Saturday, December 6, 2014

Review of Darsie Beck Field Easel Art Bag

On Saturday, November 29th I tested the Darsie Beck Field Easel Art Bag during the visit of NYC Urban Sketchers to the Jefferson Market Public Library. Darsie Beck is a Washington state-based artist who designed the bag and has it manufactured by local artisans.  I am glad to report this bag is a well-designed and easy-to-assemble solution to the problems of standing and sketching.

The bag is small – measuring 11 inches x 10 inches by 3.5 inches deep, so forget about bringing all the tools in your arsenal. But it holds quite a bit.  I was able to pack two sketchbooks (one A5 Moleskine, and one Canson 7 inch x 10 inch spiral bound), a small water color set, 9 pens and water brushes, a water spritzer, a small bottle of water, a cell phone, and a protein bar with some room to spare.

The bag comes with a removable clear Plexiglas support that attaches via Velcro to the front flap. This creates a platform upon which to place a sketchbook slightly above the waist. The platform is solid and can easily withstand any firm pressure on the sketchbook. An elastic band near the top will firmly hold a small watercolor paint set. The bag also comes with an attachment that affixes by Velcro to the bag’s strap across the chest for pens and water brushes giving easy access to your tools while sketching.

I recommend the Darsie Beck Field Easel Art Bag for those sketchers who like to work while standing. It costs about $100 including taxes and shipping.  If interested, check out the Field Easel Art Bag at  The website has an excellent video showing Darsie Beck demonstrating the set-up of the easel.  One last observation: for cold weather outdoor sketching, you do not get as cold standing as you do if sitting. The temperatures on Saturday hovered around 38 degrees F. My hands in cut-off finger gloves got a little cold, but the rest of me was fine.


  1. Great review Alan. Thanks for sharing this information. I think your point about standing up while sketching in the cold is a good one. It's something that we will have to face for the next couple of months.

  2. Thanks for the helpful info as I'm considering this

  3. Is it any inconvenience (due to water bottle placement hitting your elbow or something, trying to reach the pencils, pockets zipping open, etc) to use the bag when you are drawing and painting left handed?

  4. Alas, my experience with this bag has not been so positive. Liked it initially, right size, etc. Have used it for less than six months and the netting which holds the water bottle has ripped at the bottom. Bigger disappointment: the strap broke and now I must seek a shoe repair shop to fix it. An additional cost on an already I dare say overpriced product. Waaaa