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.