Animal-derived materials were essential for artists of the past – rabbit skin glue, dye made from crushed beetles, egg tempera, and pigment made from cow urine, to name a few examples. As art material technology develops there are more and more options available. Here are some vegan art supplies for artists who want to make more animal-friendly choices in their practice.
Drawing and Pastel Paper
Watercolour and Traditional Gouache
Watercolour papers are traditionally treated with a gelatin size to reduce the absorbency of the paper (gelatin is extracted from the skin, bones, and connective tissues of animals), but there are a number of watercolour papers that are treated with synthetic size instead.
Note that some of the papers below have been made on a machine that uses woollen felts to give surface texture to the paper, this can be controversial in terms of whether the watercolour papers can be classed as vegan or not as the paper comes into contact with woollen blankets. However, the paper itself does not contain animal-derived ingredients, so it is down to the individual choice of the artist as to whether the watercolour paper is suitable for them.
Watercolour papers that are treated with synthetic size:
- Canson Heritage
- Canson Moulin Du Roy
- Fabriano Artistico
- Fabriano Watercolour
- Fabriano 5
- Global Fluid Easy
- Jackson’s Watercolour Paper Blocks
- St Cuthberts Mill Botanical Ultra Smooth
- Stonehenge Aqua
Yupo Paper is a non-absorbent synthetic paper made from polypropylene. No animal products are used in its production, and it is suitable for watercolour, acrylic paint, and alcohol ink.
Drawing and Pastel Papers
Like watercolour paper, some drawing and pastel papers are treated with gelatin size. The below papers are sized with a synthetic sizing agent and are confirmed to be vegan-friendly by the manufacturers.
- Fabriano Accademia
- Norfolk Cartridge Paper
- All Strathmore papers
- Snowdon Cartridge Paper
- Surrey Cartridge Paper
It’s worth bearing in mind that watercolour paper also makes an excellent surface for drawing, so you could also choose from the watercolour papers in the previous section.
Pastel papers prepared with synthetic size:
- Clairefontaine Pastelmat Paper
- Colourfix Pastel Paper
- Daler Rowney Ingres
- Fabriano Ingres
- Fabriano Tiziano
- Fisher 400
- Hahnemuhle Velour
- Hahnemuhle Lanacolours Pastel Paper
- Lux Archival
- Sennelier Soft Pastel Card
Canvas is a plant-derived material, made using either cotton or linen. The following canvas surfaces are confirmed to contain no animal-derived ingredients, such as animal hide size or glue:
- Belle Arti Cotton Art Board
- Jackson’s Handmade Boards
- Jackson’s Premium Cotton Canvas
- Jackson’s Premium Cotton Canvas Art Boards
- Jackson’s Ultralite Linen Boards
- Pebeo Natural Linen Canvas Boards
- Winsor and Newton Classic Canvas
The word ‘gesso’ is a bit of a misnomer here, as gesso is traditionally made using rabbit skin glue and whiting (chalk) and shouldn’t be confused with the modern acrylic primers most artists use today. The following gesso panels do not contain any animal products – either in the gesso, or in the panel support:
For artists who prepare their own painting surfaces, rabbit skin glue is a traditional glue used to make gesso and to seal unprimed canvas and raw wood panels. An alternative to rabbit skin glue, although not exactly the same, would be the Gamblin PVA Size – PVA Size would be considered a vegan product as it is a neutral pH polyvinyl acetate glue thinned with distilled water. PVA provides a good size layer that seals the fabric but does not re-absorb atmospheric moisture, swell and shrink like rabbit skin glue does.
Most drawing inks, including india ink, cannot be considered vegan because they contain shellac, a resin secreted by the female lac bug. There are a couple of ranges that are not shellac-based:
- Daniel Smith Walnut Ink
- PH Martin Radiant Watercolour Dye (non-waterproof)
- Winsor and Newton Calligraphy Ink (non-waterproof)
Acrylic-based inks, such as FW Artist Inks, Schmincke Aero colour, and System 3 Acrylic Inks could make vegan alternatives to shellac-based inks (note that they dry water-resistant).
Watercolour Paints and Traditional Gouache
Some watercolour ranges contain honey, which helps keep the paint rewettable after drying. Another common addition to both watercolour and traditional gouache paints is ox gall, a dispersing agent derived from bile obtained from the gallbladder of cattle. The following ranges do not contain either of these ingredients and are considered vegan, but some include pigment PBk9, which is derived from animal bones:
- Daniel Smith (except Sepia, Ivory Black, Joseph Z’s Neutral Grey and Payne’s Gray)
- Holbein watercolours (except Ivory Black)
- Lukas 1862 (except Ivory Black)
- Royal Talens Rembrandt (except Lamp Black)
- ShinHan Premium (except Ivory Black)
- Qor Watercolours (except Ivory Black)
Ox gall can also be used as an additive during painting to improve the flow of watercolour paint. Golden QOR Watercolour Synthetic Ox Gall does not contain animal ingredients and is a good vegan alternative.
