Painting on an Easel & Why it’s Important for Your Artwork

Last Updated on May 6, 2023 by Dee

Painting on an easel is like unlocking a whole new level of artistic freedom! Not only does it let you stand back and admire your masterpiece from a distance, but it also gives you the chance to move around and tackle your work from different angles.

Plus, it keeps your painting at a comfy eye level, so no more bending over or straining your neck! The best part? An easel helps your artwork stay clean and smudge-free since it’s lifted off the table, allowing gravity to work its magic and prevent drips. Trust us, once you’ve experienced the world of easel painting, you’ll wonder how you managed without it!

painting on an easel

Using an Easel to Get Your Proportions Right!

For an artist, an easel is an essential tool. Perhaps you are wondering why you should use an easel and what painting on an easel involves.

Most of us start drawing or painting on a flat surface, like a tabletop or desk. This is fine to start off with because you have a flat surface on which to put your pencils and secure your paper or canvas.

The problem with drawing or painting on a flat surface becomes most evident when you have been sitting at you table drawing for hours and you lift your drawing….

Why do the proportions look so …long? Yes, when you work on a flat surface you tend to stretch out the proportions of your subject matter because of the angle you are working from.

In order to draw or paint accurate proportions, you need to have your canvas or surface set up at the right angle in front of you.

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Working on an easel allows you to stand back and assess your work!

This is a very important thing to do when you are trying to improve your art-making.

One of the best ways you can improve your art is by improving your observational skills. What this means is the more you take time to look and assess, the better you will be at translating the subject matter in your art.

5 Best Easels for Painting

As an artist, I know the importance of having a sturdy and reliable easel to work on. Whether a beginner or a professional, the right easel can make all the difference in your creative process. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best easels for painting based on our own experiences and research.

RRFTOK Artist Easel Stand

RRFTOK Artist Easel Stand

If you’re looking for a versatile and sturdy easel for painting and display, we recommend the RRFTOK Artist Easel Stand. It’s easy to set up and adjust and comes with a carry bag for convenient transport and storage.


  • The aluminum material makes the easel stand lighter and more durable than other easels.
  • The adjustable height and angle knobs make setting up the easel for any painting or display scenario easy.
  • The spring clip on top of the tabletop easel makes the canvas less likely to fall, providing added stability.


  • The bottom support for your canvas has sharp edges that could be uncomfortable to work with.
  • The locking devices can be challenging to open and close, but they should loosen up with use.
  • The instructions could be more straightforward for attaching the strap to the tray.

We’ve used the RRFTOK Artist Easel Stand for several painting and display projects and found it reliable and versatile. The adjustable height and angle knobs make it easy to set up for any scenario, whether standing or sitting.

The spring clip on top of the tabletop easel is a nice touch that provides added stability to your canvas. However, the bottom support for your canvas has sharp edges that could be uncomfortable to work with, and the locking devices can be difficult to open and close. Overall, we think the RRFTOK Artist Easel Stand is a great value for its price and features.

One thing to note is that the easel can hold canvases up to 36 inches high and 1.2 inches deep, with a maximum weight of 10 pounds. It’s suitable for indoor and outdoor scenarios and comes with a 1-year warranty from RRFTOK. If you encounter any problems during the acceptance or use of the easel stand, you can contact their customer service for assistance.

U.S. Art Supply Beechwood Tripod Easel

U.S. Art Supply Beechwood Tripod Easel

If you’re in need of a portable, lightweight, and easy-to-use easel for your art projects, the U.S. Art Supply Beechwood Tripod Easel is an excellent choice.


  • The easel is made of high-quality aged Beechwood grown in Germany, making it super stable and sturdy. Unlike flimsy pinewood easels, you can use it over and over again without worrying about them breaking or falling apart.
  • The easel is perfect for beginners, students, kid’s classrooms, art parties, and wine and painting classes. It’s versatile, lightweight, and compact, accommodating canvas art up to 10″ high, and functions as a working painting easel or an elegant display easel.
  • The easel requires no assembly, as it tilts back when the third leg pulls out, and it’s secured with a leather strap. It’s the perfect portable travel and art class easel since it folds down to a compact 12″ size and weighs less than half a pound.


