports their creative process.
Easels come in three main styles:
- Studio easels: Studio easels are designed to remain in one area of your studio or home. They will become the hub of your creative practice and one of your most relied upon tools. This is the style we will be focusing on in this post.
- Tabletop Easels: Short on space? Tabletop easels are a great option. They can be set up on your kitchen or dining room table, then folded up and stored when you are ready to use your table for other things…like eating. (It seems like I’m writing this post on a day I am thinking of food 😊.)
- Display Easels: I used a display easel for years before realizing the benefit of studio easels. Don’t be like me. Display easels are really meant for just that, displaying artwork, signage, etc.
For this post I am sharing my choices for the top 5 studio easels. When you are considering what type of easel is best for you consider your budget, storage needs, and your workspace.
Ohuhu 66″ Tall Lightweight Aluminum Field Easel
- Price: $19.48
- Adjustable height: 21″- 66″ – perfect for floor standing or tabletop use
- Product Dimensions 21.02” wide x 3.94 deep x 3.46 inches high
- Material: Aluminum Alloy
- Portability: Folds to only 21″ for easy storage and comes with a free carry bag [with shoulder strap] for easy transporting.
I selected this easel because it is an affordable option, but is also sturdy, lightweight, and portable. So, if you want to move your easel around a great deal, or perhaps take it outside for a sun-filled paint session, it offers you a great option. You might even want to have this Ohuhu easel in addition to one of the less portable options listed below. Check out the Ohuhu easel here.
Del Mar Model Easel
- Price: $47.46
- Adjustable height: Stand at heights from 52” – 69” tall
- Product Dimensions: 46″ wide x 34″ max depth x 69″ max height
- Material: Aluminum
- Portability: N/A
If you are looking for an affordable, extremely sturdy aluminum easel this is a fabulous option. While it’s not an easel that is meant to be moved around frequently, it is fairly light, and the angle of the easel can be adjusted. There is a lower carriage tray (bonus!) which contains a swing out palette holder with brush rest. Great conveniences to help maximize your creative hours! Check out the Deal Mar easel here.
Portable Wooden Folding French Easel
- Price: $69.99
- Adjustable height: Stand at heights from 48” – 69” (fold the legs to set it on a tabletop surface)
- Product Dimensions (Open): 35″ long x 30.25″ wide x 48-69″ high
- Material: Pine Wood
- Portability: Folds down into an easy-to-carry case, with a built-in handle and shoulder strap to conveniently carry it anywhere or store in compact spaces
A traditional French easel includes a box for storing supplies, as well as a handle or strap so that it can be easily carried when it’s folded. For this very reason, French easels are popular with artists who like to paint outside. I chose this easel for those of you who prefer an attached storage box and like the idea of taking your easel on the move. I also thought the foldable leg feature was really handy. This will allow you to work on a table, if necessary or preferred. It even comes with its own paint palette! Check out this Best Choice easel here.
MEEDEN Cherry Stain Studio H-Frame Easel
- Price: $85.95
- Adjustable height: 60″ (150cm) – 75″ (190cm)
- Product Dimensions: 44.09” high x 4.72” deep x 14.17” wide
- Material: Sanded Solid Wood
- Portability: N/A
What a beauty! I chose this option for those of you who are looking for an affordable H-Frame Studio Easel. This easel has a handy art supply storage drawer, which includes paint brush holders. I think this would be really handy for storing the paints that I am currently working with. Am I the only artist who loses track of those and has to waste time hunting through piles of paint to find that red? Meeden also offers a one-year money back satisfaction guarantee. This is a beautiful easel and a great way to dip your toe into the world of H-Frame Easels. Check out this Meeden H-Frame easel here.
MEEDEN Heavy Duty H-Frame Studio Easel
- Price: $179.95
- Adjustable height: 80″ (203cm) – 139″ (353cm)
- Product Dimensions: 27.5” x 26” x 142”
- Material: European Beech Wood
- Portability: N/A
And last but not least, I was attracted to this easel because of the large size, the beautiful European beech wood, but most impressively, the ability to tilt the easel completely flat for watercolors. How cool is that!!? I currently have an H-Frame Studio Easel and switching to this easel style was a game changer. This is an easel that you will use for a lifetime. Treat Yourself! Check out this Meeden Heavy Duty easel here.
What easel style do you use? I would love to hear your thoughts and comments below. Or share your experience with one of these easels if you decide to purchase one or already own one.