When you have a good easel, you can focus on your masterpiece while working in comfort. Wooden easels, compared to aluminum easels, have a more classic and handsome look, and they’re often built with compartments or drawers to keep your tools. This makes them great for traveling, as they can double as storage so you have less to juggle. Some examples of wooden options are simple tabletop easels, A-frame ones, or French-style easels that feature roomy sketch boxes. Explore the best of them in our picks below.
1. Jullian Escort Easel
This handsome birchwood easel is a plein air painter’s dream. It is well-built with a mahogany finish and sturdy hardware, and features three adjustable legs. Capable of being extended to reach a height of 70 inches, it can hold a canvas up to 31 ½ inches tall. A roomy drawer gives you easy access to all supplies—and it’s big enough to fit jumbo paint tubes. The painting surface can be angled to suit your ideal position and is even capable of becoming flat like a table. Finally, the 14-pound easel is easy to move about: It collapses into a boxy structure and features a leather shoulder strap.
2. US Art Supply Drawing Easel
This compact easel is made entirely out of hand-sanded and oiled wood, save for its solid metal hinges. It makes for an attractive and sturdy support for small-scale painting, offering a work surface measuring about 15 x 10 inches. This surface is totally flat and smooth and rises to a comfortable 50˚ angle. Beneath it, find two drawers that can fit small paint tubes, brushes, pencils, and more. We do wish that this easel had a handle, but its size makes it easy to carry around.
3. T-Sign Wood Painting Easel
Wooden easels can be expensive, so if you’re shopping for a full-sized one on a tight budget, consider this beechwood one. It has not only an adjustable height—between 36 and 75 inches—but also angle, and can hold canvases up to 44 inches tall. It’s also pretty lightweight, at about 6.5 pounds, although this means that it is a bit more wobbly than higher-end easels. The structure collapses into a portable post-like form that can be strapped in place, and it features a built-in handle so you can carry it with ease to your classes.
4. ShowMaven French Style Wooden Art Easel
If you like the idea of a French-style easel but want something with even more portability, consider this beechwood one. Weighing just under 18 pounds, it collapses to resemble a wheelie bag, with four smooth-rolling wheels and a suitcase handle so you can simply pull it along the ground. Note that the wheels don’t detach and stick out from the base of the painting area, which some people might unsightly. If you can get past that though, this is a sturdy easel with compartmentalized drawers; smooth-moving telescoping legs—with scales on them to ensure even setup; and enough space to accommodate a 20-by-30-inch canvas.
5. SoHo Urban Artist Wooden Desk Easel
This tabletop easel resembles a slim briefcase when closed, with a well-made handle and brass-plated hardware. Made of birchwood with a mahogany finish, it features one drawer with three compartments and a work surface measuring about 13 by 10 inches. This surface can be raised to four angles depending on your preference and is finished with a nice wide lip to keep your canvas securely propped up. Other thoughtful touches include rubber feet on the base to prevent slippage and a black carrying strap for hands-free transport.