  • The easel is small, so it’s only suitable for small canvases or paintings up to 10″ high.
  • The easel’s canvas rest front ledge is only about 0.75″ deep, so it cannot securely hold thicker canvases or paintings.
  • The easel’s angles may not be suitable for some artists’ preferences and may not be as sturdy as some more expensive easels.

The U.S. Art Supply Beechwood Tripod Easel is an excellent choice for artists looking for a portable, lightweight, and easy-to-use easel for their art projects.

It’s perfect for beginners, students, kids’ classrooms, art parties, and wine and painting classes. Its high-quality aged Beechwood construction, stable and sturdy design, and compact size is an excellent value for the price.

AROIC Wood Easels, Easel Stand for Painting Canvases, Art, and Crafts

Wood Easels

[Related Article: 11 Top Tips to Improve Your Drawing!]

If you’re looking for a versatile and portable easel for your painting needs, the AROIC Wood Easels might be a great option for you.


  • The easel is made of sturdy pine and can last a long time.
  • The rear tripod is secured by ropes, which keeps the easel balanced and not easy to fall off.
  • The easel is foldable and lightweight, making it easy to carry around.


  • The easel is quite small, which may not be suitable for larger canvases.
  • Some users have reported that the easel is not very strong, so it may not be suitable for heavy-duty use.
  • The easel does not come with any accessories, so you’ll need to purchase those separately.

Overall, we found the AROIC Wood Easels to be a great value for the price. They are perfect for classroom art activities, painting parties, exhibitions, and other decorative projects.

The easel is easy to set up and use and folds down compactly for storage and transport.

If you’re in the market for a reliable and affordable easel, the AROIC Wood Easels are definitely worth considering.

MEEDEN Large Studio H-Frame Easel

MEEDEN Large Studio H-Frame Easel

If you’re looking for a versatile and functional easel, we highly recommend the MEEDEN Large Studio H-Frame Easel. Its sturdy construction and adjustable features make it a great choice for artists of all levels.


  • Adjustable height and tilt for maximum versatility
  • Built-in storage tray for easy access to supplies
  • Sturdy base with locking casters for stability and mobility


  • Assembly can be time-consuming
  • Heavy weight may make it difficult to move around
  • Higher price point than some other easel options

One of the standout features of the MEEDEN Large Studio H-Frame Easel is its adjustability. The height and tilt can be easily changed to suit your painting style and medium. The built-in storage tray is also a nice touch, making it easy to keep your supplies within reach. However, assembly can be a bit of a challenge and the weight of the easel may make it difficult to move around. Additionally, it is priced higher than some other easel options on the market. Overall, if you’re looking for a high-quality easel that can handle a variety of painting styles, the MEEDEN Large Studio H-Frame Easel is a great choice.

MEEDEN French Style Large Sketchbox Easel

MEEDEN French Style Large Sketchbox Easel

We highly recommend the MEEDEN French Style Large Sketchbox Easel for artists of all levels who are looking for a portable and versatile easel that can hold canvases up to 34″.


  • The easel is made of naturally dried and polished beechwood, making it both lightweight and sturdy.
  • The MEEDEN French Style Large Sketchbox Easel is fully adjustable, with adjustable height from 57″-72″, adjustable trays, and adjustable angles from tilt-forward to horizontal.
  • The easel comes with a set-up manual and is pre-assembled, so you can start painting right away.


  • The shoulder strap is not included, despite being indicated in the description.
  • The wood tolerances are upwards of 1/8 of an inch off, and some of the hardware like the rubber gaskets on the legs to not fit well, which can affect stability.
  • There are no instructions included, so you may need to refer to a set-up video on the website.

