Help Me Choose A Lap Desk!
There are a lot of different elements to think about as a colourist: the kind of mediums to use, storing all those precious art supplies, the different books, the types of paper, the tips and tricks we can use to further our colouring skills... but there's one thing that doesn't get focused on much- something that is actually really important- and that is our comfort when colouring. A lot of us have huge desks like an artist's treasure trove that holds all our mounting supplies, but if you're anything like me you’ll find those desks are really uncomfortable to sit at for long periods of time when you have that page that just *needs* to be finished before you go to bed/do the housework/feed the kids (joke)... It can take hours, days, even weeks to perfect your piece of art, and I really don't want to spend all that time hunched over. Don't get me wrong, I love my big desk. I do all my reviews and videos there. It looks really impressive and everyone comments on it. All my actual *colouring* however is done on the place I find most cosy and relaxed... the sofa. Preferably with a good boxset on the TV and a few snacks to graze on.
The thing is, if I'm sat on the settee I don't have anything to lean on and have to rely on heavy hardbacks from the bookshelf to act as a portable desk. It's funny; I've been colouring daily for over 4 years now, spent countless pounds on everything you can think of to do with colouring, yet I haven't invested in the one thing that I really, really need: a proper lap desk. I just keep dragging that big old book over to the sofa and getting annoyed when my colouring book slips on the glossy surface, or I colour right off the edge by accident because my colouring-book is bigger than my desk-book!
I made my mind up this week to put the cumbersome book (about Elvis Presley if you're curious) back on the shelf and scour the 'net for something that might not look as wondrous as the sleek studio desk I review from, but something that is going to be a big help to me on a daily basis. No bells and whistles, just functional. Even though I'm looking for something basic I still have a few stipulations that need to be met to make it perfect for me, and that's where you come in. After scrolling through pages & pages of desks I stumbled across three on Lionshome that I really want but can't decide between, so I need your help!
The first is a very basic looking lapdesk which is minimalist and small in size- so it's easy to carry around with me. It has a padded bit underneath which gives comfort for long periods of time, and a wipe clean surface for when my paints or Stickles get a bit out of hand. The thing I love the most though is the dedicated slot at the top for you to insert your iPad/tablet. This means I can follow tutorials and Colour Alongs without either having to sit at the big desk or balance my tablet precariously on the arm of the sofa. My tablet will fit perfectly in the recess without falling over when I'm at that crucial stage of a tutorial (or with my earphones in watching Netflix when someone else is using the main TV).
The second has something super important on those evenings when the sun is setting and everything gets a bit dim in the living room... a built-in LED light! It has a flexible gooseneck that I can position over the exact place I'm colouring, and the table has a recess for a cup of water if I'm painting! There's also a little slot to temporarily store pencils in whilst I'm colouring with a small selection of colours from my main pencil case. Like the previous one this desk is wipe clean, portable, and has that bean-bag type thing underneath to rest nicely on my lap.
Option 3 is dual functioning and can also be used in the second most popular place I do my colouring: bed. This desk is on legs so it goes over your lap without leaning on it- good if you're a bit of a fidgeter like me. It has a stopper which allows you to prop up your colouring book so it doesn't slide anywhere, and a little storage drawer which would be handy when I'm working on a certain piece over many days and I want to keep the exact mediums I'm using handy. It's also adjustable to tilt at different angles so I can set it to the exact slant most comfortable for me.
Can you see why I'm having difficulty?! The first two lap desks come in cheapest at £11 and £15 respectively so they're really affordable. The last desk has more versatility but is double the price... Please comment 1, 2 or 3 below to let me know which one you think I should choose. I'll leave it a while to get some replies and I'll buy whichever has the most votes! I am the least decisive person ever so your opinion will be a BIG help. I know it's only a desk at the end of the day, but I always umm and ahh before ordering ANYTHING so I need a push in the right direction!
I'd also love to see your desks, or if you colour anywhere else not at your desk, how you set it up. Send me some pictures on Facebook/Twitter/Insta and I'll check them out!
21/8/2018 01:26:08 pm
I think 3 :)
22/8/2018 06:41:23 am
I think option 3 is best as well :)
21/8/2018 01:29:05 pm
I do have the bamboo one and it works great. Worth every penny!
21/8/2018 01:32:24 pm
21/8/2018 01:36:11 pm
Option 1, because of the beanbag bottom. It conforms to you however you are sitting. Another nice feature is a slightly rough top, rather than smooth, it holds your book in place better. Wish I had the tablet slot that is a great idea.
21/8/2018 01:53:44 pm
I used to have a cheaper one bit like your 1st option. The drawback was it had polystyrene ball filling which eventually went flat and the bag inside split! I now have this one. It says says unavailable now but they have other models. It is larger (can fit such as Johanna's books on it open without it hanging off the edge) and has a memory foam cushion.
