Hughes Easel

written by Sophie | Materials & Technique

As you might have read in an earlier post I have been on the hunt for a new easel for a long time. After much deliberation I finally decided to go for a Hughes Easel, handcrafted from solid American oak in sunny Florida by helpful chap Don Andrews.

Don patiently answered all my questions about measurements, wobble potential and ceiling heights and has been very helpful throughout the whole process. After a few months wait my easel finally arrived today. And it is superb. A counterweight pulley system makes it easy to move it up and down. It can take huge canvas as well as miniatures, I can sit and stand, I can even put two smaller works on it at the same time. Everything is rock solid and will not wobble or move a  single millimetre. I can’t wait to use it. I am sure it will last a lifetime and more. Thank you Don.

PS: In choosing this easel I have been reliant on many artists’ experiences and I am very grateful for their help. If anyone has any questions or wants a review about the Hughes easel, do let me know and I hope I can help as much as others have helped me in deciding.

PPS: Update from 2022.  As  I am not painting as much as I used to, and because this easel is quite big, I have sold the easel to a fellow painter. I still believe Hughes easels are the best you can get but it deserves to be used much more than I was using it. Hope youll love it F!

The easel arrives in two very large boxes
One half of the easel packed flat
Both parts of the easel put together and raising upright.
Perfect easel!


Published: July 18, 2015

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  1. Really enjoyed this article Sophie. I hope you are thrilled with your Hughes Easel, it looks amazing. I am an artist living and working in Perth, Scotland. My main easel is an ancient Mabef, that I got years and years ago, and it is literally falling apart. I have been searching for a new easel and thought I’d found it when I read your blog. However, when I looked at the price tag, I realised that this item is beyond my piggy bank’s ability to cough up! I’ve put it out there in the Universe and I have mentally rearranged my studio to accommodate this magnificent easel. My website is not up to date, but my FB page Karenina Johnson Artist and my Instagram account of the same name are. (Note to self, update website!) Best regards, Karenina

    1. Thanks for your kind comment Karenina! I hope you’ll be able to afford it one day. But if not, there are lots of great easels out there for a more affordable price too! Happy Painting!

  2. Hi Sophie,
    I stumbled across your blog whilst searching for UK based artists with Hughes easels. Didn’t think I’d have much luck finding anyone, but there you are. 🙂
    The easel looks great and what a wonderful studio you’ve created.
    Like Bjarne before me, I too am concerned and curious about the shipping costs (and import duties levied on top) to the UK.
    On their website, Hughes mention having to choose a shipping company. Which one did you end up using? I’m very concerned about potential damage occurring during shipping.
    Thank you for your time (and your wonderful blog).

    1. Hi Daniel,
      Hughes Easel seems to have some serious problems to deliver, since it’s a one man operation. Don, the owner, says there have been some health issues in the family. I ordered in mid-July 2016, and have been promised to have my easel 10-12 weeks later => mid october 2016. In december 2016 I have received a new delivery date on mid-March 2017. My easel is a large Model 4000 in oak, extended version (+75 USD) to handle a 6 feet 6 inch high canvas (200 cm).
      The ocean door-to-door quote fra Don says 700 euro. The price of the easel is 2.430 euro, in total 3.130 euro.
      My email is:

      1. Hi Bjarne, thanks for all that wonderful info. I hope Don and his family are alright, but it sounds like it is hopefully a temporary problem. Best wishes to him!
        Thanks again.

      2. Hi Bjarne,
        thank you kindly for adding your experience and information. 700€ for (insured?) Trans-Atlantic shipping of 120KGs of art (they really are works of art aren’t they). I guess I’m not surprised at the cost of that.
        I’m sorry to hear about Donald’s family’s health problems. We can only hope it isn’t anything serious and that those involved are doing well.
        Furthermore, I hope your patience will be rewarded soon with delivery of the Easel. Good things come to those who wait. 🙂

    2. Hi Daniel, thanks for your message. Yes, there are Hughes easels in the UK! Do send me a private email and I can let you know what I paid for shipping. I am hesitant to publish this on the internet and of course exchange rates vary enormously as well. My easel was shipped with Cigna and it was very well wrapped by Donald from Hughes Easels. No damage, all was perfect. Do speak to Donald, he is more than happy to answer all questions! Good luck deciding…

  3. I have studied the market for easels, and have decided to buy a Hughes 4000 easel. Costs for shipping from the United States may be quite high, so I would appreciate if someone on this blog can provide contact info for a European reseller of Hughes easels?

    1. Hi Bjarne, I am afraid you’d have to order it direct but I can tell you it is well worth it. It is really the forever easel. I’ve sent you an email about shipping etc. Would love to hear whether you go for it! Sophie

  4. Feel free to drop me a line if you have any questions about it. Many artists helped me out when I was researching it so more than pleased to do the same for others. 🙂

  5. Hi Sophie!! Yes, I am considering one! I’ve had a few different easels, and they just never work out as well as they should. That’s so wonderful that you found the perfect easel for you! Thank you so much! Sandy

    1. Hi Sandy, thanks for stopping by! Since my studio is not very big I chose the smallest model, the 2010. I emailed with Don extensively, going through all the measurements of my studio, my paintings etc and he came up with the perfect easel. So, yes, a few adjustments here and there I think, but he makes each easel bespoke so you can have whatever you want. It is just perfect. I find myself lifting the painting tray with my knee! The saw teeth hold a stretched canvas perfectly still: ideal for detail work. I could go on and on, I just love my new easel! Are you considering getting one?

      1. Hi Sophie!! Yes, I am considering one! I’ve had a few different easels, and they just never work out as well as they should. That’s so wonderful that you found the perfect easel for you! Thank you so much! Sandy

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