Posted on Aug 12, 2009 in Methods

Since I teach workshops, I am asked for easel recommendations. There is never an easy answer. Do you like to stand or sit while painting? How much can you carry comfortably? Would it be uncomfortable for you to bend frequently while painting? For me, the best solution to date has been the classic Jullian half-box French easel, because: 1.) it’s stable; 2.) I like the drawer at waist height; 3.) the hardware is good (no wing nuts that fly off or latches that pop springs, as in some other brands), and 4.) it allows me to carry a few panels/canvases on the front with ease. I put most of the weight (paint tubes, brushes) into my backpack, and added a better shoulder strap. The recent Jullians have given up the metal drawer in favor of a wooden one — not an improvement in my book. Other options of interest are the aluminum Soltek (expensive), the Anderson with a nifty swivel so you can turn your painting out of the sun, and for lightweight, the Winsor & Newton Bristol. All have their pros and cons. If anyone has discovered The Perfect Easel out there, let me know!