I just moved into a new place, and plan on creating a desk that can be used as a computer desk, quilting desk, and drawing/drafting table. While often it will be a flat surface parallel with the floor, I would like to be able to angle the surface for drawing, painting, etc.

Is there a specific angle used for drawing and drafting, or is it purely personal preference?

  • The drafting tables I have used typically have an adjustable angle to suit each person. Is this an option? Some adjustable mechanisms are quite simple.
    – JPhi1618
    Commented May 18, 2016 at 21:15

2 Answers 2


It hugely depends on you. Typical setups are around 30-40 degrees, but personal preference is paramount. Find an angle that you are comfortable with, and stick with it.

Personally, I prefer a flat desk, but some people I know aren't happy unless it's closer to 45 degrees.

Bear in mind that whilst learning, some teachers will encourage you to change your angle if you are having problems with distorting your proportions. It will force you to look at the drawing differently whilst you draw it.


This is a somewhat supplement to Johnathan's existing answer.

The height of your chair or stool will likely affect the angle you set your table to. If you're sitting low compared to the desk, you'll likely need the surface more upright in order to have the reach and perspective you'll need. If you are sitting much higher than your desk, then a less inclined surface could work fine.

One of the things I try to shoot for is having a comfortable eye line with the center of my piece. I don't want to lean too far forward or tilt my neck uncomfortably. So, I prefer to put my desk as far upright as it goes, and adjust my seat accordingly. This is the most comfortable set up, in my experience.

However, the more upright you go, the more likely you are to need some sort of clip or way to affix your paper to the desk. If it's a large sheet, it'll probably rest on the bottom ridge. But if you want to place a smaller sheet, such as printer paper, in the center of the desk, it'll (obviously) slide without some help.

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