Opus Resource Library
Choosing The Right Artist's Easel
Opus Resource Library

When I had spent a few days without thinking, without doing anything, I would feel a sudden urge to paint. Then I would set up my easel in full sunshine.

Maurice de Vlaminck

Artists work in many different ways depending on unlimited factors; what type of artwork they create, whether they are in a studio or at a table or desk, or working indoors or outdoors. There is an infinite number of ways to set up an art-making space, but when the time comes to choose an easel, we've got some great tips for making a selection that will ensure you've got the right one for your creative needs.

Studio Easels for Painting Large

Whether your creative space is in a studio, a spare room, or the corner of your living room, if you create artwork on a large scale, a studio easel will be a fantastic choice. A larger easel will be more stable, and will withstand more vigorous painting for enthusiastic artists. For oil and acrylic painters looking to outfit their creative space, we'd suggest the Opus Big Sky Multi Angle Easel, the Opus Thompson Easel, or a Richeson Santa Fe II Easel.

Studio easels come in a range of styles so if you work with mediums such as pastel or charcoal, having an easel that can be tilted further forward will allow the dust created to fall in a way that bypasses the artwork, so you don't get dust drifting down your art. Easels with great forward-tilting abilities include the Richeson BEST Deluxe Lobo Easel, which also tilts into a horizontal position for working with watercolours or varnish.

Artist painting at a studio easel.
Photo by​​ Opus Art Supplies

Studio Easels for Artists in
Smaller Spaces

Regardless of where you make your art, space is almost always at a premium. At Opus, we carry amazing easels that are sturdy and compact.

The Opus Powell Easel is a fantastic option for small spaces due to its versatility - it is an H-Frame easel that can be used upright for painting with oils or acrylics, or position it horizontally for use when painting flat with watercolours. It folds flat for easy storage under a bed or in a closet, and has casters making it easy to move when it's not in use. 

A-Frame easels like the Opus Columbia Easel and the Opus Athabasca Easel are lighter weight and also fold flat to store easily in a closet or under a bed.

A person wheeling the Opus Powell Easel and an alternate view of the Powell Easel in a horizontal position.
Image from Opus Art Supplies​​

Easels for Artists On-The-Go

When an artist is on the go or working outdoors, weight, portability and convenience is key! 

The lightest easel in our selection is the Opus Salt Spring Deluxe Aluminum Easel. It's a tripod-style easel which works both upright for painting in oil or acrylic and horizontal for working in watercolours. 

If you're looking to store your supplies in your easel, a pochade box like the Opus Garibaldi Easel (watch the video below to see it in action) or the new and narrower Opus Gabriola Easel (shown right) may be what you're looking for. These are also lightweight and feature a storage box for your paints, brushes, mediums and more. By remembering to pack only what you need for the adventure at hand, you'll be able to keep your load light so you can focus on your painting.

Image of an Opus Garibaldi Easel set up for plein air painting in the forest.
Image by Opus Art Supplies​​

For the artist who is just beginning their creative journey, has a particularly small space, or creates primarily small paintings, we carry a range of table top easels.

These small easels sit on top of a desk or a table and are great for smaller studio spaces, to take on your travels, or to create a kit for when creativity strikes. If you're looking to store art supplies, choose the Opus Fraser Box Easel or the Opus Sooke Mini Table Easel – each of these small easels features a drawer to store a selection of art supplies in so you've got what you need close at hand. 

If you're looking for a more simple version without the storage element, the Opus Cascadia Deluxe Table Easel is an excellent choice. It is stable, packs away to a very small size, and can hold an easel up to 20" tall.

Image of an Opus Fraser Box Easel
Fraser Box Easel​​ from Opus Art Supplies

Knowing what your goals are as an artist – to paint large pieces for galleries or to fuel your creativity with occasional art sessions, to set up a dream studio, or take your art with you on your adventures – all of these factors will help in making the decision about which easel will suit you and your creative style best. 

If you still have questions about which easel may be best for you, our knowledgeable staff can assist you in-store, or online by either chat or email.