I was very excited to find a roll of sticky back dry erase roll in Michael's for $1 (as well as a sticky back chalk board roll, which I haven't tried yet). I cut a piece of it and stuck it to our wall. It peels off easily but doesn't stick too well to the rough paint on our wall, so I added a border of yellow masking tape, which doubles as a border of "allowed to draw on" surface. No easel needed and no space taken!
It works great with an addition of dry erase crayons. Kitten's favorite part is to clean it afterwards (the included with crayons mitten does not work very well but wet paper towel works like a charm). It cleans easily off the wall too, although Kitten is pretty good about staying inside the border.