Every serious artist has a dedicated desk on which they do all their work.
A good artist desk provides plenty of space, is ergonomic, has a sufficient amount of storage, and helps you stay organized.
If you are working on horizontal desk for long stretches of time, you are probably familiar with neck and back pain due to bad posture. Having an adjustable table-top that can be slanted is a great solution.
But choosing an artist desk isn’t easy because they come in all shapes and sizes. Moreover, depending on what type of art you make, some features might be more important to you than others.
This simple buying guide will help make your choice easier.
5 best desks for artists
Studio Designs offers a variety of different desks. But this Comet Center desk is our favorite.
This drafting table has a very sleek modern design and comes in 5 different colors. The drawing area is 36 inches wide by 24 inches tall and has a nice vinyl finish.
The table top can be tilted to a maximum angle of 15 degrees and has a detachable pencil ledge to prevent pencils and paper from falling off.
This desk comes with a stool and an attached side table with drawers for easy storage. Note that this side table can’t be removed so make sure to have plenty of space available besides your desk. The drawers themselves are 13″x13″.
This table by Martin Ashley is as sturdy as can be.
This is mainly because each leg of the desk can be adjusted separately.
So no matter is you have an uneven floor or not, your desk won’t be wobbeling.
Moreover, the tilt mechanism is designed in such a way that won’t collapse on its own weight.
This might sound obvious, but considering how light-weight this model is, it’s actually quite surprising.
It also comes with a few drawers that can be used to store your smaller art supplies and tools.
The Futura draft table is another model by Studio Designs.
The most obvious different is the transparent table-top. This means you can easily turn this craft station into a light table for tracking and tracing your drawings.
(Note that the light pad is not included.)
Moreover, the Futura has plenty of storage. On the sides of the table top are 4 removable side trays that can be used to easily store pencils, art markers and brushes.
And there is a big slide out pencil drawer and three smaller drawers underneath the table as well.
The entire desk is very sturdy and stable due to the strong aluminum legs and plastic caps. The table top itself has a surface area of 38 inches wide by 24 inches deep and can tilt up to 35 degrees.
The Futura has received many positive reviews and is an excellent desk for serious artist.
This compact artist desk by Alvin Craftmaster is great for people that don’t have a lot of space at home.
Due to the small size, it will easily fit in a corner of your study or garage.
Thanks to the simple design you can assemble the desk in no time.
But the small size of this desk also comes with the obvious drawbacks such as little leg room and a small work area.
Sure, this drafting desk might not have all the bells and whistles of some other models.
But what it lacks in features, it more than makes up in looks.
You can place this desk in any room and it will fit perfectly.
The drawing surface is 32 inches by 21 inches, so it’s a pretty small artist desk.
It has plenty of room for storage since it has two drawers and 3 open shelves.
The top can either be used horizontally or at a 45-degree angle. Unfortunately, there are no option for smaller angles available.
It is available in either black or espresso color.
When choosing between different artist desks, keep the following points in mind:
- Size: artists can be as small or big as you want. Try to find the right balance between a desk that is big enough to hold everything, but still fits in your office, living room, or garage.
- Storage: you can never have too much storage at your disposal. Check how many drawers come with the desk and if a separate cabinet is included.
- Comfort: if you sometimes work on projects for hours at a time it is super important to be comfortable. An artist desk that is adjustable yet sturdy will do wonders.
- Chair/stool: sometimes the desk comes with a stool included. Although the desk might be amazing, the stool is often very simple. If it’s uncomfortable or the wrong size you will have to buy a better chair separately.
- Design: is the way your desk looks important to you? If you will place it in a private study or office, maybe not. If you are planning on placing it in the living room for everyone to see, probably it will be.
What is a drafting table used for?
Most artist desks have a drafting table built-in.
And if you draw a lot, you will love working on one.
A drafting table (also known as a drawing board or architect’s table) has a top that can be tilted to different angles.
This might sound strange. Especially because you learn how to draw and write on a horizontal table.
But working under an angle actually has a lot of advantages.
First it will help improve your posture. If you work on big drawing you will constantly have to lean forward to the part of the paper furthest away from you.
This is not the case for a tilted table. As a result, working on a drafting table is a lot more ergonomically pleasing.
Moreover, it is more difficult to see details if the paper is far away from you. Rotating the table will bring the entire drawing closer to you.
Finally, drawing or painting on a flat surface often leads to an exaggerated perspective. Which can be easily prevented by working under a small incline.
What is a light table used for?
A light table is a table with a glass desk top with a light source underneath it. This makes it very easy to trace any drawing.
For some people it is an absolute must. For others, it is merely a nice bonus to have.
If you replied yes to one or several of the following questions, you might want to buy an art desk that can be used as a light table.
- Do you frequently trace or ink your drawings?
- Do you need to transfer drawings from one paper to anther?
- Do you often make multiple iterations of the same drawing with minor changes?
- Do you want to learn how to draw by reproducing other artists’ work?