An artist’s easel - 4 Reasons you need one

by Art Materials on Jul 07, 2021

4 Reasons you need an artist's easel

For centuries artists have been creating their masterpieces on easels. For any serious artist, an easel is one of the most basic functional art supplies for creativity and perspective. Whether you are painting at home on your kitchen table, en Plein air or have a designated studio, there are artist’s easels that are perfect for the job. 

Unlike other ‘consumable’ art supplies which need regular replacing, artist’s easels are a bigger investment item and will last for years to come. They are worth the initial financial outlay as easels make any painting project more pleasurable as well as improving the quality of your finished piece. So it is worth doing your due diligence to determine the type of easel that will best suit your painting requirements and style. 

Before jumping into the reasons why you need an artist’s easel, you should take into consideration where you paint as this will be a major factor as to the type and size of easel you decide to purchase. 

Let’s explore 4 reasons/benefits for investing in an artist’s easel:

#1 Gaining perspective

The final destination of any painting or sketch - be that a gallery, an exhibition or your home - is to hang on a wall and be viewed in an upright position. The logic follows that the process of creating a painting should also be done in an upright position so that the viewing angle is not distorted. This is the intrinsic value and function of an easel, be that a table easel or a studio easel. 

Painting or drawing over a flat surface completely changes the viewing angle and perspective resulting in an artist unwittingly compromising and distorting the size and proportions of his/her work.  

Artist easel - gaining perspective

As you paint or sketch your work on an easel, you are able to regularly step back to not only admire your progress but to view your work from a similar angle and distance at which it will be hung on a wall. Positioning your canvas on an artist’s easel also allows you the best ambient light and the best angle for you to paint using shadows and layering of colours. 

This perspective and lighting aid any artist’s finished work, making an easel an invaluable art supply.  

#2 Maintaining good posture

Artists are likely to spend hours over a piece of work. An artist’s easel is one of those art supplies that comes with an added physiological advantage: helping you maintain a correct posture and minimising unnecessary bending or straining of your neck, shoulders and back while working. 

The various angles and flexibility of an easel facilitate the recommended upright position for you to paint properly and for longer periods of time. Unless you are painting Jackson Pollock-style with a “drip technique” on a large canvas on the floor, an artist’s easel is a wise and necessary purchase. 

art easel - maintaining good posture

#3 Enabling movement

The nature of any artistic work is not static. As colours are splashed and layers are built up, a visual narrative is threaded into the emerging work. Artists will constantly critique their progress from different angles and an easel allows for this freedom of movement, whether you are standing or sitting in front of the easel. You are also able to move your entire hand, wrist and arm for various brushstrokes - especially for expressionist and abstract styles of painting. 

#4 Protecting your work

No matter what the skill level, every work of art and inspiration poured out onto a blank canvas is an intrinsic part of the artist - their emotions, their struggle, and their voice - at that moment. Painting or sketching on a vertical canvas set up on an artist’s easel means there is less likelihood of coffee, water or paint being knocked over and ruining your work and less chance of dust falling on wet paint and damaging the work in progress.  

Art easel - protecting your work

The Art Materials Company

Your search for the perfect artist’s easel - no matter your painting style or budget -  starts and ends at The Art Materials Company, Ireland’s leading online art supplies store. 

Find your perfect easel fit by browsing our broad range of table easels, sketching easels and studio easels.