Wooden, aluminium, extendable, collapsible, table top, portable. How do you decide on the best easel for you? Well, it depends on what you want to use it for. And where. Whether you are an art student, professional painter or just want to have some fun being creative, an easel will make your life much easier. It will also make your work better. Standing back from an easel allows you to see it with perspective and a critical eye. However, I know that choosing your easel can be overwhelming, with SO many to choose from. To help you out, I’ve listed the best artist easels for sale, categorised by what you might want to use it for.
First off, ask yourself: what do I want this easel for?
Best easels for drawing
This wooden easel is effectively a drawing board. It’s a very good option if you’re looking for an easel for sketching, or arts and crafts activities. It fits up to A3 size paper and materials, and can be adjusted to 3 different height positions or even used flat. The handy lipped edge at the bottom will also stop your art and craft work from slipping off.
Small Table Top Easel Stand (£12.99)
This table top easel is ideal for sketching and drawing. You can lay it flat or keep it standing up. Sized at 42cm high, 16cm wide, and 14cm deep, it’s incredibly portable. So, you can take it with you, to do some drawing outside or at an art class. It also makes a good, sturdy easel for children. It has been made using solid high-quality beech wood and requires no assembly – excellent!
Winsor & Newton Easel Tay Table (£59.99)
This easel is at the higher end of the market. It’s both sturdy (made from beech wood) and versatile. Its rubber feet mean it won’t damage your table top and the you can set the frame at 4 different angles, as well as fold it flat when not in use. More expensive than some others, but that reflects the high quality you get with Winsor & Newton’s artist materials. Maximum extended height is 58cm, with depth 36cm.
Best watercolour easels
Daler Rowney Edinburgh Table Easel (£23.21)
This easel is part of Daler Rowney’s Graduate range, designed for students and anyone taking up art as a hobby. It’s perfect for painting watercolours on your table at home. It’s sturdy and compact. At 41cm x 27cm x 9cm it will hold large watercolour paper no problem. And the box beneath lets you keep your paints and brushes in one place. Very good value for money.
This is the ideal for set for anyone starting out with watercolours. It’s an adjustable table top easel with an inbuilt drawer, holding 12 watercolour paints, 4 brushes, palette knife, palette, pencil, eraser, sharpener, 3 watercolour A4 boards and even comes with an apron. You can slide the drawer back into the easel (held in place with a fastener). The easel folds flat and then it all fits inside the canvas carry bag (also supplied). The size allows for painting up to A4 size.
Best easels for painting oils, acrylics & studio use
Daler Rowney Cotswold Studio Easel (£75.02)
Another one from the Dealer Rowney Graduate range, this is excellent value for money. Made from high-quality oiled beech wood, it’s solid and sturdy enough to stand your canvases and boards up to 127cm, which is over A0. A metal ratchet adjusts the height and can tilt it forwards and backwards, so you can get the canvas into exactly the position that’s comfortable for you. An all-round easel best for daily studio use.
Got a bigger budget to spend? Then I recommend this studio easel. It is solidly built, robust and will last you a lifetime. This model features a folding base stand for ease of storage. It has an easy to use ratchet system which allows you to raise and lower the board holder. And the painting ground rests on an adjustable lower shelf. You can adjust the angle for preferred working position. Sturdy but light enough to move around if you need to. You will need a reasonable height ceiling as it is designed to take large boards. Reaches 264cm when fully extended and can accommodate a maximum canvas height of 134cm. Best for painting acrylics and oils.
Winsor & Newton Hamilton Studio Easel (£189.99)
This is one of the most sturdy and dependable easels for drawing and painting on. You can stand or sit to work creatively at this one. Ideal for oils, acrylics and watercolours, as you can tilt it forward or backwards to a horizontal position when painting with watercolour. One of the most adjustable models if you want an easel for various different uses. Maximum extended height is 222cm
Best portable/ en plein air easels
For painting on the go or outside, portable easels are the best. You can pack up and carry a portable easel to wherever you want to paint.
This is one of the most portable (and popular) easels for painting en plein air. This half sized french style beech wood box easel comes with a folding palette which measures 29cm x 40cm. It folds up making it ideal for artists who work outdoors or who need a compact easel. You can genuinely carry it over one shoulder, as it has a narrower width than most other options.
This easel is portable while being sturdy enough to stand up safely outside (it’s made of strong beech wood). The drawer underneath allows you to organise your paints and brushes. Very good value for money. Maximum height is 183cm. Folded it’s 38 x 51 x 15cm. Extended it’s 71cm x 114cm x 183cm.
Best easels for toddlers and children
It’s never too early to buy an easel for your kids. Just make sure you stand it on top of a covering of some sort to protect your carpet or floor from messy drips!
Perfect for budding artists up to the age of 3. This double-sided wooden easel has a chalk board on one side and a white board on the other. There is a handy tray to store all of the accessories, which come included (12 x chalks, 1 chalk wiper). 94cm high.
This sturdy, two-sided easel includes a chalkboard on one side and a magnetised dry erase board on the other, which also features a clip to hold paper in place. It has a super handy spacious centre tray and two outer storage bins (that remove for easy clean-up). It reaches 105cm high.
I would also recommend any of the table top easels for kids wanting to draw or make art at home.