Painting Easel Reviews

Whenever you visualize a painter, you always view him or her immersed in their checkered world standing at an easel. Similar to other important materials for a delightful piece of art, an easel is without a doubt one of the most essential parts of any painter’s gear.

An easel is an easy-to-use instrument which is utilized by artists to not only have the canvas in the proper position when painting but also in displaying a work of art. The most straightforward type of easel is normally a tripod with three upright posts connected at the top end. Popular easel types include the table top, H-frame, plein air and the A-frame.

The primary advantage of using an easel is that it allows you to work vertically which is essential in coming up with a more precise artwork. Working vertically can also help you keep the perspective more accurate since we generally perceive things in that specific position.

By the same token, working on an easel also decreases the danger of pouring paint, medium or even your drink on it. Also, it allows you to step back to review your work and evaluate its improvement.

Top 5: Painting Easels Review

Vencer Heavy Duty Adjustable Tabletop Studio H-Frame Artist Painting Easel ...

Built by Vencer, this heavy-duty Tabletop Studio H-Frame Artist Painting Easel is a well-constructed painting material that exhibits nuts which allows you to adjust its angle and height. In addition, it is also excellent for landscape painters who want to get the proper angle when it comes to lighting. What makes this one of the best painting easels in the market is its ability to be converted to either an H-frame easel or a medium tabletop easel.

The base of the H-frame easel has dimensions of 12”x14” and a total height which ranges from 16” to 25” rubber feet which are excellent in preventing any slides and protecting your work surface. It is also easy to set up in virtually any table or desk, thus, allowing you to focus more on painting your imaginations on the canvas rather than the technical side of things.

Vencer Heavy Duty Adjustable Tabletop Studio H-Frame Artist Painting Easel ...
Vencer Heavy Duty Adjustable Tabletop Studio H-Frame Artist Painting Easel ...

In addition to that, amateurs, students and beginning artists can also choose to convert it into a medium tabletop easel which is perfect in a smaller workshop or studio. It is also ideal to take this lightweight easel for field sketching and plein air painting as well as in displaying your artworks, letter boards and frame photos.

Pros

  • Comes with multiple drawers that are piece together in one place.
  • The wood is made of high-quality material and can be painted for better aesthetic.
  • Drawer can fit more than 40 pencils in a single layer.
  • Drawer dividers are glued in one place.

Cons

  • Drawers are not deep enough to hold watercolor tubes.
  • Drawers are flimsy and tend to crack once you pull them out.
  • Comes with a grab handle that is not sturdy enough.
Art Alternatives Marquis Artists Adjustable Desk Box Easel, Natural

This 2.65-pound miniature desk from Art Alternatives is one of the cheapest painting easels in the market today. It has the ability to be converted into a painting easel that can be adjusted into four distinctive positions. Making the Marquis Artists Adjustable Desk Box Easel stand out from the rest aside from its well-designed structure is that it is light in weight but sturdy enough to hold your canvas.

It is likewise decked with a drawer which has three compartments to hold essential painting gears such as the canvas and brushes. Additionally, it is also capable of accommodating canvas art that can be printed up to 11x14 inches. It is also handy and can be taken anywhere whenever you decide to paint outside your house.

Pros

  • Drawers underneath are well-constructed and can fit pens fairly well.
  • The drawers and the easel are made with individual locks that remain in their place regardless of collapsing.
  • The back support has openings which make it lighter and fairly solid support for drawing.
  • Perfect for people who are new to painting.
  • Great customer service.

Cons

  • Not an ideal option if you are using watercolors since there are only four notches you can use to adjust.
  • Drawers are small in height and could not fit small watercolor tubes.
  • The screws tend to fall off after tightening it.
Mont Marte Tripod Easel H.D. Beech

This prototypical A-frame easel by Mont Marte which is known as the Tripod Easel H.D. Beech is suited for all levels of artists and is quintessential for studio or home use. It is excellently made from seasoned beech wood with top-quality fittings that guarantee the ultimate durability and stability. Powered by its superior depth, width and height, this A-frame easel is capable of holding a canvas that is approximately 52 inches high.

