A good easel can really optimize your painting conditions. You’ll ensure that your canvas rests comfortably as you paint and stays in place throughout the process. You’ll also be able to adjust the easel to suit your painting position, which can help reduce tension and fatigue. While traditionally made of wood, easels today are often made of aluminum, which typically makes them lighter and more resilient for travel. They are also more ideal for outdoor painting. Find your ideal easel in our picks below.
1. T-Sign Reinforced Artist Easel Stand
This aluminum easel is easy to set up and adjust. You can use it at a table, as it can collapse to a height of 21 inches, or use it while standing if you’re able, as its legs extend to a maximum height of 66 inches. Similar to a tripod, the legs can be adjusted individually to accommodate uneven ground, and making changes is fast due to the flip-style plastic locks. Even at its tallest, this easel stays sturdy and capably supports up to 25 pounds—feel free to prop up canvases up to 33 inches tall. We also like that it comes fully assembled so you can use it straight out of the box.
2. Martin Universal Design Torino Aluminum Gigante Artist Easel
If you are willing to spend more on an easel, we’re fans of this one. It has a more traditional design than our top pick but still looks modern with its matte black aluminum body, which is very sturdy and smooth. Capable of standing more than 6 feet tall, this easel is also excellent for those who like to express themselves on a grand scale—it can hold canvases with a maximum height of 64 inches. In addition to being height-adjustable, it can also be tilted to suit your ideal painting position. It also weighs just 8 pounds and collapses down to a length of 50 inches.
3. Ohuhu Artist Easel
Like our top pick, this easel has a height range between 21 and 66 inches, making it suitable for painting while seated or standing. Because you get 4 easels to a pack, this option is a particularly good choice for classrooms or other group settings—each easel costs just a fraction of our other picks. There are some drawbacks: It’s not super attractive, and at its tallest, the easel feels slightly shaky, so we wouldn’t use it in a windy environment. But outweighing those are its pros, which include simple assembly, quick adjustment, and its lightweight structure for easy travel to and from a classroom or studio. It also comes with a good-quality carry bag.
4. U.S. Art Supply Aluminum Display Easel
If you frequently paint on more compact canvases, a simple tabletop easel might be all you need. This one is simple and attractive. It features a minimal, 15-inch triangle frame kept reliably steady by a back leg, with each leg finished with a rubber base to prevent unwanted skidding. The structure collapses effortlessly so you can store it on its side or prop it in a corner. It also weighs just half a pound, making it easy to carry around. This easel has a recommended weight limit of 5 pounds.
5. Conda Table Easel
This is another great easel for tabletop use. The aluminum does not feel as heavy-duty as the U.S. Art Supply model, but the easel is still solid enough to withstand emphatic painterly gestures. We like that it has 2 extra arms that pull out like wings to provide extra support for canvases; they also allow you to prop up mid-sized canvases. This easel is also adjustable between 15 and 30 inches in height.