What’s So Great About an Art Bench?
An art bench is a place for the artist to sit and prop up a stretched canvas or drawing board on a support. Because the artist straddles it to sit, it is also known as an art horse, bench easel, art pony and donkey bench. It creates a simple work-station and some are very portable. With the drawing board or canvas placed at an angle, the top and bottom of the drawing or painting are equidistant from the artist’s eyes; drawing on a flat table, however, the top of the drawing is farther from the eyes than the bottom, which can create distortion in the finished work!
You can also sit “side saddle” on an art horse. If you are right handed, your legs will be on the left side of the bench. If you are left-handed, your legs will be on the right side of the bench. If you are drawing from a model or a still life setup or a book, adjust the bench so that your legs are on that side, making it possible for the upper body to face the subject or book.