The MEEDEN French Style Large Sketchbox Easel is perfect for plein air painting, with a roomy interior that includes four compartments and three removable slats for storing art supplies, even canvases. The easel easily converts into a table easel with three foldable legs and a drawer that keeps your paints and brushes within easy reach. The anti-rust reinforcement galvanized clasps and fasteners add durability and elegance to the design.

The MEEDEN French Style Large Sketchbox Easel is an all-in-one solution for artists who want a floor studio easel, art desk easel, wood storage box, and sketch box. We’re confident in the functionality of this product, which is why we offer a 100% money-back guarantee and lifetime warranty.

How do you use an easel for painting?

Perhaps you haven’t used an easel because all those screws and attachments are quite tricky to figure out. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed; I have been to many art classes where even the most masterful artists struggle to set up an easel. If you want to avoid this issue, perhaps get your own portable easel to take to class.

That being said, most of the time, if you have managed to put an easel up once, you will easily do it again. And once you have it figured out, you will reap the benefits!

Painting and drawing on an easel, tabletop easels or a giant easel, is much easier than on a flat surface. Your proportions will be better, and your neck and wrist will suffer less strain.

A frame easels in a room with different paintings on them
Image by Raychan from Unsplash

Different Types of Easels

There are a few different kinds of easels that you can use. All of them will be built to hold a canvas at an angle. There is a flat support base on which you place your canvas onto. You then adjust the screws on the easel to get the right angle for your line of vision. There is usually also a top bar that comes down to support the canvas and hold it securely.

The art of painting on an easel is an essential aspect of any artist’s journey, as it offers various advantages and conveniences.

An easel stand for pictures provides a stable platform for holding the canvas, allowing painters to focus on their work without worrying about the canvas falling or shifting. Wooden easels are a classic choice, offering an elegant look and natural feel, while metal easels provide a more modern and durable option.

A painter’s stand, often referred to as a picture easel, is indispensable for keeping the artwork at the perfect height and angle for optimal creativity. Amazon easels offer a wide selection of options, making it easy to find the perfect one to suit any artist’s needs.

Studio H-Frame Easels (H Frame Easels) – theses are heavy easels used indoors for painting on a large surface.

A-Frame Easels – these are sturdy easels for indoor use. They are usually light and can be easily stored.

A woman panting flowers on a canvas set up on an easel. The words overlaying the image are using an easel to improve your art

Field Easels (or Plein Air Easels) – these are used for painting En Plein Air (outside in nature).

French Easels are compact easels that can also store your paint and brushes.

Tabletop Easels – small, convertible easels that can be easily set up on a table surface. They are usually quite light and easy to store.

Some easels come with a side attachment like a tabletop where you can place your paint or a water jar. If your easel doesn’t come with this attachment, you should make sure you have some table surface nearby to put your paint, brushes, or other art materials down.

[Related Article: Gouache vs Acrylic Paint]

Many established artists recommend standing at your easel while painting or drawing because you can easily stand back when you need to reassess your subject matter.

However, standing for long periods while making artwork is not ideal. You start to focus more on your sore feel than on your artwork. A more comfortable option is to find a stool or chair that you can comfortably perch on while you work.

You can also get a tabletop easel accessible to transport and store. I find my tabletop easel to be the most user-friendly and portable.

[Wondering How to Find Your Art Style? Read this blog post!]

What angle should an easel be at?

Your easel should be set up to about 20degrees to the vertical line.


And there you have it! I’ve shared my journey through the fantastic world of painting on an easel, and I hope I’ve managed to inspire you to give it a try. It’s been a game-changer for me, improving my overall painting experience and allowing me to take my artwork to new heights. Remember, an easel offers numerous benefits, from better posture and a cleaner workspace to the freedom to move around and view your work from various angles. Read this article to explore creative art techniques for drawing on black paper with colored pencil.

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