Tables, Easels, and Boards
You can create most of your drawings at the kitchen table, although having your own workspace specifically for drawing is ideal. If you want to do larger pieces or spend more time drawing, you might want to get an easel or clipboard.
A portable drawing surface is very useful. A piece of thin timber board (such as MDF or Masonite) around eighteen by twenty-four inches (or as big as the largest piece of paper you want to use) works well. It can be set on your lap and propped on a chair or table edge for a conveniently tilted drawing surface, or placed on an easel if you have one.
An easel is not essential for drawing, and most of your work can be done on the kitchen table. However, they are wonderful when working on large pieces and essential for studio figure drawing (most studios offering figure drawing classes will have easels available for use). For working indoors, select a large, sturdy easel—a traditional A-frame construction is the best. These are quite simple to build, and relatively inexpensive to buy. Choose the most solid easel you can afford—you don't want it moving about or falling over when you are vigorously attacking a large drawing! If an easel is not available, large work can be attached to a wall using removable poster adhesive. If you plan to be doing a lot of outdoors work, a portable tripod easel with pointed legs to push into the ground is the most stable. There are an enormous variety of easels available, from all-in-one box easels to lightweight bare-minimum tripods. The choice here is largely a financial one. A minimal tripod will strap easily onto a backpack containing your other materials, while a luxury model with a palette/materials drawer and carry strap is certainly a pleasure to use. A portable easel tends to feel rather flimsy when used indoors; setting it up on a nonslip surface or mat improves stability a little.
Drafting Boards and Tables
The surface of a drafting table can be tilted to varying degrees and sometimes comes with sliding rulers, pencil holders, and other gizmos attached. Many professional artists, especially illustrators and cartoonists, consider them essential. A great advantage of drafting tables is the adjustable angle, which lifts the top of the page, reducing distortion of the image due to viewing angle.