Painting easels are mainly made from wood and metal, but they come in many styles that suit different artistic needs. Whether you are shopping for an artist or are thinking of taking up painting, it helps to familiarize yourself with some of the most popular types of painting easels. Here are five types of painting easels.
Studio. These floor easels are very large, so they work best for artists who like working with oversize canvases. Another advantage is their stability. Studio easels are very heavy, however, and that makes them cumbersome. The price tag reflects their size as well.
A-frame or lyre. These triangular easels are known as A-frames because they have two legs in the front and one in the back. Artists who work in a small space will find this model easy to store, because it can fit into a corner. It is even more convenient for storage, because the rear leg can fold toward the front. A-frame easels generally can accommodate canvases up to 75 inches.
H-frame. H-frame easels are more robust than A-frame models. That also means they take up more space. This is true even for the smaller, collapsible models. However, they fit bigger canvases, generally up to 96 inches. Another advantage of H-frame easels are the attached art-supply storage trays that come with some models.
Convertible or hybrid. These versatile models convert from standing easels to tabletop easels. Artists who work with all types of paints and media will find these a good choice. The horizontal surface accommodates pastels and watercolors, while the artist can use the easel in the upright position for oil and acrylic paints. They do require more storage space than other models. They often include paint trays.
Bench. Bench easels are good for outdoor painters or for demonstration purposes. Like the name suggests, they consist of a bench/easel combination. These are portable and often include wheels for easier mobility.