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 Choosing an easel that is right for you.

Whether you are a beginning artist or an experienced professional, the right easel makes all the difference to your artwork as well as for your physical health. Good easels promote correct posture and good working habits, while poor ones can leave you uncomfortable and make it hard to paint.

Sketching and display art easels are relatively inexpensive, but if you want a large floor-standing one, they are usually fairly expensive so it is best to save up to get the best if you want a large floor-standing easel. If you are just beginning to paint, then a table-top art easel is probably the best, or get a sketching art easel if you want to stand to paint. Art easels will keep your paintings in place while you're working on them. This reduces the risk of spilling anything on your paintings and they also help you to keep dust from collecting on your artwork. Even though you can work sitting on a stool or standing, standing makes it easy to step back to see how your painting is progressing and also helps you to keep your artwork composition and design in better perspective.

Did you know - you can use art easels not just for painting but to display your art to create interest in corners, bookcases or on table tops, or for any display.

What Type of Art Easel Should You Get?

It all depends upon the style of painting you do. If you like standing and working with large canvases and/or you have a heavy hand when you paint, then you should get a heavy floor-standing art easel. If you like working on a smaller scale then a table-top art easel is probably the best type to get. Table-top art easels are great if space is an issue because they don't take up floor space and can be folded up. There are basically three types of table-top art easels - scaled down or small foor-standing easels, three-legged tripod easels, and the easels with storage boxes. You can also get portable lightweight easels that are handy for taking outdoors. Display easels are quite lightweight and made for showing or displaying paintings, and should not be used for working on.

The art easels listed here will help you to select the most suitable for your needs; or maybe you are thinking of getting an art easel as a gift for that artist you know. 
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Styles - Basically there are only five styles of easels. The Table Easel, the Tripod Easel, the Box or French Style Easel, the Lyre (A-frame) Easel, and the Studio (H-frame) Easel. There are a number of variations to each of these that offer different tilt settings for pastelists or watercolorists, different storage options and size capabilities. There are the large studio easels for those who work indoors, smaller lightweight easels for use outdoors, display easels, box type easels, and an assortment of table easels, mainly for indoor use but some serve as both with telescoping legs and are light enough to take on location.

    Construction - The design and construction of your easel are critical to your work. First there is the wood that is used. No question oak is the finest. Because oak is so hard, screws and glue seen to hold forever. Beech on the other hand is so soft that the screws will loosen over time and cause the easel to shake and vibrate. Oak is also one of the most beautiful woods that nature has given us. Many other woods are used from time to time, but oak is and has been the preferred wood for several hundred years.

So how do you choose? First of all you must decide why you want an easel, where and when you are going to use it and how it's going to help you. These may seem to be obvious questions but not always thought about before a purchase.

The Five Easel Styles
You can purchase most easels in either an assembled version or in a knocked-down version. There are advantages to both. Fully assembled easels are made like furniture. All parts are glued and screwed together. The screws are counter sunk and wood plugs are inserted to cover the screw head. Each easel is sanded smooth and hand-rubbed with oil to reveal the inherent beauty of the wood grain. The advantage here is a beautiful easel that can be placed in a studio or elegant living room. The easel will last for generations and always function perfectly. The advantage to the knock-down versions is cost. Factory assembly is expensive and assembled easels take up more warehouse space. A knock-down easel is packed in a smaller carton and costs less to ship. Another difference is quality. The quality of a knock-down easel is dependant on the assembler. If he or she takes the time to glue and screw each part correctly, they will end up with an excellent easel and save money. If they mis-assemble, they will hate painting and curse the day the got into it

An easel need to suit your working methods, whether you sit or stand and it needs to suit the media you will use if for. For oil or acrylic painting on canvas, it is best to have an easel that will support and adjust to the variety of sizes you plan on using. It is best not to have a "lip" (top and bottom) which prevents you from painting the whole canvas. It should have a bottom canvas support and some sort of lockdown top clamp. It should be sturdy and adjustable to move to all the angles you need to make it a more comfortable workstation. You need to be easy to assemble and use, fit into the allotted space both while in use and stored away when not in use. Your easel needs to be your "friend", that helps you paint in comfort, with ease and the right mental attitude.

Hopefully these comments will help you make a more informed decision on the type of easel that will best serve your purpose.

*Special Note about wooden easels: they need to be made of hardwood (most are these days) and it's fixtures should be either brass or steel (as aluminum tends to ware with use).


tips for choosing A Kids art easels:
Children love to paint and draw.  An easel provides a self-contained area for art work which is more comfortable than sitting at a desk or sprawling on the floor.  Choose an easel with a shelf or tray for storing paints, water pots, chalks, etc.  The best easels have a blackboard on one side and a painting area, with clips to hold paper in place, on the other.  Consider how easy the easel will be to clean and to stow when not in use.  Don't Know the model you need, call us to discuss ( 360 336 6131) ordering the model of your choice.  

*Tri-Dee Distributors inc. Your BEST Easel Source on the Web.

Features of BEST Artists Easels

BEST Easels are made of hand-rubbed, oil-finished solid American Oak.  BEST's craftsmen nail, glue, and wood-screw every joint.  Counter-sunk screw heads are wood-plugged and sanded smooth.

The highest quality hardware is used.  BEST practices corporate citizenship and does not use cheaper woods harvested from rain forests.  The American Oak is purchased from licensed mills practicing strict rules of conservation.

The joint construction as described above is one reason why BEST easels are strong and stable. 

All easels are hand-made and made from oak with exceptions noted for a few collegiate styles made of hardwood.  These easels are also identified with the word "Academy" in their name.

An Elevator Bolt Locking System is used on the top trays of BEST easels.  Two metal plates and round plastic guide keep parts parallel and provide smoothness and ease when tray is moved into position.  The circular plate seals itself against the mast when the knob is tightened, giving ultimate stability for the canvas.

A Slotted Double-back Leg System provides strength, stability and ease in height and angle adjustments.  A Wedge-lok System make height and tray adjustments unlock easily, yet lock into place and stay locked.  A metal plate with wedge-cut edges conforms to the wedge-cut sections of the hardwood.  Tightening the knob causes inward tension to pull the metal plate snugly against the wood for a solid lock.

Slide Guides make angle and height adjustments smooth.  Circular graphite impregnated plastic inserts are used wherever there is a slot in the wood of the easel.  This protects the hardwood from the metal bolt and allows for smooth movement.