Sunday Mailbag- Drawing Easel?

August 13th, 2017 | Posted in Mailbag

Q: Which kind of easel do you use when drawing live caricatures?

A: I don’t use an easel per se but rather a drawing/drafting table or drawing board when I do live caricatures. It depends on if I’m drawing them at a theme park or a convention/event.

At the theme parks we use drafting tables that have been modified. I replace the laminated pressboard table top with a custom made laminated plywood board (much lighter and thinner) that has a drawing paper holding tray on the underside of it, a clip scavenged off of a clipboard for holding the piece of paper I am drawing on, a “Borco” drawing surface and shallow shelving bars that go across the top to hold your pencils, airbrush bottles etc. The tray is handy because you load it up with paper and just reach up and over, grab the next sheet, and you are in business.

On the go I have a drawing table I made that is very portable. It’s extremely light and easy to get around with. It’s made out of PVC and also has a drawing paper tray underneath, a clip for your paper, is covered with a Borco surface and has the mini shelf bar for pencils and other tools. It’s just a lap board so doesn’t have any support legs but it can be leaned up against a table top or the edge of a chair or some other surface and is easy to use on the go.

Here are some pictures of my portable board:

That little black patch on the side is a piece of non-slip material for holding my cellphone or iPad in place for when I work from photo references.

The paper tray.

The paper clip and “shelf” for pencils, etc.

Alas this board has seen better days. It’s been all over the middle east/Asia and Europe as well as to dozens of comic-cons and workshops. Gets a little beat up by the airlines.

And no, I will not make one for you.

Thanks to Dominick Zeillinger for the question. If you have a question you want answered for the mailbag about cartooning, illustration, MAD Magazine, caricature or similar, e-mail me and I’ll try and answer it here!

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