The best art easel for you will make your hours spent creating so much more comfortable. That's why it is vital you invest in one that will suit your needs. There are several things to remember when deciding which type to buy, as an art easel is one of the most important art supplies you'll decide to own (here's our guide to even more essential art supplies).
It's important to consider space. You might need to be able to pack away your setup at the end of each session, meaning your search should start with a foldaway or lightweight easel that is portable. Or, maybe you're looking for a more solid studio easel that'll be a more permanent fixture in your space. Alternatively, you might need an art easel for a child.
It can be a considerable investment to purchase a quality art easel, so don't rush the process and take some time to think about your needs. This guide is here to help you navigate some of the options available, and help you to find the best art easel for you. We've found options at a range of price points. And when you're ready to start creating, check out our guide to canvas painting for beginners as well as our guide to all the art terms you'll need to know.
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 this art easel 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 workhorse for the burgeoning professional studio.
This studio art easel is a great mid-point for a lot of artists’ needs. The overall functionality is great, as an H-frame easel will give you a more stable easel to work on. 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. Convertible easels are perfect for watercolour painting or just as extra table space. And Meeden does a bigger version, too, if this one doesn't quite cut it.
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 art 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 art 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 this art easel 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 US kit contains 162 pieces, while the UK equivalent only has 111, but both offer an aluminium easel, one carrying case, one eraser, a stretched canvas, mixing palette, pencil sharpener, one set of travel watercolours, colouring pencils, oil pastels, acrylics, brushes and more.
This Ktaxon Tripod Easel Stand 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.