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Upgrading my easel! Recommendations?

I’m ready to move up from my small easel. The one I’m using now doesn’t go up high enough for me to paint small panels while standing. I’m looking for the $300 and under range…I would LOVE to be able to afford the Sorg, but my budget doesn’t allow. Maybe in a year or two. I would love an H style easel. Thank you. There are so many choices out there!

Hi Elizabeth,

I highly recommend a crank easel–It’s made my life much easier. For more affordable, I found a used one (I think it’s a Mabef) and it works great.

I ordered a Sorg (also on my wish list) and I personally didn’t care for it–It was hard to put together, it had a broken part, and it took up a large footprint. I know many artists love them but I just didn’t for the price. So you might want to try one before you invest.

I exchanged this for a Renaissance crank easel and it works great. But on any given day my old crank easel is my “workhorse.” Hope that helps!

I also had trouble choosing an easel and finally ended up making a wall easel because of the studio real estate taken up by any easel I could find. It turned out to be fairly simple made from two short 2x4s bolted horizontally onto the wall at the top and bottom; 4 hardwood 1x3s; and 4 blocks held in place with bolts. So far it has worked for me both for large work and small boards by adding a board holder. Here is a photo.

Since this photo was taken, I have changed the lower blocks to a single ledge that seems to work better and gives me a place to lay brushes on. I don’t like to stand brushes vertically.

Wanted to follow up…I believe I’ll be going with this one. Someday I would love to try the Sorg!

I’m glad that you found an easel which works for you. I want to recommend a brand new easel which is great for daily painters using small canvases or panels. It holds canvases up to 20" high or panels up to 17" high securely in a way which makes it possible to paint up to and around all edges without funny brush strokes at the edges. You can also carry your painting while it is still attached to the easel. I took my tabletop easel to a painting class and discovered that I could attach the entire easel to the stand-up easels provided by the class while my little panel was attached firmly to my personal easel. So it can function as either a table top or work with another stand up. This product is a unique, new patented design which I have been testing. I am not selling them and make no profit on their sale. I simply love the easel. They are so new that the website is newly up and Google may not have them listed yet, but you can find their website by typing www.EaselConcepts.com into your search engine.
I have attached a photo of the easel with a panel attached. You can find photos of the canvas attachment mode as well as more info on their website. Take a look and see what you think. I love mine and wouldn’t like to go back to any of my previous easels. This is the one for me!

My dream easel might be one of the Hughes Easels. But until I can afford it I’ll make do. I painted for 30 years indoors and out on a Julian which recently died. I had a long run with it but only goes to 32" tall.