The following traditional gouache ranges are certified vegan, with the exception of certain colours that contain pigment PBk9:
- Daler Rowney Designers’ Gouache (except Neutral Grey 2, Paynes Grey, Lamp Black, Cool Grey 1,2, & 3 and Warm Grey 1,2, & 3)
- ShinHan Professional Designers Gouache (Except Ivory Black)
- Winsor and Newton Designer Gouache (except Ivory Black, Raw Sienna, Winsor Green, Spectrum Yellow, Intense Blue, Sky Blue, Purple Lake, Prussian Blue, Linden Green, Flame Red, Burnt Umber, Bengal Rose, Primary Blue, Lamp Black, and Spectrum Violet, which all contain ox gall.)
Acrylics are made using pigment and acrylic polymer resin. With the exception of those containing ivory black PBk9, acrylic paints do not contain any animal products. The following ranges are certified vegan and are not tested on animals:
- Amsterdam Standard Acrylic
- AV Artist Acrylic (except Ivory Black)
- Daler Rowney Cryla Acrylic (Except Ivory Black)
- Daler Rowney System 3 Acrylic (except raw sienna)
- All viscosities of Golden Acrylic (except the colours Bone Black, Jenkins Green, Prussian Blue Hue, Terre Verte Hue, and Neutral Gray 2 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8)
- Jackson’s Artist Acrylics
- Jackson’s Studio Acrylic
- Lascaux Artist Acrylics
- Winsor and Newton Professional Acrylic (except Ivory Black and Payne’s Gray)
Oil paints are made using plant-based drying oils. Some ranges, however, include a small amount of beeswax in the binder. The following ranges are vegan, with the exception of a few colours:
- Daler Rowney Artist Oil Paint (except Ivory Black and Blue Black)
- Daler Rowney Georgian Oil Paint (except Ivory Black, Prussian Green and Coeruleum Hue)
- Gamblin 1980 Oil Paint (except Ivory Black and Van Dyke Brown)
- Gamblin Artist Oil Colour (except Ivory Black, Van Dyke Brown, Terre Verte and Asphaltum)
- Holbein Duo Aqua Water-Mixable oil paint (except Ivory Black and Sepia)
- Isaro Oil Paint (Except Ivory Black)
- Jackson’s Professional Oil Paints (Except Ivory Black)
- Jackson’s Artist Oil (Except Ivory Black)
- Langridge Oil Paints
- Michael Harding Oil Paints (except Ivory Black and Payne’s Grey)
- Winsor and Newton Artist Oil Paint (except Blue Black and Ivory Black)
Wax is a key ingredient in coloured pencils, including oil-based pencils. However, all Derwent Coloursoft pencils, Derwent Metallics, Derwent Pastel pencils and Derwent Graphitone are all free from animal ingredients. Faber-Castell Polychromos and Albrecht Dürer pencils also contain no animal ingredients, using inorganic and synthetic materials and materials of plant origin. Faber-Castell have not initiated any animal testing on products or materials for 22 years, and do not use casein glue in packaging.
Brushes are traditionally made using natural animal hair, from hog brushes for oil paint to soft sable brushes for watercolour. In recent years there have been huge steps forward in synthetic brush technology, vastly expanding the options that artists have. The following brushes are made using synthetic hair, and do not include any animal-derived glues in the body of the brush. There are too many vegan brushes available to list all of them, so we’ve featured some that are designed specifically to mimic natural hair:
- Da Vinci Casaneo (synthetic squirrel for watercolour)
- Escoda Modernista Tadami Synthetic (synthetic mongoose for oil and acrylic)
- Escoda Marfil Chengdu (synthetic hog for oil and acrylic)
- Escoda Versatil (synthetic kolinsky sable for watercolour)
- Jackson’s Akoya (synthetic hog for oil and acrylic)
- Jackson’s Kite (synthetic kolinsky sable for watercolour)
- Jackson’s Crane (synthetic hog for oil and acrylic)
- Pro Arte Bristlene (synthetic hog for oil and acrylic)
Read this post to find out more about the development of synthetic brushes.
Here is a really useful PDF which lists many of the Winsor and Newton products, detailing whether they include animal derived ingredients.
This is by no means a definitive list, and if you have any products to add please let us know by leaving a comment.
Thank you Jacksons for taking the time to source this
information and passing it on to us.
Thank you for your comment, glad it will be of use to you 🙂
If you mix all of the primary colors, you can still make black without resorting to using the animal-based product. At least, that’s my theory! I’m just getting starting on my journey, and that’s one of the things I wanted to check. Very much appreciate finding this resource, as I am a staunch Vegan.
