View Full Version : Suggestions for studio easel for WC & drawing

02-10-2013, 07:04 PM
Hi, I'm in the market for an easel that will function for both watercolor AND for drawing that will hold the heavier drawing board and paper. I already have the En Plein Air Pro but that is not heavy weight enough for the drawing board and the "platform" won't hold an 18 x 24 paper and drawing board both for weight and size.

If you have any suggestions for an easel that reclines as well as can do straight up and down, will you let me know? I usually do my figure drawing on 18x24".

Opinions on brands would be nice too. I don't have an arm and a leg to spend but I'd like decent quality or better if I can get it. $200-$250 at the most.

Thanks in advance, Nicole :wave:

02-11-2013, 05:29 PM
I have this one - I don't know how much weight it would hold, but it says it'll hold blocks up to 28". I like it quite a bit, but I don't know if it would be too much like your current one. It was on display at Blick, so if you're interested and have a Blick close to you, you could check it out in person. http://www.dickblick.com/products/blick-studio-steel-tripod-watercolor-easel/?clickTracking=true

02-11-2013, 05:37 PM
I have that one too for plein air. If the plein air pro isn't heavy enough for your needs, this one won't be either. This one is super light weight and is easily knocked off angle.

02-11-2013, 06:24 PM
Thank you, you 2. I was thinking maybe about a "lobo" style easel that would work both ways. I need to go to an art store and see if I can see some in person. There are tons out there that don't tilt back but that isn't good because then if I stand and paint in watercolor, I have no angle choice.
I have plenty of table top easels with multiple angles that work great for watercolor but I figure draw standing up so that isn't great in that case.

thx again, Nicole

02-11-2013, 10:05 PM
I'd like to see a wall mounted easel, that you can change the angle and flip it up flat for storage, like an ironing board. From horizontal to flat on the wall.

virgil carter
02-11-2013, 10:37 PM
Probably the best support for drawing is an adjustable drawing/drafting table. They can provide strong, stable support for all kinds and media of sketching and drawing. Many watercolorists also use an adjustable drawing/drafting table for watercolor painting, but I much prefer a tripod which can easily and quickly go from vertical to horizontal for various watercolor effects.

The "stability" for drawing and the "dynamics" for watercolor are almost opposite characteristics, making it difficult to find a single, universal support for both drawing and watercolor. If it were me, I'd get a good support for each and not try to find one that does both.

Scene Chaser
02-11-2013, 11:04 PM
I do both on a sturdy, slanted surface. It really depends on your style of painting. Do you paint vertically or on a horizontal surface?

02-12-2013, 02:53 AM
I have a sketching easel which extends so I can paint vertically for demos. I seem to remember it is a W&N Trent.



02-12-2013, 09:55 AM
I'm assuming that you want it portable and working in a standing position.
This might work,looks like the lid could open to a horizontal position for wider working area. That is if you draw flat.


02-12-2013, 10:20 AM
I might have missed it, but I'm not entirely sure whether you're looking for a transportable field easel or a sturdy stay-put studio easel... but in any event, I've had my own eye on these two studio options that caught my attention in the latest Cheap Joe's catalog:



The first one is a little over your budget, but it looks like a very sturdy and practical design to me - I can't vouch for either one personally.

02-14-2013, 05:26 AM
I have a sketching easel which extends so I can paint vertically for demos. I seem to remember it is a W&N Trent.



Yes, the Trent in metal
Very sturdy for drawing
(it is a tripod,so it will move some, it is not rock solid like a $150 wooden easel)
And will take very large drawing boards
You can adjust the angle and the position of the board from vertical to horizontal
Heavy for walking or hiking for Plein Air
Made by lots of brands
For the price it is excellent

Tyne and Bristol are lighter in aluminum
But I do not think as sturdy for drawing because of the weight
But great for watercolor

02-14-2013, 07:43 AM
Incidentally I just used the easel above to do a demo for the class with a Gatorboard between the clamps painting standing up vertically. The top clamp can be as high as 6ft off the ground and you can move the bottom clamp below the mounting plate,


02-15-2013, 01:08 PM
I went with a 2 pronged approach. I took a trip to the biggest art store in my county to see the Best Lobo style easel in person. So I'll wait on that until my birthday. The 1st prong is that they had 4 different Mabef field easels (I had come across them in my research). I got the M28 as it will do upright as well as all the way down to horizontal angles, it's nicely made and it was $20 cheaper than any online source for it. So that I can put up or down in no time flat and it weighs 4 pounds. The Best Lobo will stay in my studio space full time at the ready.
I might try taking the Mabef to my Figure Drawing class as in class the college has klopfenstein easels that weigh 40 pounds a piece and while super sturdy, dragging them over to your space and setting them up, is not my favorite to do.
So I think I have my plan. Thank you all for your input!!!

Thanks again, Nicole

02-18-2013, 02:22 AM
So look at W/N

Thames Radial Easel

Hamilton Studio Easel

folds flat for easy storage