21/8/2018 04:19:32 pm
Replaced mine with a cushion.
21/8/2018 01:54:04 pm
1. 3 is useless if you are not in bed. Get some sleep and don’t make it too comfortable to color in bed. Buy 1.
21/8/2018 02:37:30 pm
I would go for option 3.
21/8/2018 03:00:52 pm
Oh dear - I have 2 and 3!!! 2 for on the sofa and 3 for in bed LOL. On 2, the LED light is not particularly strong except directly above the small piece you are working on - so you'll probably need a bigger lamp as well.
21/8/2018 03:02:21 pm
21/8/2018 03:07:58 pm
I would go for either 1 or 3. I have something similar to 3 and I find it's a bit awkward sitting on the sofa and a bit bulky. I have 1 also but i find if you don't sit with your knees up you end up bending your back so either way they both have positives and negatives.
21/8/2018 03:16:20 pm
I think option 1 would be best for working at the sofa. The feature of the tablet slot would make it much more versatile than option 3.
21/8/2018 04:18:00 pm
Option 1 quite simply more open space. I have one like option 2 bought from hobbycraft many years ago but the light just got in the way and so I removed it. The beanbag underneath did burst and so removed that and stuffed a cushion inside which is more comfortable than the polystyrene beads. Will post a picture on FB if you want to see it now. Happy shopping.
21/8/2018 04:58:57 pm
Option 2, as I have one and the drink holder can also be used to hold pencil sharpener and eraser. The light no longer works but I have a separate one behind the sofa which is amazing. The bed option would not encourage me to get up but may be great for someone less able to move around.
Mary Ann Taylor
21/8/2018 05:13:05 pm
Claire, I too have looked and looked at different lap desks that last several months. I have a similar one to Option 2 on my Amazon wish list. I had one similar to Option 3 and found that it took too much room when sitting on the sofa although worked great for the few times I used my laptop in bed.
21/8/2018 05:39:40 pm
Thank you Claire for asking for our/my opinion!
21/8/2018 08:04:34 pm
21/8/2018 08:57:27 pm
#3 is only useful in bed, IMO. Otherwise those legs will get in your way. Even in bed I found that type to constrain me to a particular posture. I have lupus and have periods during which working in bed is necessary. I use something more like #1. I use a separate, clip-on LED light that I can move wherever I like (make sure you can use plug-in power as well as batteries) so I can make up for changing light in the room. That’s what works for me, but of course, YMMV.
21/8/2018 09:14:14 pm
I would recommend 1. I have something similar but without the tablet slot. The downside to numbers 1 and 2 is the beanbag underneath can make your legs hot after some hours of use. I like 3 but I don’t sit with straight legs all the time and I found the desk didn’t really fit when my legs were curled under me.
22/8/2018 01:21:43 am
I actually own #3, which is invaluable when at my infusions. It's very very sturdy (I've owned for 2 years this Christmas), the drawer on the side can hold a good supply of items (approximately 15 Spectrum Noir markers for example), and the ledge that you can adjust for your book is my favourite part. So...bias explained, I'd suggest #3 of course :D
22/8/2018 06:42:36 am
I would go with option 3. It has the most available space and can be used for more than 1 thing.
22/8/2018 11:56:27 am
Looking at the options and reading through lots of the comments I think I would say option one for the sofa and if you can stretch to it option three for the bed.
23/8/2018 10:11:18 am
I have option two and use it often. The light is next to useless and got in my way so I removed it. The surface is a bit non-skid which is handy, and I like the pencil cup. Option three looks a little flimsy for the money, and I would want the tilting part centered. Option one would be good with another cushion underneath to lift it up more.
24/8/2018 01:46:47 am
After reading all comments/reviews above, would go with #1. Really liked #2 (I need all the light I can get with poor vision, but light and underneath do not seem dependable.
Sharon J Chambers
24/8/2018 09:57:03 pm
I have versions of all three of these.
26/8/2018 02:00:35 am
Hi Claire. I use something like Option 1 - I can colour anywhere - on my patio, on the couch etc. Have to be honest and say that I don't colour in bed, but option 3 would work the best for that location. I don't think I like option 2 - the light would get in the way, and knowing me, I would twitch around too much and still spill the cup of water!!
9/9/2018 11:07:29 am
Okay, I have the first one. I wish I had the 3rd one. Fay after day, the first one is just too small and really too basic. My daughter, Bethanee, I got her the second one. She loves it, no complaints at all, well except had to put batteries in lamp. But I still think the 3rd one is best and is what I will be getting.
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