Mont Marte Tripod Easel H.D. Beech
Mont Marte Tripod Easel H.D. Beech

Other than that, it also includes a compartment for paints and brushes as well as an easily-adjustable structure which allows you to customize the easel into a multitude of positions to suit with your painting style. Moreover, it also enables you to adjust the knobs to make sure that it won’t collapse. Best of all, the Mont Marte Tripod Easel won’t take up space in a room as it can easily be folded away for storage or transport.

Pros

  • The material used is light in weight and its design is a bit baroque.
  • Tripod legs have rubber feet which means it does not slip and won’t scratch the ground.
  • Easel is easy to adjust allowing you to work based on your likings and inclinations.

Cons

  • Bottom support for the canvas is very weak and normally bends out of shape.
  • Does not come with instruction manuals.
  • The shelf does not come with its own screws.
  • Not sturdy enough for bold abstract artists.
Tosnail 12" x 9" Canvas & 16" x 9" Easel Set Painting Craft Drawing Art Decoration Sets

The Tosnail Canvas and Easel Painting Craft Drawing Art Decoration Sets are highly recommended for every amateur artist in the industry. It has the facility to not only create and display masterpieces but can also handle fine art, home decorating, craft, gifts, party favors and more. This particular set is composed of one canvas with a size of 12 inches in length and nine inches in width and an easel with dimensions of 16 inches high and nine inches width.

Tosnail 12" x 9" Canvas & 16" x 9" Easel Set Painting Craft Drawing Art Decoration Sets
Tosnail 12" x 9" Canvas & 16" x 9" Easel Set Painting Craft Drawing Art Decoration Sets

The canvas is made of top quality materials and the easel was built using a solid pine wood which makes it sturdier compared to its competitors. What separates it from other painting sets is that it is not only suitable for kids and adults but it can also be folded for easy storage. Addedly, this art set is also light in weight which means that you can choose to paint and express your emotions anywhere you want.

Pros

  • Fits perfectly for a wooden print with dimensions of 11” x 14”.
  • Comes with an extra 9” x 12” canvas which is made of decent quality material.
  • Perfect for little children since its very light and can easily be moved from one place into another.
  • Canvas appears good and is nicely stapled and stretched.

Cons

  • The back stick is not sturdy so a slight movement or wind will cause it to collapse.
  • Display easels can only hold light pictures of art and are not steady enough to be used for professional painting.
  • Not as durable compared to other alternatives.
T-SIGN 66 Inches Reinforced Artist Easel Stand, Extra Thick Aluminum Metal Tripod Display Easel 21 to 66 Inches Adjustable Height with Portable Bag for Floor/Table-Top Drawing and Displaying

The Reinforced Artist Easel Stand by T-Sign has the potentiality to accommodate canvases and panels that have dimensions of up to 33”h x 1.2”d. Notably, the stand is made of extra thick and lightweight aluminum metal which makes it more solid as opposed to other options in the market. Apart from that, it also comes with a Spring Loaded Top Clamp which secures canvases in a single place.

Typically, this easel by T-Sign can hold up to 25lbs of canvases. It is most excellent for floor stand and tabletop display as it also has easy-to-turn knobs for rapid angle and height adjustments.

T-SIGN 66 Inches Reinforced Artist Easel Stand, Extra Thick Aluminum Metal Tripod Display Easel 21 to 66 Inches Adjustable Height with Portable Bag for Floor/Table-Top Drawing and Displaying
T-SIGN 66 Inches Reinforced Artist Easel Stand, Extra Thick Aluminum Metal Tripod Display Easel 21 to 66 Inches Adjustable Height with Portable Bag for Floor/Table-Top Drawing and Displaying

Aside from its sturdiness, the Reinforced Artist Easel Stand is also packed with adjustable legs which are perfect for seamlessly adjusting to uneven ground. Addedly, its non-slip base also provides you a superior grip performance and good wind resistance.

Likewise, it can also be folded to only 21 inches for easy storage and transport. In relation to transporting, this easel by T-sign is also loaded with an easy-to-carry and durable bag which makes it smoother for you to move from one place into another. In addition to everything else, T-Sign also awards every buyer with a two-year manufacturer warranty wherein you can contact their professional after-sales team for questions about the product.

