Not all artist supplies have to be brand named or expensive. Last year, I was on the lookout for a drawing easel that was not only light weight but small enough to move into different areas of the house without being a challenge. While on Amazon, a photo of the Marquis Artists Desk/Easel appeared in my search list. Amazingly enough, the asking price was $14.01 -prime shipping included. There were complaints by a few reviewers pertaining to the quality of build and hardware... What did they expect for 14 bucks? Sometimes simplicity and light cheap wood can be the answer for tired arms in the evening. So, I placed my order for one. And here it is...
The easel arrived without a finish and will be left that way. The hardware that locks the drawer is a little flimsy, but I do not intend to keep pounds of artist supplies inside anyways. The easel can do 4 different levels with the leg resting on notches in the center wood divider. The upright frame has a nice size edge that flips down for resting the work or supplies on. For my purposes, which do not involve a canvas currently, I cut a piece of thin cabinet veneer (keeping with the light weight theme) into a rectangle and painted it black to mount my work to.
The dimensions of the easel are 13 1/4 x 10 inches... Perfect size for a lot of my work. :) I found it sturdy for my sketching and will test it later with filling and blending.
Overall, I am very happy with the easel. It is hard to believe such a small purchase could open up so much space at my desk. In the summer heat, I can sometimes get a little claustrophobic and agitated being pinched for space in my little corner of the world. This little easel is just the ticket for my summertime blues. :)
I tested the sturdiness of the easel out on my next subject... Some Scottish Highland cattle. I was inspired by some Highlands grazing in a field on the way to a flea market in Wisconsin a few weeks ago. My husband pulled over and I captured quite a few photos of them. My photos will be references for future compositions, since I stumbled upon a wonderful photo while browsing the internet to correctly identify the cattle. Although the reference photo is of gorgeous rust colored beasts, mine will be rendered in graphite. (The ones that I photographed were two rust and one white.) The depth of their rust color is just awesome... Makes me think that a colored version will be following soon!