What Are The Types of Easels used by Artist

types of easels

When you think of an artist, you image someone standing at an easel, engaged in their vivid world. An easel, like much other required equipment for a good work of art, is an indisputable component of any artist’s kit.

It is, obviously, emphasized, especially considering the fact that it has existed for centuries and has remained relatively unchanged. 

So you’ve got the appropriate colors, the greatest brushes, and endless canvases; now all you really need is the ideal artist’s easel, and you’re ready to paint your first masterpiece! So, let us just look at why it’s so valuable.

This Handy Overview of Artist Easels will simplify the process if you want to buy an artist easel but aren’t sure which type of easels to choose!

Purpose of an Easel

An easel is just a platform for displaying your artwork. It enables you to paint standing up rather than bent beyond a desk. The canvas is likely to be vertical or rather erect and nearly at eye level, when you may have been used to having your painting flat on a table, especially if you’re standing up to the easel. There are, nevertheless, numerous advantages. Here are a few:

  • As you work on each area, you can move the workup or down at a height or angle that suits you. You can accomplish this fast and simply with an easel.
  • It’s simpler to reach and work with the canvas slanting towards you if you’re sitting, especially near the top of the painting.
  • When standing, you can reach any portion of the image, especially a bigger one, without having to extend.
  • Most easels may lean forward significantly, allowing dust from a pastel painting to fall away from a work in progress. There’s less possibility of dust dropping on wet paint, especially oils when you use a vertical canvas.
  • If you wish to work for extended periods of time, an upright crutch will allow you to use your complete arm instead of just your wrist, allowing you to make wider, more confident, and expressive strokes.
  • When you use a pencil to measure the subject and angles as you gaze beyond the easel, you can transfer these angles straight to your upright painting rather than having to mentally modify when you return to one that is resting flat on the desk.
  • Some painters believe that they can more readily work out perspective lines since the image is near vertical, which is congruent with what they are actually seeing.
  • The painting will be better protected against unintended spillages or other damage if it is left on the easel until it is done, rather than being moved around the home to make space for other tasks.

Types of Easels for various mediums:

The optimum style of easel for you is determined by a number of factors, including how you paint, what materials you use, the size of your artwork, and also where you like to paint.

Acrylic, oil, and pastel mediums benefit from easels that adapt to diagonal or vertical angles. Watercolor and ink don’t function well on easels because of their low viscosity, which means the liquid might flow before it dries.

Easels that can be modified to lie horizontally are also available, making them ideal for water coloring. The following details will assist you in determining which easel is appropriate for you.

9 Types of Easels used by Art Lovers

A-Frame Easels:

A Frame Easel
  • A tri-legged easel with two front legs and one back leg which is a triangular shape and a triangular footprint which is inexpensive and portable.
  • The A-Frame Easel is one of two varieties of Studio Easels that we carry.
  • A-frame easels are the second most durable indoor easel style.
  • The hinge at the top of the easel makes it simple to fold them flat, making them easy to stack in the corner of a room. 
  • They’re a touch lighter than H-Frames, which is ideal for individuals who will be moving it about a lot. 
  • Watercolorists can’t use A-Frames because they can’t adapt to horizontal angles, and paste lists can’t use them because they can’t tilt forward.
  • It is appropriate for artists of all levels, from absolute beginners to professionals. 
  • There is no built-in storage for paint materials; for convenient storage, it folds up.
  • Depending on the size of the easel, it can hold tiny to huge artworks.
  • Depending on the easel’s quality, this is a cost-effective choice.

H-Frame Easels:

H Frame Easel
  • An H-Frame is frequently set up permanently in one location by artists. They aren’t as simple to dismantle.
  • Despite their mass, they may readily be altered for painting at various angles and on various-sized surfaces.
  • Wingnuts connect the mainframe to the rear support, allowing you to angle your work without compromising the easel’s stability.
  • Several heavier duty H frame versions are driven by a crank or electricity, which is ideal if you’re working on huge, hefty projects.
  • An H frame easel is an excellent investment if you have a large studio area.
  • Certain H frame easels include a rack connected to the bottom canvas support, while more heavy-duty ones incorporate drawers. These are ideal for storing a few paint bottles and other small items.

Giant Easel:

Gaint Easel
  • Giant easels are intended specifically for artists who work on a big scale, which is also referred to as oversize easels.
  • A huge easel is for you if you routinely work on canvases greater than 8 ft.
  • These easels are particularly solid and powerful, allowing them to accommodate the additional weight and dimensions of huge canvases.
  • Giant easels can hold paintings up to 80 inches – 120 inches tall, depending on the type.
  • Because giant easels are big and heavy, they are more difficult to carry and store than most other types of easels.