Pros

  • Easel comes in a durable fabric carrying case with a strong zipper case.
  • Easel is useful for small and light items.
  • Comes with locks that hold the canvas in the proper position.
  • Great for portability and can be adjusted accordingly to different heights.

Cons

  • The easel is difficult to set up if you are a beginner.
  • Does not come with instruction manuals.
  • The arm where the canvas is situated comes off easily.

best painting easel - Buying Guide

Each of the aforementioned easels comes with separate benefits. In most cases, children and beginners should opt for Tosnail Canvas and Easel Painting Craft Drawing Art Decoration Sets and Tabletop Studio H-Frame Artist Painting Easel since they are not only to easy to assemble but are also much lighter compared to the other three.

Professional artists, on the other hand, would greatly benefit from the Tripod Easel H.D. Beech from Mont Marte, the Marquis Artists by Art Alternatives and the Reinforced Artist Easel Stand from T-Sign since they are capable of holding large canvases. In addition to that, these are also stable to hold canvases regardless of the weather conditions and can be adjusted into different positions according to your preferences. For desirable results, it is highly advisable to go and check every product so that you can properly examine which is suitable for your needs.

How to Choose an Easel?

As mentioned, easels are basic art equipment that comes in many sizes, varieties, price points and materials. Like it or not, your easel is one of the most costly tools you will purchase as a painter. As a matter of fact, it is possible that you will be spending most of your drawing and painting time with it, so it is just right that your easel should be made of high quality materials.

With that taken into consideration, it is essential to get a good grasp about the distinctive kinds of easels and their respective purposes. Here are things that you should consider before making a choice on what easel to use.

Define the Medium

Knowing what medium you are working with is arguably the most important factor in selecting the right easel. Ordinarily, if you are working with fluid acrylics, watercolors and anything liquid or creating a mixed media artwork, you will want to work at a very low angle or horizontally at most times. There is a wide range of watercolor easels that will enable you to calibrate the angle at which you are painting and allow you to paint horizontally.

It is, however, important to note that you will also have an option of working on a table. Most of the time, it is advisable to work on a table rather on an easel.

Meanwhile, it is also imperative to remember that a significant amount of easels will work splendidly for oil or acrylic. Normally, working on a vertical position will avert dust from storing on the wet paint which is essential for oil artists because oil takes so much time to dry compared to acrylic.

Furthermore, you can also select a small easel that is built with three legs if your easel will be mainly used for life drawing since it is excellent in holding the paper. In addition, A-frame easels can easily be folded and are light to carry.

Location

Another aspect that should be given serious consideration in choosing an easel is the location of your working environment. If you are going to work on a studio, it is ideal to go after an easel that is bigger and heavier while working on plein air will need you a more portable and lighter ease. You might also want to opt for a sketch box-designed easel if you are working outside since it will enable you to deposit your painting equipment in a box that is linked to this type of easel.

Space

Space will also play a huge factor in the selection process. If the scope of your room is not sufficient enough and you are painting on small canvases, it is best to opt for table easels since floor easels generally need more space.

Painting Style

Finding an easel that will complement with your painting style will spell the difference in the quality of your work. If you like to work big and have a massive hand, it is always optimal to go for a stronger standing easel but you might also want to consider a steadier H-frame ease. It is, however, essential to remember that a bigger and sturdier easel will mean a higher cost.

Table standing or A-frame easels, on the other hand, is ideal for someone who works on small canvases and has a very subtle painting style. While display easels are built to flaunt your works of art, it may not be durable to work on these cases.

Ways In Which Painting Brings Out Creativity

In the society of our modern times where pragmatism and the sciences reign supreme in the collective mindset and where funding to many arts programs is becoming more and more scarce, far too many people are not encouraged to explore their creative side, and are often not even aware that they actually have one at all.

Unfortunate stereotypes such as the so-called starving artist and popular associations with mental health problems have led to the disregard and even stigmatization of most forms of art. Even positive but unrealistic portrayals engender the notion that art is removed from and utterly irrelevant to one's own modern life. Yet for any age group, engaging in artistic endeavors such as painting has been proven to have exponentially positive effects on our well-being and the well-being of those around us.

