As veganism continues to gain popularity worldwide, the demand for vegan products has also risen in every aspect of life, including art supplies. Vegan art supplies are products that do not contain animal-derived materials such as bone, fur, or other animal byproducts.
In this article, we’ll explore the world of vegan art supplies, including the best brands for thoughtful and mindful materials that can give you beautiful, aesthetic results.
Why Choose Vegan Art Supplies?
Art supplies are a fundamental part of any artist’s toolkit. But, why should an artist choose vegan art supplies? There are several reasons why an artist may choose vegan art supplies over traditional, non-vegan supplies.
Firstly, using vegan art supplies is an ethical choice. Vegan art supplies don’t contain any animal products or derivatives, which means that they are cruelty-free. By using vegan art supplies, artists are supporting a kinder, more compassionate industry that doesn’t harm animals in the process.
Secondly, vegan art supplies can be better for the environment. Traditional art supplies often contain animal-derived products such as bone or shellac, which have a significant impact on the environment. In contrast, vegan art supplies are often made from plant-based materials or synthetic alternatives, which can be more sustainable and eco-friendly.
Lastly, vegan art supplies are also safe for people with allergies or sensitive skin. Traditional art supplies often contain animal-derived materials that can cause allergic reactions or skin irritation. By using vegan art supplies, artists can avoid these problems and focus on their art.
Commonly Used Animal-Based Ingredients in Art Supplies
There are several animal-derived ingredients that are commonly used in traditional art supplies. These include:
- Bone: Bone ash is often used to create white pigments in paints, such as bone white or ivory black.
- Shellac: Shellac is a resin secreted by the lac bug and is commonly used in varnishes, inks, and dyes.
- Sable hair: Sable hair is often used in high-quality paintbrushes for its softness and flexibility.
- Hog hair: Hog hair is often used in paintbrushes for its stiffness and ability to hold paint.
- Rabbit skin glue: Rabbit skin glue is a traditional binder used in watercolors and other paints.
- Beeswax: Beeswax is used in some waxes, pastels, and encaustic paints.
- Lanolin: Lanolin is a wax secreted by sheep and is used in some art materials as a binding agent.
It’s important to note that not all traditional art supplies contain animal-derived ingredients, and some manufacturers are beginning to offer vegan-friendly alternatives. As an artist, it’s always a good idea to check the label or contact the manufacturer to ensure that the product is vegan-friendly.
The 7 Best Art Supply Brands That Have Vegan Products
There are several vegan art supply brands available in the market today, and it can be challenging to choose the best one. Below are the top 7 vegan art supply brands that offer high-quality, cruelty-free products for artists.
Winsor & Newton
Winsor & Newton is a well-known brand that offers a range of vegan art supplies, including watercolors, oils, and acrylics. They have a “vegan-friendly” label on their website, making it easy for artists to identify which of their products are suitable for vegans. However, this doesn’t make the entire brand vegan-friendly.
Liquitex is a popular brand that offers vegan acrylic paints, mediums, and varnishes. They also have a range of vegan-friendly spray paints, making them a top choice for street artists. However, the brand is not entirely vegan, but it offers a range of cruelty-free spray paints and air-brushable acrylic inks. As far as we know till now, the brand’s acrylic paints are vegan except Ivory Black.
Besides offering high-quality sustainable stationery products, Faber-Castell also has a wide range of vegan art supplies, including pencils, pens, markers, and pastels. Their products are known for their top-notch results and durability. The brand has been completely cruelty-free for the last 40 years and do not sell products that are tested on animals. A lot of their products such as Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils are vegan-friendly.
Copic is a Japanese brand that offers a range of vegan-friendly markers, including their popular Copic Sketch markers. These markers are known for their vibrant colors and excellent blending capabilities. All these markers are confirmed vegan and cruelty-free
Derwent is a brand that offers a range of vegan-friendly pencils, pens, and markers. Their products are known for their high-quality and versatility, making them a top choice for artists. All Derwent Coloursoft Pencils, Graphite XL Blocks and certain products in their watercolour lineup are vegan.
Caran d’Ache is a Swiss brand that offers a range of vegan art supplies, including pencils, pens, and markers. Their products are known for their exceptional quality and precision. In particular, the brand’s lightfast Luminance 6901 range of pencils, triangular erasers and Eco Gouache paints are all creulty-free, paraben-free and 100% vegan products
Daniel Smith is a brand that offers a diverse range of vegan watercolors. Their watercolors are known for their highly pigmented finish and consistency, making them a top choice for professional artists. The only animal-derived pigment used here is PBk9 which is used in colours like Payne’s Gray, Sepia and Ivory Black. The brand also offers gouache and is famous for its open stock watercolours.
Everything You Want to Know About Vegan Art Supplies
Are all art supplies vegan-friendly?
No, not all art supplies are vegan-friendly. Some traditional art supplies contain animal-derived materials, such as bone or shellac. It’s essential to check the label or contact the manufacturer to ensure that the product is vegan-friendly.
What materials are vegan art supplies made from?
Vegan art supplies are often made from plant-based materials or synthetic alternatives. For example, synthetic bristles are commonly used in vegan paint brushes, and plant-based ingredients are used to create vegan paints, such as watercolors and acrylics.
Are vegan art supplies more expensive than traditional supplies?
It depends on the brand and the specific product. Some vegan art supplies can be more expensive than traditional supplies, while others are similarly priced or even less expensive. However, the price difference is often negligible, especially considering the ethical and environmental benefits of using vegan art supplies.
Can vegan art supplies be used by professional artists?
Absolutely! Vegan art supplies are used by professional artists worldwide, and many top brands offer high-quality vegan options. In fact, many professional artists prefer to use vegan art supplies due to their ethical and environmental benefits.
How do I know if my art supplies are vegan?
Look for a “vegan-friendly” label on the product or check the product’s label or website for a list of ingredients. If in doubt, contact the manufacturer to confirm that the product is vegan-friendly.
Are vegan art supplies as good as traditional supplies?
Yes! Vegan art supplies are just as good as traditional supplies in terms of quality, durability, and performance. Many artists even prefer vegan art supplies due to their high-quality pigments, excellent blending capabilities, and versatility.
Vegan art supplies are becoming increasingly popular among artists worldwide, and for a good reason. They offer an ethical and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional, non-vegan art supplies without compromising on quality or performance. If you’re an artist looking to make more ethical and sustainable choices in your art practice, consider incorporating vegan art supplies into your toolkit. By supporting cruelty-free and sustainable brands, you can make a positive impact on the world while creating beautiful works of art.