View Full Version : Help me choose an easel

11-05-2003, 04:11 PM
Hi All!

I'm trying to buy an easel and I find myself getting lost.

I mainly work in pastels so as you know I need one that will tilt slightly forward. I want a studio H-frame easel. There are several companies that make them in my price range (under $200 us) - Creative Mark, Best, Jullian, W & N, Mabef, etc. so it is hard to decide. Is one brand known to be better than another?

I have posted this in the studio forum also, but I'm curious what other pastelists are using.

As always, thanks for the help!

Stoy Jones
11-05-2003, 09:04 PM
Can't help you there, but will be watching to see what others are using. I built one out of lumber laying around in my father-in-law's basement and yet to complete it. I use it now and really like it, but can't move it about until I make it adjustable.

those H-frames are nice though and probably worth the investment.


11-06-2003, 02:50 AM
Whichever you choose ...just make sure it is very stable and sturdy. Try to go look at one rather than buy it mail order. I have a large studio easel, I guess you would call it H frame, it looks like an H, but that isn't what we call them over here. I have had it many, many years, and because it is a heavy-duty number, it is still as strong as ever. One thing I did notice, however, is that because it was new wood, the central "strut" has warped slightly in the heat of my home. It doesn't affect the working of the easel, but it is something to consider - if you buy one that is less than sturdy, this could be a problem.

Incidentally - I never, ever work with the easel tipped forward towards me. It is either upright, or sometimes I lean it away from me very slightly. Having it tipped towards me would mean that it would be difficult to draw, and more importantly, when drawing, it would be easy to distort perspective.


11-06-2003, 12:27 PM
I bought a work table. The back adjusts to different slants. But after buying it I found another I like better The whole table lowers and rises. Oh well. *S* I have a chair that does that so it works.

11-06-2003, 01:44 PM
EJ bought this one........ heres her link


Stoy Jones
11-06-2003, 02:14 PM
Really cool! E-J's got it made with that clever contraption, especially for the limited space in which she has to work. Not have seen anything like it here.


11-06-2003, 03:04 PM
lol Stoy, if you call EJ's space limited... you ought to see where I work from hee hee......

11-06-2003, 07:51 PM
I have a couple of easels at home...one is very old and wooden but it still works well after 25 years! I use it more for my acrylics and oils.

I also have an aluminum Creative Mark easel which is great for my pastels because it can be adjusted upright to a slight tilt forward. I use it upright so that the dust fall straight down. Across the bar in front of the easel I hang a long plastic wallpaper tray. It fits perfectly over the lip of the tray and catches all the falling dust!
It's also fairly lightweight and easy to move. It doesn't fold up in length, but I have taken it to classes at times.

If you want to work on location, a french easel gives the most versatility. Adjustable angle for your support, a pull out tray to sit your pastels or other medium on. If I didn't use the aluminum easel at home, I'd use my french easel.

The H frame easels are great for larger painting! Someday I'll have one of those, too!!....when my studio grows....:)

Basically, you'll have to decide for yourself. Make a list of your needs and how you'll be using the easel...that will help.

11-10-2003, 01:33 PM
Hi everyone!

Thanks for the great advice. I finally made my purchase! It's the W & N Shannon (H-frame studio easel). Even though I bought it at my local art supply store I'm going to post Jerry's link so you can see it:


For the money, it seems to have all of the features I want....it's sturdy, easy to raise & lower and will tilt vertical. The assembly was simple - it was only a 2 step process. (no husband required! sorry guys. )

I love it - but time will tell!!!!!!!!!!

All I know is that I am sooooo excited to start a new painting with it.

Thanks again!