Very true you can indeed make your own black, avoiding the need to use ivory black etc. Do send across any questions you might have and I’ll do my best to answer them.
All the best,
Well done doing this….I will
circulate to all my friends
Thanks for this. I use Winsor & Newton Griffin Alkyds and
was concerned about animal derived products. I use the
sheet below to check, I note that you sell some of the
products listed. Can you add these to your blog. Thanks
Hi Alison, thank you so much for this. I will definitely add the pdf in!
I am going to visit London on tuesday
21 mars and wonder if you have
Holbein empty metal Palette 140×305
mm in your shop on 1 Farleigh place?
V:a Storgatan 38
611 32 Nyköping
Tel. +467038 300 12
Thank you for your enquiry. I’ve checked with Farleigh Place and unfortunately it doesn’t look like we have any of those particular palettes in stock, they are discontinued from the supplier so it is unlikely that we will be able to get them back in. Apologies, I hope you have a lovely time in London 🙂
escoda and raphael brushes have synthetic brush
series, should anyone like to know
Thank you for your suggestions, it’s great that most ranges do have a synthetic alternative. The reason we didn’t include them all is that sometimes in the varnish of the handles, companies may use shellac which is obviously animal derived so we will need to check for sure before adding them to the list 🙂
I will be using this site as my continuous reference! Thank you. It means a lot!
Thank you Yvette, I do add things as I find them so hopefully it will continue to be a point of reference for you.
All the best,
I use Escoda Modernista brushes and they are great!
And thanks to Jackson’s for this article – I try to not use
dead-animal products so it’s very helpful.
Wonderful! Thank you.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!!!! ❤️
Thanks for having a cruelty free section. I’m a museum
art teacher writing from the United States. I appreciate
your site having a cruelty free section. My students and I
have tried various different colored pencils and found
that Prismacolor are the best. However when I called
them I got an icy response that they don’t know the
ingredients used by their suppliers and will not provide
info on their suppliers. Do you know anything about it? I
understand there is a European colored pencil that is just
as good. Is that cruelty free?
I’ve heard back from Faber Castell, who say that all Faber-Castell pencils, pens and erasers use inorganic and synthetic materials or materials of plant origin. Faber-Castell have not initiated any animal testing on products or materials for 22 years, and do not use casein glue in packaging. Here’s a link to our FC range:
I am waiting to hear back from Caran d’Ache, who might be another alternative for you. Both brands are very highly regarded. Let me know if there’s anything else I can do for you!
Hi, does anyone know of a cruelty free vegan acrylic black
Hello! Most acrylics’ bases will be animal free, so you just need to chose a vegan pigment. Mars Black is a good example as it is made from Iron Oxide (rust). I’d recommend avoiding Bone Black as that’s often made from bone ash. Hope this helps!
Thanks for putting this info out
there. Being a vegan artist I
appreciate it. Hope you will keep
adding to it as you find other items
that are cruelty free. 🙂
Thank you for the time you have taken
to compile this very informative
list. I have put it in my’Pocket’
for future reference.
Great article, this is so helpful!
Thanks a lot 🙂
Thank you so much for this. I’ve struggled till now to find
information about cruelty-free art materials; and this is both
helpful and heartwarming! I’m saving this page for future
reference and shopping! 🙂
Might it be possible for you to obtain some encaustic
wax materials that are vegan? They appear to be
unavailable in the UK.
Hello Carre, thank you for your comment. I’ll talk to my manager and see what we can do! 🙂
Thanks! I appreciate this as buying vegan art supplies
can be a nightmare. Just a heads up – probably best
to not list the paper that contains wool though
Came here to say the same thing. Wool is not vegan.
Hi Caroline, thanks for your comment. The actual paper
doesn’t contain wool, its surface texture is created using
natural woollen felts – however I can see how this may still
cause an issue as the paper has come into contact with
wool. Thanks for highlighting it!
I’m researching into vegan watercolor supplies. Does
ox-gall just increases the fluidity of watercolours? I’ve
just found it is said to improve the adhesion of color
into the paper, is it true?
Also, could they be considered vegan other
watercolours brands such as Daniel Smith or Maimeri
Blu? I found no info on their sites about honey or ox-
Looking forward to hear back from you.
Hello Sigrid, thank you for your comment. Ox-gall is a wetting agent that increases the flow of your watercolours by reducing the surface tension of the water you mix them with. This helps reduce marbling, resulting in more even washes. It can also be used on very hard sized papers to reduce surface tension – this allows the watercolour to sink into the paper faster. I’m not aware of it increases the adhesion of the paint though; please may you share the article with us?
