Easels recomendations

Hi everyone!

Im back at it again, so i´ve ordered some supplies and started working on a painting. However im still missing an easel to work on. Currently working on my desk. laying the canvas flat but it´s tough since it´s uncomfortable. 

So i´ve been browsing amazon and www.artistcraftsman.com for some affordable easels, since im working on a tight space and cant really build something like Mark suggests. 

Can anyone give me some feedback on a few options i´ve seen:



Thanks everyone!


  • A few ideas

    you can make your own:



    Or buy. I have a French box easel like you have in the links in your post. I thought it would be useful as it can be used in the studio or for painting outdoors- I haven’t found it that great for either. For its size it has quite a big footprint and really, nobody wants to lug that thing around outside.

    my next easel was an H frame I bought secondhand for about $200- I have used it heaps and it can also swivel to horizontal.
    next easel, another H frame- bought it at the supermarket for $79.00 , it’s great.
    I definitely prefer the H frames in terms of stability and ease of use over the French box. They can also take bigger canvasses.

  • Thanks Boudicca! I´ll take note on that H frame. Since mine will probably stand next to my desk and space is limited don´t want a large footprint on my studio. 
  • I agree with @Boudicca    I purchased this French easel https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004KJEWSS/ref=s9_dcacsd_dcoop_bw_c_x_1_w  - I love the metal lined drawers, it does have a large footprint - kind of flimsy legs - it does hold a tremendous amount of supplies and is well organized - however, I wouldn't want this as my first easel.

    Have you thought of a tabletop easel?  You say you have a desk, that would be the cheapest and simplest for now until you get settled and find what suits you.  For instance, I really like to stand when I paint - I have a few H frames that I love (I got them on sale at jerrysartarama and they last for years and are super sturdy) but I painted with a simple tabletop for years and it was perfectly fine.
  • Jerry's is having a big sale today - free shipping and this is the best price I have seen on the easels (I have 3 of these)   http://www.jerrysartarama.com/carolina-studio-easel      They are extremely sturdy (almost too heavy when I am moving things around)  - small footprint -   I don't know if you live in the US and if Jerry's is an option - 
    I will note:  the first easel I got had a lot of missing parts and the box was thrashed in shipping - like it went through a tornado getting here - jerry's immediately sent me a new one and it was perfect.    The last one I purchased was not assembled correctly at the factory (it comes mostly assembled - someone was high when they put mine together) - luckily, I could figure out how to put it together the correct way.  So, it's sturdy and durable and lasts a long time - extremely cheap for such a heavy easel (and free shipping!)   Hit or miss with how it arrives.     Good luck!

    [Deleted User]
  • Wow, is that price correct? $109 is a pretty good deal. I have been using a table top easel for about 2 years now and it has served me well. But I want to go to bigger canvases and the little table top maxes out at about 24". So I am in the market for a bigger easel. 
  • A desk easel sounds like it might work better for you :)
  • Thank you all for the feedback! I think this one here is the winner. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00486U1HY/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 

    Looks really solid, nice size, decent price and really well reviewed on amazon. 
  • OMG - I am drooling over that Hughes easel!!!   holy cow that is gorgeous.  Mark's easel looks fantastic as well.
    @tgarney yes, that is an amazing price today and free shipping!  Again, hit or miss how it arrives!
  • At first I thought that hughes easel was some kind of guillotine! ;)
  • Julianna said:
    OMG - I am drooling over that Hughes easel!!!   holy cow that is gorgeous.
    I ordered one when my current easel broke.  Should ship soon.
  • Congrats @PaulB: conqueror of the dreaded Dibond. 
  • I'm probably too new to all of this to have an opinion that should be taken too seriously, but fwiw, I built the one Mark shows on youtube.  seems like a good solution if you're space limited.
  • BOB73BOB73 -
    edited November 2017
    @Fullmooncorp I think you made a good buy. Supermoon of 2017 this weekend.  http://time.com/5039020/supermoon-2017-how-to-see/
  • BOB73 said:
    @Fullmooncorp I think you made a good buy. Supermoon of 2017 this weekend.  http://time.com/5039020/supermoon-2017-how-to-see/
    Thanks! Really excited to get the studio in shape. Baby steps so far hehe
  • I use MEEDEN easel, if you love to go outside your home and studio to work on your watercolor pieces, then you’ll appreciate how easily portable this MEEDEN easel is. Has a non-slip base for stability on the ground. Lightweight and foldable, so it’s easy to bring with you as you travel.
  • edited May 2021
    Yes I have a Meeden easel too! Very versatile, can hold 2 paintings. For some reason the link will not paste here. Search on Amazon “Meeden Versatile Studio H-Frame easel”. It’s around $149. 
  • edited May 2021
    I would also give a shout out to Mark's design.  I have made both the student one he has a video on the making of, and I made something closer to his studio version.  If you work with canvases and finish one task at a time.  The screw attachment is probably the best method that exists as it it entirely neutral relative to stretching or compressing the canvas.  If you are following a DMP approach it would be great.  However, if you want conventional jaws, you can easily add those.  You can make the basic DMP easel in a few hours, tools would be a drill driver (or screw driver) and a sharp handsaw.

    Another option is a plein air easel for a tripod or a desk base if you prefer.  The nice thing about PA easels is that for 40-70 dollars you can get an easel that will work for you for ever as a PA easel, and will be good enough as a starter studio easel.  I like the prolific painter easels, they are cheap, get great reviews.  There are some complaints about speed of delivery.  https://www.prolificpainter.com/shop/upright-panel-holder/  The panel holders are the easels.  The easel packages are hundreds of dollars, and come with some other stuff, but the easels themselves are pretty cheap.

    As the postage out of country was going to be 100 dollars, I made my own on my 3D printer.

  • U.S. Art Supply easel is sturdy, easy to assemble. If you have trouble, there are videos on YouTube to teach you exactly ow to get it up and standing. You can also paint with it on a table, which is also good. Easily adjustable to your size/height/painting style-comfort level. If you're looking for a French Style Easel, this is a good one
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