Expert Reviews


Here are just a few reviews and endorsements from the people that use it:


"Summer Afternoon" 12x16 oil
available through
"The Covid 19 stay at home situation has not been good for painters, but since my state opened up , I finally got out to do some painting and photographing new material and the best part was a new professional series En Plein Air Pro easel. I received this easel almost a month ago and have been chomping at the bit to get out and try it. The short trip the other day was better than I imagined it might be. I have used several different pochade boxes and plein air easels over the 50 years I have been painting. Each at the time seemed to work great. Some better than others but all heavy and awkward to use to some extent. Some were slow setting up, others were not as stable as I would like and so on.

All that has changed for me. This En Plein Air Pro is without question the nicest, lightest, and easiest to set up in the field than any easel I ever used. When I got to my chosen location and decided what I wanted to paint I had this easel set up and ready to paint with in a matter of minutes. I mean like about 5 minutes. This was setting up the easel and loading my palette, mounting a panel to paint on and everything! I found it to be super comfortable to reach paint on the palette, keep brushes handy and very stable as I painted. I loved that the panel holder I was painting on was easy to adjust the height and have the palette a little below it. This made painting a joy. 

I tried standing and it adjusted to the perfect height with ease. The same ease when I sat down to paint. For me, pushing 80 years of age, this easel is a joy. As I am sure it would be for any age. It is compact, lightweight, easy to adjust, stable and there is room on the palette and sliding extensions for a turps jar, brushes and paper towels. The one I got has the tempered glass palette with the built in value scale on the palette which I found very handy when mixing color. It came with a vinyl scraper that made clean up a snap and a wipe of a towel . I love this easel and highly recommend this easel and all the products that En Plein Air Pro makes available to professionals and hobbyists.

John Cox

“I’m a professional watercolor artist and live in San Diego. I also teach workshops here in the U.S. and abroad and always take your easel with me. Everywhere I go, your easel gets a lot of attention.

Thanks for the great product now I cannot live without.”

Keiko Tanabe

“I have used many easels in my time painting outdoors. This system is by far my favorite. Quick and easy to assemble and very versatile for uneven ground. Time is of the essence when capturing a good painting. Friends marvel how fast I am painting and how quickly I am gone! I love the updates through the years and I keep updating as the products get better. Thanks for making Plein Air painting a great experience.”

Karen LeMonnier

En Plein Air Pro produces many great products for the plein air artist. As a watercolor artist I’ve used several of them, so my focus of expertise in their products is in the realm of equipment related to that medium. I’m a huge fan of their  Advanced Series Watercolor Easel. I’ve used it for the last year or so and have grown to love it.

For this blog I wanted to evaluate a relatively new product they offer, Two Hole Tripod Shelf.  It attaches below the main palette shelf and offers a great deal more working and storage area for the artist. Read Spencer Meagher’s full blog post and detailed review.

Spencer Meagher, Artist and Workshop Leader

I took my new Professional Series easel to Maine for my annual summer vacation. Here is what I found:

Clear instructions.  Light weight.  Easy to set up and break down.   Great design. I particularly love the glass palette on mine, just like the glass one in my studio back home. Super easy clean-up.   It would be terrific for artists who paint at home and have to set up and break down after painting.  This easel could not be easier to use.  This COMPLETE oil easel  (even with the glass palette) weighs less than 10 pounds!

Terry Mason

Michael Chesley Johnson reviewed the En Plein Air Pro Professional Series Oil Easel in his Painting Tips and Techniques blog on April 3, 2016. There is even a great video of setting it up. Check out Michael’s blog here.

“I love the quick set up and pack-away. The fact I can carry EVERYTHING in the lightweight backpack is now a must for me. I can avoiding a rolling cart when trekking through rough terrain! I painted for twelve days in the Tetons, and NOTHING fell off or broke off this set-up. It is well designed, and well built with very durable materials; I was not disappointed at all.

It makes for an especially a rapid set up if your palette colors are in place before hand. I could focus on capturing my intended image immediately. It has a sweet feature of just fitting the slotted box on the tripod, and a sturdy and simple placement of a the panel (or canvas) on the vertical panel holder. It can accommodate a super range of sizes, all the while maintaining a steady hold, with no worry of a flimsy feel.”

John Cook describing our new Professional Series Oil Painting Easel
visit him at

I’ve been taking the En Plein Air Pro up into the Santa Catalina Mountains here in Tucson to test it out. One of the really helpful aspects of the easel is that everything fts into the backpack that it comes with so my hands are free when I’m hiking. It’s also much lighter than anything I’ve used before and sets up real fast and at the same time it seems very sturdy and holds up in the wind.

Another aspect, that I fnd lacking in other easels, is the size of the palette. It’s much bigger and at the same time lighter. I also took the En Plein Air to a 5 day studio workshop. It was easy to demo with and move around the studio.

I’m teaching a three-week plein air workshop in Greece and I’m looking forward to taking the easel with me and see how it works with all the travel and hiking.

