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An Artists' Guide to Buying the Right Easel for You

in Materials by Cass Art
An Artists' Guide to Buying the Right Easel for You

 In the past Winsor & Newton easels were the go-to choice for artists. Now, although the company has discontinued its art easel range, you can still get that identical sturdy construction and workmanship from the same easel manufacturer with Cass Art.

Whether you’re working with a table-top easel producing smaller pieces or creating larger work in a studio on a painting easel, Cass Art has an art easel to suit your practice. All come with the same solid, quality materials and reliability that you'd come to expect from Winsor and Newton easels.

Why buy an easel?

There are three very good reasons to buy an art easel, one of them practical and two artistic. The first is that an easel keeps your work out of harm’s way. An easel helps prevent dust collecting on your work. In the early days of any artistic practice a well-crafted art work can be lost by spilling painting water and ink over it while drawing and painting on a desk. Working on a wall is no good either becuase if the paper is taped to the wall it can end up as a crumpled heap on the floor when paint and pressure are applied. That doesn’t happen when it’s clipped to a board and attached to an easel. An easel is an investment in your craft and we have five different types to suit any practice: table top easels, box easels, small display easels, sketch easels and an everyday wooden easels. 

The second benefit of an art easel is you can adjust the height and angle of the easel stand from which you work. Not only does this help your posture, but as you create you can view your piece from a vertical, face-on position which will help keep your perspective more accurate, especially with landscapes or still lives. You’ll also be able to see the work from the same visual plane in which it will be hung, allowing you to make a greater assessment of the piece as it takes shape.

Which leads us on to the third advantage of using an art easel… It’s a fantastic tool for being able to analyse your creations; you can step away from the work and see how it’s progressing at varying distances and angles. Ideal if you want to create a particular experience with your pieces. For example, do you want it to have impact from far away or are you hoping to create something more intriguing that will draw viewers in?

Choosing an easel (just like the Winsor & Newton easels)

There’s a wealth of easels to choose from so the best way to pick your perfect easel is to consider how you work. Are you in a studio, do you paint outdoors, are you taking your work to workshops or classes, how big is your work? Will you be displaying it? 

Studio easels

If you are producing and displaying large-scale impactful paintings and drawings, these are for you. Sturdy, robust and made from beechwood, these studio easels are fully adjustable, easy to work with and can take large canvases. Both easel stands are first-rate for display purposes, making them a splendid choice for open studio events.

  DALER ROWNEY COTSWOLD STUDIO EASEL  

A professional’s choice, this model has both style and substance. Built to last, its metal ratchet allows you to adjust the height and tilt of your easel stand. It’s also easy to assemble with just five Allen screws, and at 6.7kg is transportable too. You could easily break this down and use for exhibitions – especially as it can take canvases and artworks up to 127cm. It lies flat too for easy studio storage. This art easel is made from fine oiled beechwood giving it a beautiful finish plus added resilience and durability.

LEA RADIAL EASEL (FORMERLY WINSOR & NEWTON THAMES RADIAL EASEL)

A classic upright easel, this robust model is perfect for everyday studio use. Made by the same manufacturer as the Winsor and Newton easel range, this strong, solid, reliable art easel can hold canvases up to 182 cm so it’s great for large artwork. And, as you expect, this robust painting easel can be tilted for how you work.

Watercolour and sketch easels

Lightweight, compact, easy to carry and quick to put up, these easels are superb on the go, making them the first choice for artists who like to work outdoors or for use at an art class. The two here are customer favourites:

  JAKAR LIGHTWEIGHT WATERCOLOUR EASEL  

Perfect for outdoor landscape and nature studies. Its light aluminium body and a handy carry bag make it easy to take out and about. It has non-slip feet which are great for stability on uneven surfaces. An excellent all-rounder, it shrinks down to a table-top easel, has a swivel arm for landscape and portrait work, and has an adjustable shelf for different canvas sizes.

  SKETCHERS EASEL SEINE (FORMERLY THE WINSOR & NEWTON DART SKETCHERS EASEL)  

The Winsor & Newton version of this can still be seen around today, a testament to their longevity. Made by the same manufacturers as the original, this lightweight beechwood easel is fully adjustable. You can easily fold it away and it's an ideal entry-level purchase.

Table-top easels

The ultimate practical tool, a table-top easel serves so many purposes. From working on when away from home and displaying prints and canvases at events and art fairs.

  LIFFEY TABLE BOX EASEL  

Perfect for taking on watercolour and drawing workshops. This allows you to demonstrate your work and carry equipment easily. Great for when you’re working on A4 paper (as you don’t need a board), it folds into a box shape and has a strong handle to carry about. It also takes seconds to set up.

 VARDE TABLE EASEL (Formerly the WINSOR & NEWTON Eden Table Easel)  

and

  RHINE TABLE EASEL (FORMERLY THE WINSOR & NEWTON BRENT TABLE EASEL)  

The original Winsor & Newton easels can be seen at many art and craft fairs. However there are no differences between the latest models and the originals. They are made by the same company. They are hard-wearing, reliable display easels. Hand-crafted in beechwood, they look great, are super portable and quick and easy to assemble. The Varde model can also be used as a painting easel as you can adjust the angle as well as the top height.

Feeling Inspired?

Check out our easel range online and in stores.

This article was written by Ella Johnston, an artist and illustrator who specialises in watercolour and fine-line drawings. You can see her work on Instagram or her blog.