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Painting easel comparison guide 2022: make the right purchase for your needs

27 de October de 2021
Painting easels

Easels: Essentials in fine art supplies.

Painting easels are essential in fine art supplies. One of the first things you should do if you are starting to paint is to have some kind of painting easel to hold your canvases while you create. It is not very complicated to choose an easel, but it is necessary to have an idea of what is going to be our plan as painters to choose the type of support we need.

Types of easels

Depending on your needs and your moment you will need one type of easel or another. It has nothing to do with the idea of painting a still life at home once a month, than painting large canvases in a large studio several days a week, painting outdoors with a large selection of different oil paints, or painting outdoors but with Indian ink gouache or two or three acrylics.

Wooden and table easels for painting

This is a great option if you are just starting out or if you are going to paint at an amateur level with small formats. The table easel offers you the necessary inclination to paint in oil with some comfort. It is a very good option for people who have reduced mobility and/or cannot stand.

In fact, although it seems that with this type of easel you are not going to do much, you can spend as many fascinating pictorial moments with this easel as with the big H-shaped professional studio easels. Everything depends much more on the passion with which you work and the talent that you develop.

This tabletop easel is ideal for you if you…

If you paint figurative, it is also a fantastic choice for any floral or still life painting you want to do, and let’s not forget that the still life has been essential in figurative painting for centuries.

I have painted some still lifes with this type of support and with the motif I was painting arranged on the table itself where the easel was also placed.

Advantages of painting easels for tables

The little space they occupy

Disadvantages of painting easels for tables

It is limited to the house or the place where you have a table.

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Folding wooden painting easels

They are a fantastic option for painting outdoors with the convenience of being able to store the paints on the easel itself. In addition, the shelf that remains when you unfold the easel on some of these easels -just below the canvas-, offers you the great practicality of being able to mix the paints in the same place. Although I use a folding metal one for quick painting contests, many professional painters attend outdoor painting contests with this model of easel.

This folding wooden campaign painting easel is for you if you….

If you paint in oils outdoors it is a fantastic choice, for the convenience of being able to move around with the portable easel and with the option of having and mixing paints an inch away from the canvas.

Advantages of the portable wooden easel for painting

1- You have it all in one. You practically concentrate everything in the same place while with the folding metal easel you probably need an additional table to carry the paints and materials. In addition, in case of wind, this easel is much heavier and has more stability.

2- Height-adjustable painting easel

Disadvantages of the portable wooden painting easel for painting

1- Weight. With so many wooden details plus the box it weighs quite a lot. In addition, even though it is foldable, many models take up some space. So if you have to walk a lot to the place where you are going to paint it can be heavy.

2- The inclination of the canvas is fixed in many of these easel models. Perhaps it is not the most suitable easel model for most watercolorists who work with the support quite inclined. In fact, in the contests watercolorists are usually seen with adjustable metal easels.

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Adjustable metal iron easels

They take up a little less space than the wooden easels and are lighter, although on the other hand they do not have a box to store the materials.

Unlike the wooden folding easels, with which you work the canvas at a fixed inclination, these also have the advantage that most of them also allow you to regulate the inclination at which you want to work the canvas. The watercolorists in the fast painting contests usually work with these easels and with the support very inclined. They find it very comfortable.

Beyond the watercolorists, together with the folding wooden easel, it is the most used easel model for painting outdoors and the one I have seen the most in contests. I’ve even seen it more than the wooden folding easel.

caballete regulable de metal

This folding metal easel is ideal for you if you…

If you work at home and don’t have much space, or if you want to paint outdoors. This easel is comfortable and handy and can be used for both.

Advantages of the metal field painting easel

  1. Its comfort. The handling, lightness and adaptability offered by this type of easel makes it the most comfortable of the different easel models available
  2. It is a painting easel adjustable in height and inclination.

Disadvantages of the metallic painting easel for campaign

  1. In case of wind it is important that it is well anchored because it is quite light. What I have seen more than once to solve this problem is a 5 liter water bottle tied with a rope from the center. Although the bottle is suspended in the air, it is as if it were a fourth leg that remains in the center and forces it down.
  2. You also need to take the palette and a table or some kind of support to store paints and materials. In this sense, it is true that when the fast painting contests are in more wooded areas, many painters opt for the folding wooden pallet with which you can dispense with the table or the additional support that this usually requires.

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Tripod painting easels

This is a fantastic option for painting at home. They don’t take up too much space because they can be stored even behind a door, and you can paint comfortably with them if you don’t have a very strong or vigorous brushstroke, in which case you will notice that you wobble the easel.

This tripod easel for painting pictures is ideal for you if you…

If you work at home with medium or small formats and do not have ample space to store material such as the easel. For example, if you live in an apartment of 70 square meters and the space dedicated to painting is a room of 13 square meters.

Advantages of the tripod painting easel

The little space they occupy.

Disadvantages of tripod painting easels

They offer much less stability than H easels, a fact that is very visible in large format paintings, and even more so if you paint with brush strokes or with force.

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Professional H-Shaped Studio Easel

If you have space at home and paint considerably large formats, whether you’re serious about painting or you paint from Easter to Easter but have space and money to devote to painting, these larger, more stable easels will probably suit you.

With a vigorous brushstroke, while most tripod easels do not hold canvases over 80 cm wide stably, with the vast majority of these H easels the canvas is much more stable.

This professional studio painting easel is ideal for you if you…

If you have a large studio and you paint large formats or paint vigorously, this easel will be more useful and stable than the wooden tripod easel.

Advantages of the large H-shaped studio easels

The stability they offer when painting in any format.

Disadvantages of large H-shaped studio easels

They take up a lot of space. For a 75-meter apartment with modest sized rooms, the easel is quite a bulky piece of equipment.

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If you found this article interesting, take a look at the Comparative guide on 8 oil paints for professionals.