It’s sometimes hard to sit in a chair with a drawing board on my lap and draw. After a few minutes of sitting, the slouching, hunching of shoulders, and then leaning forward over my artwork, is not good for my posture and back. I have been looking for a new easel. Mostly to use while I draw. I already have a nice Mabef H-frame easel that my hubby purchased for me a few years ago when I was painting with water-miscible oils. My H-frame easel is HEAVY. Right now, it sits in the corner of a room and let’s just say it will stay there.
I looked online to see what was available and for less than $100. I know, you get what you paid for and for that amount I assumed I could get something decent that would stay upright and not fall over. Unlike the $20 A-frame I purchased from ACMoore recently that collapses when I just look at it. No worries. I’ll figure out how to rig something up. Maybe small sandbags. Hahaha!
I was torn between the H-frame and A-frame models. I wanted something that I could fold flat in an instant, be able to sit in front of comfortably, small enough to stand in a corner or near a window, and light enough so I can move/carry it to another location in the house or outside. I saw several models online, but I could not decide. I’m more of a touchy/feeling type of person.
I took a field trip to my local art supply store and was able to see and touch several models. There were several different styles along with different prices ranges. I played with them, shook them, and moved them around in the store. The H-frame models are still a bit bulky and heavy, but they are STURDY. Some of the A-frames were quite fragile especially the ones with the tripod-style skinny legs. No, that would not work for me as I already have the ACMoore special. I then came across an A-frame called Lyre (pronounced like “liar”). I had the sales person give me a quick show and tell and I immediately fell in love with it. After I paid $87 including tax, I was out the door with it. In a box of course. To be put together.
It’s an “inclinable” lyre easel. I can adjust the easel to my comfort level whether I’m sitting down in a chair or standing. Here’s a picture from the box:
When I finally had some time, I pulled all the pieces out of the box. I made a point of taking a picture of how the screws were identified according to the instructions. Check this out. Look at how the manufacturer made it so easy:
Yes, there was a zip lock bag for each type of screw or part with a letter on the bag. The instruction shows the wood parts and the associated bag letter in each step.
I was really impressed how quickly I managed to put my easel together even though at first glance the instructions looked a bit intimidating. The labels on the bag were extremely helpful. The only issue I had was to make sure I had the wood pieces facing in the correct direction. The diagram was a bit hard to decipher. Initially, I turned the screws for a few rounds (not tighten) to make sure I had the wood pieces placed together correctly. Once all the pieces were held together, I quickly tightened all the screws. The included phillips and flathead screw drivers was a huge plus (see the orange and red handles in the picture above). This was definitely worth the $87 I spent.
Welcome my new addition to my art family:
This Lyre easel weighs only 13 lbs. It’s a short model compared to it’s more expensive and taller versions. I do not have any plans on painting huge artwork on this easel. That’s what my H-frame easel is for. I love the adjustable bottom shelf. I just pull on the metal loop underneath the shelf and slide it up and down and release it when it’s at the right height for me.
One reason this easel stood out from the other A-frame types was the thick broad legs it has. It hardly slides around on my wood floor, but I plan on using the “rug grippers” or anti-skid mats under the legs. This style of easel is well made and rugged. All the pieces matched and joined together perfectly. Screw holes matched up where they were supposed to.
If you are looking for small and lightweight (~13 lbs) easel. This is the one to get. If you have a small area or space in a corner of a room, this easel is perfect for smaller spaces.
Here’s a link to the different types of easels available and their uses: https://www.art-is-fun.com/types-of-easels. This is a great site to figure out what type of easel will work with your needs and price ranges.