As a whole, young children as students in school almost universally enjoy artistic endeavors such as painting and learning how to do so, and the ability for them to choose and bring colors to life on a blank canvas in order to render what comes to their minds concrete and tangible hones their sense of mastery, confidence, hand-eye coordination, visualization, and a host of other interrelated skills crucial for proper development, engaging them all in many different areas and doing so all at once.

Learning to express oneself and make new connections between things can easily spill over into other areas of life in a very positive way. Painting in conjunction with other forms of learning can help integrate different approaches and facets of individual subjects, as demonstrated by, say, learning about and replicating artwork by painters during particular periods of history to convey knowledge in a way words alone cannot manage to.

Even a short amount of time spent on painting and with cheap materials can be fun, educational and therapeutic for children, which in turn can also lead to an improved dynamic with other family members and peers. A plethora of studies have also proven that painting can improve linguistic and communicative development in children, as describing to their parents and peers about what they paint and see stimulates the acquisition of new vocabulary and leads to greater awareness of one's surroundings. Helping them find quiet and focused activities to engage in can help ease stress and eat away at restless energy, in turn leading to better balance and adjustment in other areas of life.

Even as adults, painting can help manage stress and cope with some of the trappings of modern life. This in turn can help provide us relief from the sometimes cramped and sterile confines of expectations and responsibilities that engender complacency and stifling conformity. Painting and other forms of art can newly stimulate our dormant individual expression and ability to think outside the box of modern adulthood, leading to fresh solutions and approaches for other areas of adult life, such as relationships and jobs.

If nothing else, painting when one usually has little time or interest in doing so is by itself a refreshing break from the normal routine that gives you free reign to create anything of your choosing, without cumbersome regard for approval or monetary profit. If done alone at home, it encourages being satisfied in one's own company, and if done as part of an art class or group session, it encourages meaningful socialization. This is beneficial for developing one's creative interest and ability for an increasingly connected and diverse world that can be unpredictable with new challenges and changes arising and grounding individuals and helping them feel more connected against insularity, isolation and stagnation, personally as well as socially.

Painting can also encourage us to change how we look at ourselves by giving us, no matter our level of proficiency, the confidence to identify ourselves as artists and realize that progress and fulfillment are more important than perfection and profit. The tangibility of the activity helps demystify the image of the artist in the popular mindset and reminds us of their fundamental humanity. In reassessing our own self-image and perceived abilities, we can have a new and improved outlook towards our own lives, shattering our limiting beliefs in the process.

Painting with different colors in unique combinations over a blank canvas, in addition to spurring the formation of new ideas and connections of things one already knows, can also help find novel solutions to otherwise seemingly intractable problems. When the mind is blank like a canvas, painting with different colors can lead to innovation and discovery. Failure to even try, however, can leave one stuck in empty stagnation almost indefinitely.

Many students in classrooms or workers in their respective workplaces doodle during any free time they can muster. This demonstrates not only our often unsung capabilities for time management but also the underlying importance of creative outlets to manage the stresses of everyday responsibilities and expectations. In fact there should really be no true dichotomy between the two, and is no different than, say, a break for lunch or the restroom. You can either create something at your leisure or perhaps challenge yourself to do something a bit different to vary things up a bit. This can help you
  • relax
  • clear your head to face challenges from a new angle
  • encourage you to explore what exactly you want and how to convey it, which is a communicative skill that translates easily into just about all other areas of life

In addition to what materializes on the blank canvas in front of you, there is so much more going on in your subconscious mind. According to the former president of the American Art Therapy Association and current neuroscience professor Christianne Strang of the University of Alabama Birmingham, "creativity in and of itself is important for remaining healthy, remaining connected to yourself and connected to the world." According to Drexel University professor and art therapy researcher Girija Kaimal, "anything that engages your creative mind — the ability to make connections between unrelated things and imagine new ways to communicate — is good for you." Her current research involves conducting art classes with injured veterans and cancer patients to help them heal.

Regardless of the particular art form involved, engaging artistically on a blank canvas both figuratively and literally allows nearly endless possibilities as to what to create and how. No matter the age, reason, or level of proficiency, perceived or actual, it is something worth incorporating into one's daily routine for a variety of reasons, one of them being that it gives the opportunity to not only create things in an open-ended way, but to do with positive emotions like hope, which can have huge implications for those suffering from stress, depression, or any other set of issues. The ability to envision a better future and make it tangible can be a life-changing affirmation instilling mastery and confidence of oneself or one's surroundings.

