A freestanding device, it is for holding the ground (panel, canvas, etc.) upon which an artist paints. A studio easel usually has a rectangular base and an adjustable tray and grips to hold the ground. A sketching or field easel is generally lighter in weight, smaller and portable with folding capacity. Most of them have three legs, with two of the same length in the front and a longer back leg. Source: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"<br><br>A stand or resting place for working on or displaying a painting. A simple easel can be a tripod with a cross bar for the painting to sit on.