Table easels:

table easel
  • Table easels are small-scale easels that are perfect if you don’t have a dedicated painting location or don’t have enough space for a standalone easel.
  • A tabletop easel is a great alternative since it can fold open to rest securely on a flat surface while also compressing effortlessly for storage.
  • They’re also ideal for painting parties, seminars, and paint-and-sip events. Tabletop easels are commonly used to support tiny works, although some may extend to handle canvases as large as three feet.
  • For ease and mobility, some contain drawers and storage space for paints, brushes, pencils, and other materials, and most have handles and robust locks.
  • They’re simple to assemble and dismantle if you need to make room for something else on the table.
  • The most basic and cheapest kind of easels consists of a drawing board with notched wooden brackets at the back that can be adjusted to tilt the board at various angles, much like a deckchair.

Convertible/ hybrid easels:

convertible and Hybrid easel
  • Convertible easels are one of the most intriguing easel kinds since they can “change” from a regular easel to a tabletop!
  • Convertible easels, also known as hybrid easels, have a form that is similar to that of H Frame easels.
  • Artists who work in a range of media will find this useful. 
  • They have the same stability and strong construction as the H frame, but the H frame is completely hinged.
  • This enables the easel to be transformed from an upright to a totally horizontal surface. This is particularly beneficial for artists who work in a variety of media.
  • Watercolorists will appreciate the horizontal option since it allows them to create clean washes without drips. It also makes applying a nice, uniform coat of varnish much simpler.
  • This easel is ideal if you require both sorts of surfaces. Convertible easels may hold paintings up to 85″ tall, depending on the type.

Single mast easels:

Single Mast Easel
  • These are also less expensive, and because they have a single mast, they are much easier to store and transport, weighing just about 11 pounds that are nearly 5kg.
  • They fold up flat and have a considerable range of adjustability, as seen by the groove down the center of the mast. They can handle canvasses up to 72 inches in length.
  • A simple, cost-effective style that’s ideal if you’re short on room yet want to make larger pieces.
  • Usually does not have built-in storage for art supplies. Because it has a single mast, it may be a better solution for wheelchair users than easels like the H-Frame or A-Frame.

Portable/Plein air easels:

portable easel
  • Plein air painting, often known as “en Plein air painting”, is becoming increasingly popular as an art form and a way of life.
  • They are composed of wood or aluminum and feature tripod legs.
  • Plein air painting easels come in a variety of styles and manufacturers, ranging from budget-friendly aluminum tripod easels to pochade boxes with added features and equipment.
  • Pochade boxes are lighter than French easel, which is excellent, but many people don’t enjoy carrying so much weight. A decent tripod and pochade box may be carried more conveniently in a backpack.
  • A French easel, on the other hand, can accommodate paint and brushes, as well as a basic wooden palette, so it can hold the majority of your resources.

Bench easels:

Art Horse Bench
  • Art horses, which are also known as donkey benches, are made with the artist’s ultimate comfort. And its basic form makes them incredibly portable.
  • Art horses have a dual purpose: the Donkey easel includes a seat and support for your drawing board on one end, and a convenient drawer for your pencils on the other, for people who like to work sitting down.
  • Artists can move the seats between studios and classes with ease. Art horses are not built of weak materials, despite their mobility. 
  • For maximum longevity, art horses are usually built out of solid wood and laminate combinations.

Display easels:

Display Easel
  • Display Easels are a common approach for artists to present their finished work, even though they aren’t functioning easels.
  • They’re ideal for carrying to art events and exhibitions, as well as for use in stores. 
  • They resemble tiny versions of regular easels – generally an H or A-frame – in appearance. They can be rapidly and easily carried after collapsing. 
  • Display Easels lack the solidity of an artist’s easel; therefore they’re best used for displaying finished work rather than painting.


  • Tabletop easels are an excellent alternative for novices searching for an easel that is both affordable and useful.
  • Smaller tabletop easels that can accommodate medium-sized canvases start at less than $25.
  • If you want to paint on a small to medium scale, they are an excellent choice.
  • Tabletop easels also serve a purpose if you wish to paint a little work while sitting at a table or desk, even if you eventually upgrade to a larger easel.
  • An H frame easel is a perfect easel for professional painters for studio work.
  • These easels are the sturdiest and can accommodate the largest canvases.
  • Nothing is more aggravating than spending a lot of money on a piece of equipment only to have it fall short of your expectations.
  • It’s well worth your effort to select an appropriate easel so, take some time to consider what you want from an easel.
  • If you’re still unsure, go through some of the information at the beginning of this article.
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