The history of painting stretches back to antiquity, which is not surprising due to its universal nature. This is plainly visible in the form of the many cave paintings done by prehistoric peoples, as well as the artistic traditions of many age-old cultures such as the Aboriginal Australians. So even apart from the personal purposes of painting are the collective and evolutionary in the form of the transmission of culture, the diffusion of ideas, and the retelling of history and events.

In addition to the aforementioned purposes of painting, there is another: according to aforementioned Drexel University professor and art therapy researcher Girija Kaimal, painting involves possibly even brainstorming solutions for issues that could potentially arise in the future, based on the predictive adaptability built into and used by our brains to make the right decisions and secure our survival in the long run.

Indeed the entire process of painting, from choosing colors and brushes to interpreting and translating what you paint and see throughout is comprised of many individual yet interconnected decisions, akin to those that happen daily both consciously and subconsciously to help us imagine how we may be able best to deal with what awaits us ahead in the future and secure ourselves psychologically.

Aforementioned Drexel University professor and art therapy researcher Girija Kaimal has witnessed this phenomenon occur in her very own clinical practice with a very depressed student who had described feeling hopeless and having low grades due to her despair. Unsurprisingly she then blackened an entire sheet of paper with a thick marker to symbolize her outlook at the time, to which aforementioned Drexel University professor and art therapy researcher Girija Kaimal did not respond. After the student stared at the black piece of paper for a period of time, she remarked on the dreariness of what she had created before deciding to create something more positive, in this case flowers that reminded her of the spring season.

This seemingly miraculous turn-around demonstrates the power of painting to help people use their imagination to envision and construct a more desirable future and transcend their immediate surroundings and circumstances. It also shows that it can not only help deal with future problems, but rise above and conquer them entirely. In any case, it is ultimately a form of survival.

In addition to such visible demonstrations of painting's power are the biological happenings that go on right inside the brain itself. The brain's reward center releases chemicals like dopamine that cause an improvement in mood and energy when triggered by certain activities and stimuli.

Painting is one such activity, and though indecision and a lack of confidence in one's own self and ability can serve as an unfortunate roadblock to engaging in the activity in the first place, the triggering of the reward center of your brain and increased blood flow there as demonstrated by research will cause the painting to be registered as a pleasurable experience overall, therefore making it worth doing. This can be hugely beneficial for those who may be suffering from an ailment that involves either a hyperactivity or malfunctioning of the reward center of the brain such as addictive tendencies and eating and mood disorders, as the aforementioned research indicates.

Continuing in this vein with the human body's biological responses to artistic expressions, painting can be demonstrated to lower stress levels, as can be not only qualified by subjective reported experience but also quantified by measuring the levels of stress hormones like cortisol in the blood stream before and after engaging in painting. Research conducted by aforementioned Drexel University professor and art therapy researcher Girija Kaimal and other researches discovered that less than an hour of painting lowered the participants' cortisol levels significantly. Furthermore, regardless of subjective personal assessments of creative ability, participants of all levels of skill and all walks of life both subjectively and objectively benefited all the same by the end of the study.

Painting also helps facilitate the maintenance of mindfulness, which is a sort of self awareness that arises from being completely immersed mentally in the present moment rather than preoccupied with what may lie ahead or stuck living in the past. This in turn can help release pent up energy that can then be redirected into other activities constructively with greater clarity and focus than if one had tried to handle many different tasks simultaneously and halfheartedly.

Painting can have different effects on different people, and each individual may have to find his or her own preferred approach and style to maximize his or her own artistic and self realization. However, there is no approach that is necessarily better than another in absolute terms, nor is there only one method that everyone must choose. It is an ongoing and personal endeavor that requires intuition and adaptability.

Nonetheless, the benefits of painting are almost guaranteed for anyone who engages in it and the people around them. These include
  • lowering stress
  • increasing pleasure and confidence
  • focusing more deeply
  • socializing
  • being more emotionally available for others
  • processing emotions effectively when other means of expression and communication aren't quite enough
In other words: survival.

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