What to Look for in Plein Air Easels

Get the Right Set Up for Painting Outside This Spring

Groupies chase songs, skiers trek miles for the perfect slope, and artists–particularly plein air painters–get caught up endlessly seeking the best of the best in plein air easels.

Plein Air Easels--what to look for

If you are tall, definitely look into the height maximums of the plein air easels you are considering.

What’s all the fuss? Well, for artists who take to the great outdoors for artistic inspiration, there is a lot to be desired in an easel. An easel essentially represents home base for an artist. For creation to take the fore–and tool functionality to fade seamlessly into the background–you have to get the right one for you and for your painting situation.

Weighs nothing

Ahahahaahahahahahahahahah. Ahahahahahaah. Ahhaha. I’ll rip off the band-aid quick: No. Such. Thing. Unless you let nature act as your plein air easel and by that we mean leaning your sketchpad against the nearest boulder.

The most you can hope for is an easel that doesn’t break your back, and that is well within the bounds of reality. Easels typically weigh anywhere from four to eight to 20lbs. With the weightier ones you get more storage space and more stability. There are models that weigh as little as two lbs, which is great, but that means no built-in storage, less stability and surface support, but your mobility issues are next to none. But remember the easel’s weight doesn’t take into consideration the weight of all your other paints, surfaces, and myriad supplies, so think it through.

The right easel gives you support, storage, and ease of mobility, so that you can worry about painting and nothing else!

The right easel gives you support, storage, and ease of mobility, so that you can worry about painting and nothing else!

It makes everything easy.

Well, that’s a tall order. But you will get closer to the mark with plein air easels if you think about how you work and what features you need the most. Are you a supplies junkie? Then storage is key. Hate flimsiness? Maybe an easel with a lid designed as a painting support is the answer. Want a drink? A few models come with a wine glass attachment. Cheers!

Are you tall?

Then you need an easel that’s sturdy enough to hold the support at a decent height. Don’t lose heart if you like a plein air easel but it doesn’t accommodate your height. Usually manufacturers make “pro” models that go taller, so be sure to make inquiries before you settle for something that won’t suit you.

Carry on

You are definitely going to be schlepping your own easel unless you have a gear lackey (and if you do we salute you!). So look at the carrying features of the plein air easels you are deciding between. Some come with a strap, others can fit into a backpack or portfolio, and still others have coordinating padded packs you can buy.

A plein air easel is your numero uno ally when painting outside. But selecting the right one still only gets you halfway to success. You need plein air painting know-how to take you the rest of the way and that is where Aaron Schuerr’s Plein Air Pastel Workshop Collection comes in. Aaron teaches you how to not get stumped by color choices, how to not get confused or overwhelmed by composition choices, and how to definitely paint mountainscapes and winding rivers with the visual interest they deserve. It’s all waiting for you. If you know it is the right fit, get Aaron Schuerr’s Plein Air Pastel Workshop Collection now!



The post What to Look for in Plein Air Easels appeared first on Artist's Network.


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I am obsessed with water colours and have been painting since I could hold my first brush, I have a huge passion for my own work and others, I love to teach and inspeier others. I'm a very proud Dad with 3 girls and amazing wife who shares my passion for painting.

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