This is a short guide and some helpful tips on setting up your workspace. Be it outdoors, in a studio, there are always things to consider.
Consider the weight of the canvas
you most often work on. Do you need an easel
that will hold a heavy canvas? Envision yourself poking or stabbing at the canvas as you would with a brush and think about the stability of the easel. Does the easel move around too much, so as to hinder the painting experience?
Artists sometimes prefer to have the center of the canvas in line with their vision. Because of this, some find it imperative to have an adjustable canvas tray. Also very useful is an adjustable clamp at the top of an easel which attaches the top of the canvas to the easel body for extra support. Adjustable legs offer the benefit of working at various heights, and also allow the user to change the angle at which the easel holds a canvas. Angle flexibility provides artists who work in pastels the ability to work more cleanly, because an adjustment can angle falling chalk particles away from the surface of the paper. Watercolor artists hindered by water movement, and usually limited to working on a table, can benefit from a clamp mounted table easel that adjusts to lie flat. Be sure to consider the space in which you work. The easel you choose should either fit the area full-time or easily fold up out of the way.
If you paint outdoors, the portability and weight of your easel become factors. Usually a simple inexpensive model will serve, but you may prefer the luxuries of the more specialized easels which feature carrying handles, backpack straps, a palette and a supply drawer. A Full French Easel
can be folded up into a carrying case of it's own such as image shown.