In terms of Daniel Smith and Maimeri Blu Watercolours we’re not sure but I have contacted the suppliers. Although their general formula may not include honey or ox-gall, specific pigments (i.e. Bone Black) may be made from animal products.
Hope this helps! 🙂
The Maimeri Blu Watercolour Range is not marked as Vegan as the Ivory Black paint contains bone and the Natural Ox Gall Medium contains ox gall, however the rest of their range does not contain animal products.
Daniel Smith have responded saying the following:
Our products are not tested on animals.
The only animal-derived ingredient is the pigment pBK9. pBK9 is found in the following colors only: Sepia, Ivory Black & Payne’s Gray.
Yes, I thought the only function of the
medium was to increase the flow. You
explained it perfect! I found those properties
attributed to ox gall in the Maimeri
catalogue of their art supplies as well as on
some shops which sell this product. It can
be found online.
I wrote to Maimeri too and someone replied:
“We do not test our product on animals. But
we can not declare that our colours are
vegan.” Another person from a vegan art
supplies source on internet wrote to them
about the matter and at first someone
replied their watercolors could not be
considered vegan but then she spoke to
someone else and replied their watercolors
are vegan and gave more details.
It would be useful if all manufacturers
prepared vegan friendly sheets not only
about their free animal by products but also
about the manufacturing process, animal
testing conducted by them or through
related companies. Faber-Castell or Golden
are very open about it.
I will keep on with my research and will let
you know any news.
Very useful information, saved a lot of time of searching,
thanks a lot!
I have contacted Maimeri as well, and
they have confirmed that Maimeriblu
watercolours do not contain animal
ingredients, apart from Ivory Black.
I have also contacted Talens and they
said the same about their Rembrandt
That’s great to hear, thank you for contacting them and for the info on Talens too!
Thanks so much for this article. Given the number of
comments and questions, there is a lot of us vegan artists
out there trying to do our best to not use animal products.
You have helped us a lot!
Glad we could be of help Maria. After writing the article I realised it made me think so much more about what goes into products (and more importantly what should be left out!) All the best, Christine
Great blog, as I am just returning to watercolours. Are the
Derwent and Faber Castell watercolour pencils also OK
Thank you Julie! Faber Castell do not use animal based ingredients with the exception of their Beeswax Crayons which contain natural beeswax. Derwent list their vegan friendly products here: https://www.derwentart.com/a/274739?_ga=1.57388969.2065623446.1483617661 however it does not mention the Derwent Watercolour Pencils. Many thanks 🙂
Thanks for finding vegan art supplies, very helpful.
Are there any inks that are vegan and suitable for Sumi-e
I do not believe the Bockingford papers are vegan. They
are not externally sized with gelatin, but on their website
they state they aren’t externally sized at all. They are
internally sized, and it does not specify whether they use
gelatin or if they are vegan friendly.
Looking at the website for one of their distributors,
Legion, it does not state if the sizing is gelatin or
synthetic/vegan. Some watercolor paper Legion carries,
like Stonehenge Aqua, are clearly labeled on their website
as vegan friendly. So the lack of this for Bockingford is a
bit of a red flag. I don’t think we can assume they are
Thank you for your comment – there is a blog post which states that the sizing used for Bockingford, Millford and Somerset papers do not contain any animal derivatives. Here it is if you wanted to have a look: http://stcuthbertsmill.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/vegan-and-veggiepapers-st-cuthberts.html
There is also this pdf which states about the sizing of Bockingford paper also: http://www.winsornewton.com/assets/vegan_vegetarian_doc_june_2004__2_.pdf
Hope this helps clear things up a bit, let me know if you have any more questions 🙂
Hello, we are looking for an alternative for this product to use
for gilding: https://www.naturalpigments.com/technical-
Do you carry something that we can use for gold leaf/ silver
leaf gilding? I hope so 🙂
Are you looking for a gold size (gilding adhesive) that is animal-free?
We do oil size, water size and acrylic size with a variety of open times. They are all animal-free.
I’m trying to find some cruelty free gouache but there seems
to be very little information. Firstly not all the companies
state which pigments (Daler Rowney for instance) are used
in their colours so I can’t confidently source a good black
which doesn’t contain pbk9, also I don’t know what other
components there are in gouache. Would be great if you
could source some information about this.
Hi Liz, thank you for your message! This blog post is a work in progress so it will be added to any time I get more information. As for gouache, the Lascaux Acrylic Gouache contain no animal products. Here’s the info on Lascaux’s website: http://en.lascaux.ch/lascaux.ch/en/beratung/haufige_fragen/index.html
Winsor and Newton Designer’s Gouache have 17 colours that contain animal derived ingredients: Ivory Black, Raw Sienna, Winsor Green, Spectrum Yellow, Intense Blue, Sky Blue, Purple Lake, Prussian Blue, Linden Green, Ivory Black, Grenadine, Flame Red, Burnt Umber, Bengal Rose, Primary Blue, Lamp Black and Spectrum Violet. All Daler Rowney’s Designer’s Gouache is free from animal ingredients with the exception of colour Neutral Grey 2, Paynes Grey, Lamp Black, Cool Grey 1,2&3 and Warm Grey 1,2&3. I’ll investigate the other Gouache ranges and add to this comment once I have found out for you.
