With a background in drawing and painting in watercolor, I was used to working flat at a table. When I showed up for my first acrylic painting class, I was (almost) surprised to find that everyone had an easel to work at. It felt strange painting at an easel – holding my arm up in the air. After the class ended, I continued to paint more and more in acrylics, always flat on a table or on the floor. I began to wonder if I should be using an easel. Some online research (on http://www.about.com) revealed some interesting points including, “work vertically, because the painting will be displayed vertically.”
Things to consider when deciding to work flat vs. at an easel:
- How large do you work? It’s easier to work on an easel with larger paintings than a table.
- Viewing your painting. You can back away from an easel, to “take in” and view a painting, especially the larger ones.
- Do you add fine details? I find it easier to add details when the painting is flat and I can lean on the canvas.
- Acrylic vs. oils – Oils take longer to dry and dust can be an issue as it dries when a painting is laying flat.
- Do you have a dedicated space for an easel?
I invested in an aluminum easel. It’s lightweight but sturdy and folds up for storing. Learn more here. It looks so professional, and I love displaying my latest painting on it! There’s even an arm that extends to hold my brushes and palette! Read “The 11 art supplies I can’t paint without!”
I want to hear from you! How do you prefer to work?
(To date, 90 people have completed this survey and 79% prefer to work flat.)
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