Easel options: how to hold panels?

I paint on Ampersand Gessobord, and I have trouble with the easel covering the edges and casting a shadow across the top. When I work with the deep cradles I can prop the edge up on the bottom and top to avoid this problem (although not ideal), but when I work on the thin panels I can’t do this and end up wedging some wood pieces in the easel so I can prop my panel on that. If the panel is small enough I sometimes clip or tape it to a board. However, non of these options are as stable as I would like. Does anyone have any better options?


I use industrial-strength velcro, which I purchase in 20-foot rolls from Home Depot/Lowes. It’s about 2 inches wide, and I cut it into 1 or 2 inch length pieces. A few of these will anchor just about any non-cradled panel to my easel (I think the largest I’ve tried this way was about 18x24. I’ve never had a panel fall off my easel, though I do regularly press the velcro’d areas to ensure they are still properly fastened.


Funnily enough the same thing bothered me so I made this : -

here in action holding my panel : -

as you can see the pane projects a couple of mm beyond so I can have nice brush strokes any direction, no shadows cast and no possibility of picking up debris from the bottom tray of the easel.


When pulling the velcro off the back of your panel does it damage the panel?

It can, especially if it’s an engineered wood like masonite, but… it’s the back of the painting. If I were really concerned, I’d apply some GAC100 on the damaged area (or even the entire back of the panel) to protect it.

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I also paint on Ampersand Gessoboard which I mount onto a piece of foamcore cut two inches larger all the way around. I attach it with Scotch double sided tape. The foam type that’s about 1/8 inch thick. I cut 1 inch squares and put one in each corner of the back of the painting. I never have to handle the painting. It stays on the foamcore until it’s varnished. It pops of the foamcore easily. I use a hairdryer to remove it from the back of the painting. AC Moore sells two large sheets of black foamcore for display purposes that I than can cut down. Hope this helps. I am new here and I can’t seem to find out how to post a photo in a reply. I have one showing a mounted painting.


Hi Jack, I just posted a tutorial on how to add images to a post. You can visit this link if you need help:
Site How to: Add an Image in a Reply

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Thank you Leah. All set

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Great! Glad to hear it. :relaxed:

I had a very big problem with the same. I have a Hughes easel, so that took care of that. But, I do have other easels and have that problem. I do have a paintbook for small work and I just slap my panel up on the magnetic back and its all covered!

Edgeprogear has paint panels that are magnetic. They are also have bars for the paint book. I am thinking that you can use a magnetic tape that is set up on another piece of masonite or whatever you like. Glue the magnetic surface down using industrial glue. You can alos buy their quick panels if you don’t want to go through all of this. Their paint panels are great as they come with a magnetic back and are smooth. If you work small, it will work. If not i would make my own magnetic tape on back of the panel. I am sure there are surfaces and panels like this.

I found this website dealing with magnetic tapes and surfaces you may wan to use.


Go to edgeprogear website www.edgeprogear.com so you can model it after them and check out their quick panels. I love them! they are triple primed and feel like linen. You have to sand down the panel a little with fine sand paper higher than 400.

I hope that helps:)

Amanda, Hello!

Depending on the size of your panels, you might consider a panel holder such as this one by Carol Marine['s husband]. She claims it’s easy to DIY, but only uses up to 8x8s on it.


Good luck,

One way to deal with the cast shadow from the top is turning the top holder upside down. It will be slightly less stable, but still can hold the panel well.

I usually use for smaller panels my Italian field easel, it’s quite sturdy and holds smaller works without extra investment in setting up panel holders…


That is a great solution John! I like that!

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I know this is an old topic but I have a different approach that may be of interest. I use high powered magnets (neodymium disc magnets) that are taped to the back side of a small panel. This is then held firmly in place to a larger size foam board by additional magnets. I have found the magnets at Home Depot in the hardware department. Less powerful magnets don’t really hold as well as these do. I have a small video on utube that goes over it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0NEAQmnUCs


That’s awesome Dan! :smiley:

Hey Dan, Thanks for posting this. I have quick panels from edgepeogear that uses magnetic backing as well as the paint book with everything magnetic. I love that system so thinking of trying this using your method!

Hi Nanci,
The key to my success with this method is the neodymium magnets. They seem to be super strong. I had tried weaker ones, and it just didn’t work. Yesterday, I used the same methodology to hold a tracing paper oil transfer (of a portrait sketch) in place onto an MDF board. It worked great.
Good luck


Thanks, I’ll try this.

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