What Is an Easel, and Do You Really Need It to Paint?

Painting is a fantastic hobby that provides immense satisfaction and helps in reducing stress. If you are new to painting, you may be wondering about the necessary equipment required for this craft. One of the most common queries that arise is whether an easel is a necessary tool for painting.

In this article, we will discuss what an easel is and whether it is indeed essential for the craft.

What Is an Easel?

An easel is a stand that holds a canvas or board while you paint. Easels come in different sizes and styles, and you can choose the one that suits your needs. The three most common types of easels are the A-frame, H-frame, and tripod easels. The A-frame easel is the most basic type and is suitable for small canvases. The H-frame easel is more robust and can hold large canvases without wobbling. The tripod easel is the most portable and can be folded for easy storage.

Do You Really Need an Easel to Paint?

The short answer is no. An easel is not essential for painting, and you can paint without it. However, using an easel has several advantages that can make your painting experience more enjoyable and comfortable.

Benefits of Using an Easel

1. Better Posture

While you are painting, using an easel can assist you in maintaining a healthy posture. When painting on a flat surface, you have a tendency to stoop over your work, which can lead to discomfort in the back and neck. You may tailor the height of the canvas to your comfort level and reduce strain by using the tool, which allows you to modify both the height and the angle at which it is positioned.

2. Improved Painting Technique

The ability to take a step back and examine your painting from a greater distance, as provided by an easel, is critical for determining how well your work turned out. When painting on a flat surface, it can be difficult to see the overall composition and perspective of the painting you are creating. You are better able to observe the painting in its entirety and make any required alterations with the assistance of an easel.

3. More Space

You will have more room to work with if you make use of an easel. Your arm movement may be restricted when working on a flat surface, and you may need to shift your canvas around in order to access different regions of the painting. When using an easel, the artist is able to rotate the canvas and paint in any direction they choose without being constrained by the available space.

4. Less Mess

When painting on a horizontal surface, you run the risk of splattering paint on the floor or knocking over your water cup. A painting can be kept separate from the workspace by using an easel, which also decreases the likelihood of generating a mess.


Overall, an easel is not necessary for painting, but it can make your painting experience more comfortable, enjoyable, and productive. Using an easel helps you maintain a good posture, improve your painting technique, provide more space to work with, and reduce the chances of making a mess. If you are a beginner, you can start by painting on a flat surface and then move on to using an easel when you are ready. Ultimately, choosing an easel depends on your preferences, budget, and painting goals.

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