Caran d’ache gouache is suitable for vegans. I contacted
them after finding a document online which has a list of
vegan products by Caran d’ache. They also confirmed that
the brush included is made of synthetic hairs, therefore
suitable for vegans. I like the pan set very much. I would
suggest that you contact Caran d’ache if you are
Here is the link to the document I found:
Thank you so much for this link! Lots of great info on there for Caran d’Ache users.
Thank you for compiling this list. I live in USA… was wondering if you have list of cruelty
free acrylic canvases too. Thanks.
Thanks for your message – I’ll have a look into this and add what I can find to the blog post. It will be about the sizing/preparation of the canvas which would be the issue, whether it is primed with acrylic gesso or traditional rabbit skin glue sizing.
Thank you Jackson’s for this information, I’m a vegan artist and it’s important to me that
the products I use or non animal. Would love manufacturers to clearly label their products,
vegan, vegetarian or not tested on animals.
Thank you, Carol
Thanks very much for your comment! Hopefully one day we will get to a point where labelling like you describe is the norm. This list is by no means definitive and I’m continuing to add things when as and when find them. Glad it can be of use to you 🙂
All the best,
Thank you to share this informations! Since they are not
mandatory, as you know, it is very difficult to clearly
understand if a product is vegan or not. Many thanks!
Hi I was just wondering if you know anything about the
Rembrant watercolours and if they use animal products
Hi Helen, thanks for your question,
As far as we can see, Rembrandt Watercolours (with the exception of Lamp Black (702) which contains bone black pigment (PBk9) do not contain animal products, they use gum arabic as a binder. Hope this helps,
I really appreciate this and it’ll make me shop with Jackson
in the future. As a Vegan professional oil painter I take this
subject vert seriously.
this article and thread has been so helpful. Thank you
This is fab! Can you help with with another question. I would
like to do some some metal guilding with leaf but am
worried that the glue size required is animal based. Can you
Thanks for your comment. I am pleased to say that Polyvine have confirmed that their gold leaf size is animal-free – https://www.jacksonsart.com/search/?q=polyvine+size
I have been trying to find out
whether the honey based watercolours
: Sennelier, Jackson’s own brand, and
M Graham contain Ox- gall. Because
they contain honey they are
blacklisted as ‘not vegan’, but I,
and many other vegetarian and
eco-minded people have no issue with
honey. It is the Ox-gall that is the
concern. I would be delighted if you
could unearth this information. It is
wonderful that Jackson’s takes this
subject seriously, allowing customers
to make informed choices.
Thanks for your comment – I will contact the brands now and let you know as soon as I hear anything. From my own knowledge, M Graham uses natural blackberry honey and gum arabic in their paints but I don’t know whether ox-gall is also used. As soon as I hear back I will let you know!
Thank you so much for this info; we artists must be at the
forefront of the fight against speciesism
A very useful resource, thank you.
Are Jackson’s Watercolour Sketchbook’s vegan?
Thanks for your question – are you referring to these ones? https://www.jacksonsart.com/jackson-s-watercolour-sketchbook-160gsm-48-sheets-17x24cm-portrait
If so, then I can confirm that they are vegan.
About the synthetic brushes…..does it mean that the whole
brush is vegan ? The metal, the paint, the production ???
When referring to Jackson’s brushes, the synthetic ranges do not contain any animal products, either in the varnish, bristles, paint or glue. Hope this helps clear things up a bit.
Hello and thank you so much for the informative page. I
also read all comments and couldn’t find anything
about the Sakura Koi Watercolour palette and Mungyo
water colours. Do you have any information about
those? (I own those already but would like to know for
sure as I won’t buy the bigger sets if they are not
vegan). Thank you!
Thank you very much Jackson’s for taking
the time to provide this information.
Thank you!! I have been struggling to find
Vegan Acrylic paints. This article is great
This site is amazing, thank you so much
for taking the time to create it.
I’m looking for vegan friendly canvas;
do you know any brand that makes
Thank you so much!
Thanks for your comment and question – in terms of vegan-friendly canvas, are you looking for one which has not been sized with rabbit skin glue? If that’s the case you will be looking for canvas which has been primed with an acrylic primer or unprimed. Are you looking for stretched canvas or canvas per metre which you can then stretch yourself?
Great article! So important to me
and others who want a more
compassionate world. Thank you, David
Thank you David.
