Do I Need to Use an Easel to Paint?

Randy Charles
Randy Charles
Professional Painter

Hi, I’m Randy Charles, the creator and chief editor of this site Paintcentric. I’m a businessman now by profession, but I used to work as...Read more

You see them in artist pictures and in movies. But do you have to have an easel when you paint?

An easel is a frame that stands up from the floor or on a tabletop. It has a flat platform, ideal for holding a sheet of paper or canvas while you draw, paint, or sculpt. Most easels are portable, so artists do paint in their studio or home and can take their work to an exhibition.

Easels are great for beginners, as they make things easier and more productive. More experienced artists will like them for the ease of painting, as well as their display qualities.

There are many shapes and sizes of easels, but all of them are designed to provide a way for artists to display and modify their works without having to support the whole weight of the artwork on their arm or lap.

What Is The Purpose Of An Easel?

Our ancestors have used easels for centuries to aid painting, sketching, and carving. The primary purpose is to hold painting surfaces at an angle most helpful to the artists who paint. The most common material for making the frame is wood, like pine or mahogany. Others are constructed with plastic, resin, or aluminum.

What Is The Purpose Of An Easel

Some come with a tray to place your canvases and paints on. In addition, some come with holders for pencil, brushes, and paints, so when your paper or canvas board comes off the easel, your work doesn’t get messed up.

Is an Easel Necessary?

The use of an easel for painting is a decision you can make on your own based on your needs. Though not required, it does allows an artist to sketch or paint freely by providing a platform for art. It also helps ergonomically, keeping you from being hunched over a table or from having your wrist cramped at odd angles.

Do I Need To Use An Easel To Paint

The best easel for beginners is the T-Sign 66″ Reinforced Artist Easel Stand. It’s easy to set up, lightweight, and has a large worktop surface to accommodate your folding table—a great choice for creativity at a low cost.

The adjustable canvas holder gives you room to project your art. It is the bare essentials of any beginner artist, so you can begin practicing today with this handy easel and take your painting skills to another level in a little space of time.

Is It Easier To Paint With An Easel?

It is easier to paint in different positions with an easel than sitting at the same angle for hours at a time. In fact, easels are also more comfortable to paint on than standing up at an old table. Painting with an easel feels natural and gives you a different experience when reflecting on your piece.

Is It Easier To Paint With An Easel

Also, an easel offers you the advantages of better visibility and stability simply by adjusting the height and distance. There is a lot more freedom for creativity to flow.

The bottom line is that you must be so sure of what works best for you and use the system. If using an easel will affect your productivity and using a table will boost it, you should skip the easel.

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Types of Easels

There are various types of easels available — including wall-mounted easels, table top easels, rolling easels, and many others.

A-frame easels

An A-frame easel is a basic, straightforward easel design traditionally made of wood, though available in many other materials. It’s lightweight, sturdy, and portable, making it a great work surface for indoor and outdoor painting. The condo 31-1/2 inch A-Frame Easel is a great example.

The easel’s angle looks like the letter A and usually includes a horizontal bar to clamp your page and a vertical pole to which you put your drawing or painting. These allow you to get a different point of view for your acrylics or watercolor painting.

It is the typical style for kids’ easels, and is perfect for helping your child hold their masterpieces still.

H-frame easel

The H-frame easels are a great option for artists of all skill levels. The easel is designed with quick, easy assembly and disassembly in mind, allowing the studio painter to change from portrait to landscape mode with ease.

The U.S. Art Supply Medium Tabletop Wooden H-Frame Studio Easel makes a perfect choice for any artist or painter who prefer H-frame easel.

The H-frame easels have a wood or metal frame shaped like an “H”. They are lower to the ground than A-frame and tripod easels, so they’re best used sitting down, so it hits at shoulder height.

Giant easel

The Giant easels make mural paintings easy to view at different perspectives. Giant easels are great for the classroom and art courses. One of the benefits of a giant easel is displaying student work on a larger scale for education purposes.

Giant easel

Many instructors use giant easels for displaying diagrams and other detailed drawings. In an art course, giant easels can be used as props during painting sessions or large group sculpture classes.

In addition, some of the giant easels fold up for transportation and storage. They come with adjustable height so artists can work at their preferred heights, from standing to sitting.

Hybrid easels

The Hybrid easels offer a best-of-both-worlds solution for those who want to paint both standing up and sitting down. It is popular among artists, portraitists, and landscapers. The hybrid models, particularly the VISWIN Heavy-Duty Extra-Large H-Frame Easel, can be adjusted into multiple positions, making it easy to obtain the perfect painting angle.

Tabletop easels

Table easels are used for shorter periods in different locations. They are often used for watercolor painting, drawing, sketching and drafting. Many tabletop easels can also be used as a standing easel attached to an adjustable tripod stand.

What Type Of Easel Should I Buy?

With the types of easels out there in the market and some we have discussed above, you can easily choose the best for you.

Using easels could affect the productivity of your painting job (allowing paint to drip) if you don’t know how to use them. Therefore, you should only get one that you find easy to use. For beginners, the A-frame is the best easel that you should consider.


Do I need to use an easel to paint? It is one of the common questions for beginners. An easel is one of the best devices that positively impacts your painting or artistic work.

It makes painting easy for anyone. Some experts never stop using it because it helps them find it easy with painting.

Randy Charles
Randy CharlesProfessional Painter

Hi, I’m Randy Charles, the creator and chief editor of this site Paintcentric. I’m a businessman now by profession, but I used to work as a painter earlier in my professional career. There is simply nothing about painting that I didn’t do as a painter. From painting a fridge to a multi-storied building, I left nothing. I retired from my painting job in the mid of 2018 due to back arthritis problems.

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