Only when I am doing a large piece — and then it is not watercolor but oil or acrylic. I have two, and I only bought the small one to save money and it was silly as I ended up needing the larger, so for a couple hundred (unless you buy used) more get the one you want.
Except for when I’m teaching, I don’t use my large Santa Fe II studio easel very often anymore. I used to – back when I still did a lot of large canvas work, but that no longer interests me.
So that leaves the smaller stuff. Yes, for plein air work, I will use a French easel or (more likely) a sketching platform on a tripod, (something I built myself) which allows me to work flat. That, of course, is the best way to work in watercolor. I also use it for working in gouache.
Finally for urban sketching, which is the primary focus of my current body of work, I have been trying out the Etchr Slate Mini, which is a little bit like a satchel/pochade box/body-stabilized drawing platform. The jury is still out for me on this – I’ve had some very positive experiences with it, but is it really an improvement over simply working in a sketchbook or on a watercolor block? Time will tell.
Of course, I do like to just sit and work at my drawing board from time to time as well. But you asked specifically about easels, so there you have it.
Want to say hi and connect? Do you make lovely things with watercolor and want to be featured in the next Guest Artist post?! Great! Not sure, just feel the need to say something? Awesome! Just fill out the form below!