If you are starting out as a painter or looking for a gift for a creative teenager or adult, one of the best choices is an easel. Easels are used for acrylic and oil painting, and actually make it easier to paint. In fact, the right easel is necessary to really be able to work with acrylics or oils properly.
When I started painting, I used watercolors. A watercolor artist does not use an easel, so when I learned to use acrylics, there was a bit of a transitional adjustment that I had to make. Easels actually make painting easier to see. You can stand back and see what you have done from a few feet away without having to prop it up as you paint. This is an important part of examining your work, because as a painter it is easy to get too immersed in the details and miss the big picture.
Choosing art supplies can be tricky. When I decided that I needed an easel for acrylics, there were so many choices that I was confused. As a beginner, I didn’t want to spend money on needless features, yet I wanted the best easel that I could afford. I also did not want to buy another one in a few months when I got more comfortable with painting. After working with the paints in my classes, and a few different types of easels, here is what I learned:
- You need to decide if you are more comfortable painting while sitting or standing. If you take a class, try the easels there. If not, you might be able to borrow or rent an easel from a friend or neighboring art center.
- If you paint at a table and use an easel while seated, you don’t need a lot of extras. After all, you can place what you need on the table. You do need an easel big and sturdy enough to hold your canvas.
- If you like painting on large canvasses, you will most likely prefer a standing easel like the Richeson Lyptus Wood Dulce Easel. You will be able to reach all areas of your canvas, and it can be adjusted for height.
- Wood easels are generally sturdier than metal easels.
- Easels get messy. Do not spend extra for the best type of wood or most highly polished easel.
- If you prefer painting outdoors, you may want an easel that can store your materials.
- Most importantly, make sure your easel is capable of holding the type of canvas that you prefer to work with. Many easels will only be able to hold the newer canvas boards which are thinner and lighter. If you like using a traditional canvas, you need a stronger, wider easel.
- Paulina A.
& Lake Erie Artists Gallery