Painting in the Round

28 May 2014

My fervor for art comes from my sheer love of art history. When I was a student, I looked at images and slides for hours and hours, and it felt that with each new painting or drawing I was enriched. You know the feeling I mean?

Doni Tondo by Michelangelo.
Doni Tondo by Michelangelo.
One of the works that I loved from the moment I saw it was Michelangelo's Doni Tondo. It wasn't the narrative content that drew me so much as the intertwined composition of the oil painting--how each figure's limbs were torqued, twisting to meet one another and, in several cases, mirroring body positions leading to an overall balance within the piece, however complicated. And don't even get me started on the colors--amazing!

But then the practical questions swoop in. I will always wonder just how Michelangelo actually painted the Doni Tondo. On the wall? Horizontally? He didn't have an Artristic Easel back then, which can lock into any position that a painter wants, so I have a feeling it was a "make due" scenario instead of an optimal one.
Artist Gavin Byrt using the Artristic Easel.
The varied size canvases the Artristic Easel can accommodate.
The varied size canvases
the Artristic Easel can accommodate.
It doesn't have to be that way for us. With the Artristic Easel, you can stop worrying about the practicalities of painting--or the physical stressors that take their toll--by putting your canvas exactly where you need it to go. A blank canvas or panel can be intimidating enough, but at least when we are working in comfort we don't have to feel like we are fighting the edges of our surface. Instead, like the great Renaissance master, we find inspiration and virtuosity within them.

So challenge your expectations of yourself and give your creativity a little jolt. Work on a larger--or smaller--scale or, yes, even create a tondo of your own! And whichever direction you decide to go, consider an Artristic Easel. It allows you to work in any position you want--from a traditional stance in front of the canvas to one with your canvas tilted forward or back, raised or lowered, rotated to any angle, or even positioned like a table top, which is great for applying thick paint with a palette knife. You decide how you work, so you can work in whichever way you want. That freedom can really allow your art to take flight. Enjoy!

And I'm really curious--do you use an easel? What kind of easel do you use? What do you like about it? What would you like to change or improve? Leave a comment telling me about your painting process. Can't wait to hear!

Related Posts
+ Add a comment


wendygoerl wrote
on 31 May 2014 12:24 PM

I think a lot of them painted on the floor. If memory serves, the easel was a Belgian innovation.

For smaller works, I can take 'em or leave 'em. The biggest factor in whether or not I use one for 11x14" and smaller is actually glare from lighting. Second place is whether a technique works better flat or upright. It's only a default if the cavas is too big to reach across comfortably lying flat.

peckane9 wrote
on 4 Jun 2014 2:24 PM

I have a custom built easel that I exchanged for a portrait.  But I also use a custom built desktop easel akin to a drafting table with a self made hand bridge in order to work fine details up close so that I can rest my hand and lessen hand tremor issues. Currently my easel holds a 24 x 48 panel.  I have been doing smaller paintings and drawings on the desktop easel. My next step in the art room is a way to display my work on the walls without using nails and making multiple holes in the walls.