When shopping for an easy-to-use home easel, the first thing you should consider is how versatile it is. Is it just a flat surface where you can paint with a brush or pencil? Or does it have a center "tension" area where you can hold small artworks (such as pencils and crayons) without them falling off or leaving a messy residue? The more professional-grade easels usually come with both of these functions. This article assumes that readers are shopping for a straight, professional-grade home easel for regular, heavy-duty painting, penciling, or design work. But there are also many other kinds of easels designed specifically for kids, small easels for small children, or even field easels designed for rough terrain.
One of the most important things to look for in an easel is whether or not it can handle heavy-duty painting. Many artists use their easel for both fine and large-scale painting. In fact, some artists have entire studios built right on their easel. Other artists use their easel simply for small-scale paintings. No matter what your experience with painting, whether you are a beginner or an experienced painter, always look for heavy-duty easels that can handle your paint pouring, crossing, and blending.
Another essential feature to look for in an easel is whether or not it has rubber feet that keep the canvas from moving while you are painting. One major concern of painters is that the canvas on which they paint may move while they are working. This movement can greatly affect the way the painting looks, but it can also greatly affect the time it will take to dry. Some people had had to wait hours to dry their canvas when a moving easel came into the studio. This kind of delay can ruin an entire painting project.
An important feature of easels is a built-in palette tray. Many easels have two trays made of either plastic or wood that are removable. The purpose of the trays is to keep the painting surface dry and to keep dust from building up between the paints. It is also useful for cleaning brushes and other accessories between layers of paint.
The next thing to look for when shopping for an easel is how adjustable the height of the table is. In general, easels must provide a minimum of forty-five-degree tilt and a maximum of seventy-degree tilt. Most artists prefer to have a maximum of seventy-degree tilt because it allows them to paint on the bottom half of the canvas while standing on the top half. Others prefer a minimum of forty-five-degree tilt so that they do not have to stoop over to paint directly above their work area. Most artists find it beneficial to have an adjustable height.
Another consideration when shopping for an easel is whether or not it has a drawing pad. An artist will generally draw directly on the canvas with a pencil. A sketch box, or sometimes called a chalkboard, is used to store the lines and provide a reference point during the actual painting process. Whether an easel is required for sketching or not, an artist will still benefit from a sketch box.
It is important to choose the right size of easel for the painting on which you will be working. There are three different types of an easel that are commonly used for painting; the stand-up, mounted, and floor easel. A stand-up easel is designed to allow the painter to simply look at a painting and do sketching. A mounted easel is much like a conventional painting studio and includes overhead storage compartments and doors that lock into place for security purposes. Finally, a floor easel is the most versatile and provides a place for the painter to comfortably paint without having to worry about moving heavy panels of canvas on a wooden frame. Whether you are a new artist just starting out or an established artist looking to add some temporary space to your home, an easel will dramatically transform the way you view your paintings.
Easels are available in many shapes and sizes. Some are specifically made to hold only a single medium, while others come with multiple platforms. The benefit of choosing a tripod is its portability. Easels can be moved from room to room as needed without a lot of fuss or botheration. A portable tabletop easel, on the other hand, cannot be moved and must remain stationary unless your painting project is a one-man show. Because they are lightweight, tabletop easels are perfect for people who are just getting started and do not want to be burdened by the weight of a full-sized easel.