Are Lamy pen inks and catridges vegan?
I’ve contacted Lamy for you to find out about their ink and cartridges, as soon as I hear back I will let you know.
Even I have contacted them twice but
never got any reply. So, can you suggest
some ink brands for fountain pens that
do not use animal products and some
pen brands that do not use any animal
As of yet no reply, I’ll try again on their social media pages and see if I can get a response that way. I know that Winsor & Newton’s Calligraphy Ink range does not contain animal products and the blue-capped bottles within the range can be used with fountain pens. It seems that information on vegan fountain ink online is a bit lacking, I think you only need to be concerned if it has shellac as a binder as that is obviously a no-no, there are a couple of companies online that use squid ink in their Sepia colour but those should be clearly labelled so you can avoid them.
Thanks Christine. So, is there any
particular color of ink where shellac is
used? I am mostly interested in green
colored ink and a little light blue-
greenish-turquoise kind of ink and red
The shellac is a binder so its inclusion shouldn’t differ in terms of the colour – if a range uses shellac, usually all the colours will contain it. Another option for you might be the Dr. Martin’s Hydrus Liquid Watercolour Paint – it can be used in calligraphy pens, technical pens and fountain pens. I’ve been looking online to find out if the Hydrus range is vegan, I can’t see that it says it uses shellac anywhere but I wouldn’t want to confirm for definite without finding out for you. Here’s the link to the range if you wanted to have a look at it in more detail: https://www.jacksonsart.com/dr-martins-hydrus-liquid-watercolour
How did you find out if they are vegan
and are they still so ?
I have contacted Lukas via email.
Website contact form. And instagram
comments. No answer on whether
suitable for vegan. Pretty disappointed
at the cold shoulder.
Incidentally just as confirmation.
Hanhemuel confirmed their papers are
vegan. Royal talen says Rembrandt and
Van Gogh are both fine apart from 2
blacks. pbk9 pigments. Shminkie
Akademie watercolour and gouache both
They replied back to me 10 mins after I
wrote and confirmed vegan. No oxgall.
That’s great to hear, thank you for confirming and letting us know. And thank you also for the other brands, I’ll make sure to add them to the list.
Do you sell any vegan ready
stretched canvases? As a beginner
to acrylics I am especially
interested in the cheaper price
range. Although a couple of people
have asked this question in the
past, I cannot see any
recommendation. Many thanks.
Thanks for your question – on our website we have listed the Loxley stretched canvas as vegan, however I would like to check that with Loxley directly before definitely confirming that it is vegan. As soon as I have confirmation I will let you know.
Thank you for this informative article. I am looking for vegan cold
wax. Do you know of any brands?
That’s a great question & a difficult one to answer – all the cold wax that we stock contains beeswax which is obviously a no-no. I’ve had a quick look online and I can’t seem to see a vegan alternative, even making it yourself would require the use of beeswax. It might take a bit more investigating to see if there is an alternative to use instead of the beeswax.
Hi Tami, have you had any luck finding a
vegan alternative for cold wax? I have
been searching and can’t find anything.
I’ve had a look and conducted a bit of research online and can’t find any ready made vegan cold wax substitutes. If you were feeling adventurous and wanted to look at making your own, you could perhaps substitute the beeswax with a vegan alternative. However this would be a lot of trial and error as to the quantities of each component you would need as well as how the vegan substitute beeswax would work and act when melted. There are articles online which look at making your own cold wax medium (with beeswax) but that might be a starting point for you.
I hope this helps, all the best,
I need a gold fabric paint for linen fabric
I heard they actually crush the female bugs to make the shellac because it is made from their exoskeletons/shells.
This is the main reason that for vegans animal bi products, that includes insects too, is a no no.
Are all gold size in your store animal free..?
Thanks for your question. I’m going to do a bit of research and also ask my colleagues, as soon as I can get any confirmation I will let you know.
I’ve spoken to one of my colleagues who has informed me that all the oil based gold size is largely made up of linseed oil and white spirit – therefore no animal products! It is however hazardous to animals/aquatic life/etc and should be disposed of properly. The acrylic sizes do not contain any animal products either, the only gold size product that does is the gelatine strips or capsules used in water gilding. I hope this helps, let us know if you have any more questions.
This information is really helpful. I am
interested in the Art Spectrum Colourfix
smooth paper. Do you know if this is
Glad you find it useful. I’ve just emailed Art Spectrum to find out for you, the only way I could see it not being vegan is if they use animal-derived glue in the manufacturing of the paper or in the sizing of the watercolour paper itself. As soon as I have an answer I will let you know.
Good morning Sarah, I have had a reply from Art Spectrum: ‘Yes you are correct Art Spectrum® Colourfix™ Papers are vegan friendly. The sizing used in the cotton watercolour paper and the primer (used to coat this paper) is also free of any animal derivates.’ Hope this helps, I’ll add this information into the blog post too. Let us know if you have any more questions.
