Once you've found the best art easel for you, you'll probably spend hours at it, so it’s very important to invest in one that will suit your needs and be comfortable. There are several things to bear in mind when deciding what type to buy, as an art easel is one of the most important art supplies in your toolbox (see our guide to more essential art supplies).
Space could be a consideration – you may need to be able to pack away your setup at the end of each session, meaning you'll be looking for a foldaway or lightweight small easel you can carry with you. Or, you might be looking for a more solid studio easel that will be a more permanent fixture in your space, and last you a lifetime. Or perhaps you're looking for an art easel for the child or small person in your life.
A quality art easel can be a fairly considerable investment so it’s worth taking some time to think about your needs before you begin. This guide will help you navigate some of the options available to fledgling artists and help you find the best art easel for you. And never fear if your budget isn't massive, as we've got the best art easels for a range of price points.
Looking for more art supplies? Also check our post on the best pencils and the best sketchbooks. It's also worth keeping an eye on the best Black Friday deals.
Mabef easels are designed for quality and longevity. I have personally owned a number of Mabef designs for over 25 years and they’re all still going strong. Made from stain-resistant oiled beech wood, the finishing on these Basic Studio Easel Mabef easels is beautiful and well worth the investment. The M/09 model is a great starting point for the serious studio artist on a budget. Although it doesn’t have some of the frills of other models, the M/09 is a solid model that will stand the test of time and will prove a good studio work-horse for the burgeoning professional studio.
This heavy duty studio easels a great mid-point for a lot of artists’ needs. It’s not from a big name but the overall functionality certainly makes up any difference. An Atworth H-frame easel will give you a more stable easel to work on, and, although it’s not collapsable, the wheels make it easy to move around the studio as needed. You can also convert it into a horizontal easel, which gives you a wealth of options when it comes to your medium, too. Convertible easels are perfect for watercolour painting or just as extra table space.
Some table easels come as a box with ample storage to save space, which can seems like a good option at first. The stumbling block of these designs is their lack of adjustability. If you’re working at a table then you need to be able to adjust the baseline of your canvas, that’s to say, how high the bottom of your canvas is from the table. That's where this Mini Easel really comes into its own. The adjustability of this easel enables you to work at your own height, which will save you a lot of discomfort in the long run.
When it comes to your child’s creativity you don’t want to instal limitations so versatility is the key word. Melissa & Doug have built themselves a name as one of the top suppliers of kids' creative kit over the past 30 years so they must be doing something right. This multi-use easel by Melissa & Doug is easy to assemble, folds away easily for storage and includes a dry-erase board, chalkboard, locking paper-roll holder, child-safe paper cutter, four easy-clip grips and two large plastic trays that can be removed for easy cleaning. Hours of messy fun guaranteed.
Younger children won’t stand for long at an easel, and will often be tempted to push their easel over, so a table easel can be a better option, and table easels can also be set up on the floor to make them even more accessible. A table-top easel from a trusted name like Melissa & Doug such as this double-sided tabletop easel is a great option for those younger Picassos. Its built-in paper roll, reversible design and sturdy wooden construction make this a great option that’s designed to inspire hours of fun.
If you’re looking to kit yourself or someone else out with a full artistic kit including an easel then the 111 Piece All Media Art Studio Paint Set from Daler Rowney could be a good place to start. Now, most of this kit is student grade or below, but it’s enough to get most people started off with a host of mediums and is a good place to build upon. The kit includes one aluminium easel, one carrying case, one eraser, one pencil pouch, a stretched canvas, mixing palette, pencil sharpener, one set of travel watercolours, colouring pencils, oil pastels, acrylics, brushes and much more.
This Ktaxon Tripod Easel Stand with drawer is made of high quality beech. If you’re tight for space, or just don’t want your paint left out for little fingers or paws, then the addition of the drawer at the base of this easel is a huge plus. This adjustable easel makes a handsome addition to your home or studio and is also a great way to display your work to visiting friends and family when not in use. If you’re looking for an easel for part-time use at home, this is a great choice.
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