Phil Starke

“So I’ve put the gear through its paces and am super impressed. I took it to Chicago ( the Pro ) for a 2 day demo at a conference. It was portable, sturdy and very convenient to use. I was demoing architectural work so it served as a handy drafting table. I used it a few days later at Easton Plein Air Festival and used it again for a demo at Studio B (a gallery Im included in ).

I set up the Traveler and worked from the Pro. It was great!I then took it to Door County Invitational as my only easel and again, very happy with the set up. I did have a strap failure with the bag but that is because I load up a lot of gear (umbrella with hd clamp by Best, paint and brushes, small bits of visual aids and miscellaneous stuff). I used it for the quick paint event and afterwards it served as a presentation easel by using the tray to display some promotional materials. Each time I used it I would notice some new and pleasant application. You did a great job of designing it and will now have to figure out what to do with my other easels and set ups. I do think that this is a great solution for the watercolor painter. Big Thumbs up! ”

Stewart White

From Keiko’s August 2012 Newsletter:

“I’ve been in Europe for several weeks…. In several places I also had the pleasure of painting outdoors with local artist friends – last week in Istanbul, for example. If you’re an avid plein-air painter like me, I think you might be interested in the great outfit I’ve been using: Eric Michaels’ En Plein Air Pro easel. It’s a light-weight and perfect all-in-one system, and I get praises wherever I paint.

“I had my eye on the En Plein Air Pro Easel after seeing it online and being used in the field by more and more of my plein air painting friends. Fortunately, I ended up winning the Advanced Series Oil and Acrylic Easel as the prize for Best In Show for the Outdoor Painters Society Associates Showcase in 2012. I also received a large selection of the linen panels, which I absolutely love! I immediately liked the easel’s light weight and easy set-up. The palette gives me ample room to mix and save mixtures as I paint. This easel has a really well-thought-out design, and is very sturdy and adaptable to any height and a wide range of panel or canvas sizes. I have a number of other plein air easels, but the En Plein Air Pro is my number one choice when I need to hike in to a painting site. Great product, guys! Thanks! ”
— Jimmy Longacre

I ordered your Advanced Series Oil & Acrylic kit last week, and I was so happy with how fast it came because I got to test it out yesterday. And I totally love it! So portable and easy to set up and take down. Way better than any bulky wooden french easel that’s for sure. I actually filmed a review while I was painting, and posted it on my site for all my patrons to see: Watch Now

Christopher Clark
Fine Artist, Commercial Artist


Note: Chris posted his video on facebook, and we saw this comment from fellow artist Doug Holread:

“Nice review! I’m enjoying my easel which Lori gave me for Christmas. I especially like how easy it is to switch from oils to watercolor. Nice product Eric”

I love this easel set up; it is what I’ve been looking for. Compact, quick and easy to set up, it is light weight and holds the canvas sizes I prefer for en plein air work. One of the features I like most is that it moves the palette away from the painting, therefore providing plenty of space to work from all directions. This is a feature that I like about a French easel, but this is so much lighter and covenant to transport and set up. I also like the cut out for the tarp container.

I also us the En Plein Air Pro Pastel set up, and enjoy the same features as with the oil palette. My first impression was that the box will not hold enough pastels, but after organizing the box with what is needed for plein air work, it hold the right amount without being to large or heavy.

Thanks for a great product, Bob Rohm

“At last!  A plein air set up that really works!! There are a gazillion plein air easels on the market, (and I’ve tried most of them) but this is the ONLY one that doesn’t require any “tweaking” to accommodate watercolor.  All my students have this easel and I recommend it for my workshops too!”

Tina Bohlman

Tina is a prolific Texas artist and workshop leader.

“Provides the stability that we need while being light-weight and compact. This one’s got it all.”
— Frank LaLumia AWS, NWS

Frank LaLumia is a signature member of the AWS, the Plein Air Painters of America, and the author of the book PLEIN AIR PAINTING IN WATERCOLOR AND OIL, North Light Publications.

“… very sensible design, is light weight, uses a standard tripod and is easy to set up”.

Author of, “Watercolor Energies,” “Webb on Watercolor,” and “Composition For The Painter.” In these books he explores design, expression and the philosophy of art. He has also made five instructional DVDs.

Frank Webb NWS, AWS

“The watercolor palette shelf is the perfect set-up with a tripod easel. I am really pleased with the sturdy palette; it has nice big wells with lots of room for mixing, and yet the whole set up is light weight which is really important to me as my plein air painting usually requires hiking, often on the cliffs of Monhegan Island or at Mount Katahdin in Maine. I also like that these accessories can be purchased separately if an artist already has a tripod easel. I’ll be recommending this company to my students.

….I took it to Ireland for the workshop One big plus is that I could down-size my bag and still get everything in, and with $60-75 charges for an extra bag, that makes a difference, coming and going. We were painting in Eyeries, on the Beara Peninsula of Ireland.”

Evelyn Dunphy Studio
West Bath, ME

“The ‘En Plein Air Pro’ easel is a must for every watercolor artist who loves to paint outdoors! It fits perfectly in a small computer or carry-on bag for traveling. This is the most functional easel I have ever seen! I take it everywhere with me! Simply, a work of perfection! Need I say more?”

Catherine Anderson AWS, NWS