Thank you very much. That is really good
news. I will be ordering some in the next
day or two as I really want to try this
Glad you found it useful Sarah!
Could you tell me if the Jackson’s Art 3mm
uncradled gesso panels (the grey and
umber boards) are vegan free please. The
Ampersand boards are all environmentally
friendly and vegan which you may wish to
add to this list. Thanks for your time!
Great question – I’ll double check with our team that make them, I have an idea they are made with traditional gesso (which would mean they aren’t vegan) but will double check before confirming.
Art supplies that are cruelty-free or without
the use of animal products is an important
concern for many artists.
Hi, have you been able to contact
Kuretake about their gansai? I’ve been
searching high and low as to whether
they still use animal glue in their
watercolours but I keep getting mixed
messages! Are they DEFINITELY only
using gum Arabic as a binder? Hope you
Kuretake told me that their watercolors are not vegan, they use
glycerin made from tallow.
Thank you very much for your reply – it looks like another email to Kuretake is in order. As this post was from 2017 the information was correct at the time of posting, however I am making updates to the post as and when new information comes to light. As soon as I have a response from Kuretake I will update the post accordingly.
All the best,
Thanks for this list. I was about to
purchase the Kuretake Gansai
after seeing your list last time but
then I saw another post recently
that alarmed me about it not being
vegan. Glad I came back here to
double check the comments.
Please let us know the update on
this as soon as you can! That’ll be
greatly appreciated. I’ll hold off
from purchasing them for now. 🙂
Good morning Shereen,
Thank you for your comment – I’ve removed them from the list for now until I have a definitive answer.
All the best,
Hello, are there any
updates on whether
Kuretake Gansai Tambi
are vegan? I’ve been
using Sakura Koi and
am looking for
something better, more
vibrant, less chalky
fillers, easier to layer,
etc. I have seen both
that they are vegan
and that they use
animal fat. Someone
else said that only
some of the opal
colors contain animal
products, so I’m
your site and your
Thank you for your question. We asked Kuretake back in 2017 if their Gansai Tambi were vegan, and this was their response: ‘We can confirm that all Gansai Tambi sets are vegan and cruelty-free.’ Obviously this was 4 years ago and while there have been no significant changes to the formula of the paints in that time to our knowledge, that doesn’t necessarily mean this information is still 100% accurate – therefore I will contact them again to find out if this is the case.
Kuretake have just let us know that the Gansai Tambi colours are not vegan. I think they used to think they were but have recently found out that one of their ingredients isn’t vegan.
Hello Christine! Really enjoyed the
article (which I’ve visited and has helped
me more times then I can count) and
your replies to everyone’s comments.
I’m another one who’d like to know about
vegan canvases! Primed stretched I see
you said you’d check with Loxely. I’m
happy also to use unprimed unstreched
canvas and do it myself (is unprimed
canvas vegan or is there a hidden
animal/insect in there somewhere?).
Interested to see if Loxely is vegan.
Thanks so much for this article and your
Thank you for your comment and glad you find the article so useful. Sadly I am unable to get a response from Loxley – I’ve tried emailing and contacting them via their website on several occasions to no avail. I’m going to try one more avenue to see if I can get an answer, I’ll let you know how I get on.
All the best,
I’ve had a response from Loxley, all their
Loxley Gold and Ashgate canvases are vegan
I hope this helps.
All the best and stay safe,
Just a quick note to tell you how much I appreciate this page and the fact that you are so quick to answer comments.
Thank you for this – glad you find it so useful.
All the best and stay safe,
What a great post, thank you for this
valuable information. Any idea if Moleskine
papers are vegan? (not their leather ones
Thank you for your question. I’m trying to get a response from Moleskine – the only way I can see the paper not being vegan is if their notebooks contained traditional vellum (which I don’t think they do) or if they used a size which was animal derived for their watercolour paper. As you say, the leather covered notebooks are obviously a no-no.
As soon as I get a response I’ll let you know.
All the best and stay safe,
Do you know of any vegan friendly
waterproof jet black ink to be used with dip
pens? I like to use watercolour over black dip
pen lines but struggling to find any that do
not contain shellac
You can use a black acrylic ink, like manuscript acrylic ink which is designed for use with dip pens. Once dry, it is water-resistant. I hope that helps!
Dr. PH Martin’s Bombay inks are vegan
friendly I believe?
From looking online it would appear that this is correct – thank you very much for sharing this information with us.
All the best,
Hello, could you please tell me if
Jackson’s Ultralite Linen Board (Claessens
109 Fine Linen Surface, Universal Primed)
and Jackson’s Handmade Board (Universal
Primed, Fine Linen CL535 on MDF Board)
are vegan? Thank you very much.
