Types of Professional Artist Easels

Choosing an easel is always a tough decision for professional artists. It is often considered a necessity that is to be selected with care. As an artist, it would be one of the most expensive types of equipment that is purchased based on design, size, and quality of the raw materials used. An adjustable and highly customized easel will be your best friend for the rest of your artistic journey.

Hence a wise buying decision will affect as it is an investment to be used for years to come. Having a clear idea about the types of easels would definitely help in making a better choice. The studio dimensions and floor stability will be a quick deciding factor. For rough or patchy floors, three-legged easels are considered perfect.

The medium you work with defines the nature of easel you are looking for. If you are a professional artist specialized in watercolor, it is ideal to have a horizontally laid easel. But for artists who paint with oils, the canvas needs to be kept vertical. It is the same with those who are into pastels so that it makes it easy for the dust to fall. The oil painting will take more time to dry compared to other mediums. Using vertical easels will help to avoid the amount of dust falling on oil paintings.

Types Of Artist Easels

There are a lot of options available to professional artists when it comes to choosing an easel. Here I am listing some of the accepted ones.

Compact Artist Easels

A-Frame (For beginners)

It is the most popular type of easel used and is perfect for those who are new into painting. It could beĀ used for different canvas sizes. The sliding bar helps to adjust the canvas boards easily.


Bench Easels


These easels are usually used in art institutions and classes. Bench easels demand some floor space and are commonly used for painting with a subject while looking at it.

Table Top

Tabletop artist easels are mainly considered best for small paintings and are very small compared to other easels. It can be accommodated in studios where space is a major challenge!

Single Mast

Single Mast artist easels are cost-effective with a comparatively smaller size. With a unique design, most of the artists admire these easels for its capacity to hold large-sized canvases.

Portable Easels

French Easel

You can fold this easel to the size of a suitcase. French-style is often easy to carry and hence suitable for Plein air painting artists.

You may check out a quick set-up video of french box easel by artist Manuel petavrakis.

Field Easel

This is similar to French easel but lacks storage system or resting area to keep paint and palette. This is hence more lightweight, making it easy to carry. But the absence of extra drawers makes you carry art materials separately.

Heavy Duty Easels

H Frame

If you are into painting on larger canvases, this one would be the best option. It is popular among professional artists who work on a bigger canvas. It often comes with extra accessories like cup holders, grips and trays to give a better painting experience.

Wall Mount

When you are short of a large studio space, you can think of having a wall mount artist easel. It can be well suited for differently sized paintings.

A good quality easel should have the following characteristics:

  • Ability to keep the canvas steadily
  • The easy height adjustment mechanism
  • Rubber feet or padlock wheels
  • Made of durable and good quality raw materials

It is the right time for an upgrade if your easel fails to keep these features.

Still confused? Check out this small video tutorial on how to select a professional artist easel.

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