Hi Darren, both of those canvases are primed with acrylic primer (not sized with rabbit skin glue) and we use an acrylic adhesive to adhere the canvas to the board, so they are vegan!
Hi Evie – does that mean that all of the
Jackson’s stretched canvases are
vegan please? Thank you so much!
Good afternoon Emma,
Apologies for not getting back to you sooner – I’ve looked into this for you and can confirm that Jackson’s Premium Cotton Canvas is vegan. Our Jackson’s Museum Aluminium Stretched Canvas is however not vegan.
I hope this helps, all the best,
Hello! Thank you so much for
such a helpful list. Could you
confirm that the jacksons
handmade board clear glue
sized and handmade boards oil
primed are vegan? Thank you!
Thank you for your comment. Jackson’s Handmade Boards which have been sized with clear glue are not vegan as they have a layer of Rabbit Skin Glue applied. I’m going to find about the Oil Primed boards as the description doesn’t state explicitly what is used to prime the boards.
Hello, and thank you for the very useful
post! I am looking for a vegan ink to use
with stamps. Can one of the ink you
mention in the post be used for this
purpose? If not, do you know a vegan ink
Cecile, french stamper
Thank you for your comment and question. I know from reading a bit online that Versacolor ink pads are, I believe, vegan. The Daler Rowney FW Inks might be worth experimenting with. I haven’t used them myself with stamping so it might be a bit of trial and error and experimentation as it might not give you the effect that you are looking for but most acrylic inks should be suitable for stamping.
I hope this helps, all the best,
Hi, and thanks so much for this
information. Question about Lukas 1862
watercolors. Is the Ivory Black PBk9 still
made with animal bones? It seemed frim
the product/line pages that perhaps the
whole line is vegan and cruelty-free.
Hi Desiree, thank you for your comment. Lukas use pigment PBk7 in their ivory black which is a vegan pigment. The pigment to look out for is PBk9, which is still made with animal bones. The whole range of Lukas 1862 watercolours are vegan!
I have been doing a lot of research on
Vegan art products. It has been so hard to
find out what is vegan or not, but this
article, and the section to select vegan on
the website does help a lot. Thank you :)I
lately have been looking into wanting to
purchase some soft pastels, but it has
been really hard to find which ones are
vegan and which ones are not. I know
Unison is, but I was wondering about
some of the other brands. I saw a few ,
that are listed on Jackson art website as
vegan, but I was wondering if you of any
(maybe softer then unison) that are
(cruelty free and vegan) If not that’s okay.
I just figured I would ask. Thank you so ,
so much for all your time and help! I hope
you have a beautiful day!
Good afternoon Sarah,
Thank you for your message. So with pastels, especially high quality professional pastels, there should only really be a few ingredients in the pastel – essentially pigment and a binder. The way that a pastel wouldn’t be vegan is either the pigment itself, black for instance is more often than not made from charred animal bones, which is obviously a big no-no. The other way is if the company uses gum arabic as a binder. We’re in the process of contacting our supplier of Jackson’s Handmade Soft Pastels to find out if they are vegan. As soon as I hear back I will let you know.
All the best,
FYI, I emailed St Petersburg and they told me their white nights watercolors are not vegan.
Thank you very much for this, I’m sure lots of artists will find this comment useful.
All the best,
Hi, would you mind to share what kind of
animal-derived ingredients they use in
their watercolor? Thank you!
Is the Turner Watercolour range considered
Good morning Vee,
Apologies for the delayed response – I contacted Turner and their reply is as follows: ‘Except the bone black, we think the colours might be considered as vegan.’
I hope this helps, all the best,
Hi! Does anyone know if Mungyo products are vegan?
Thank you for your question. I’ve contact Mungyo via Facebook messenger and via the contact form on their website, I’ll let you know as soon as I have a response.
All the best,
As wool is used in the production methods of Bockingfords it is not vegan.
Thank you for your comment, in our introduction we do state about watercolour papers and whether they can be classed as vegan – I’ll make it more prominent.
All the best,
Christine, thank you so much for this.
I’ve just found this and for the past few
weeks I’ve been contacting some brands
about it, and I had already read in other
blogs as well that Arches Papers are not
vegan. But on their website there is nothing
about it. So I contacted them so I can have
something like an official statement, and
they replied me refusing to confirm is they
are vegan friendly or not. I’m disappointed
because it seems so easy to answer this and
still they refused.
Good afternoon Aline,
Thank you for your comment. Transparency in art materials is important and has become increasingly so in the last few years. In regards to Arches, the paper is tub-sized with natural gelatine, so therefore not vegan. It does say on their website that the paper is gelatin sized to the core: https://arches-papers.com/watercolor-and-wet-techniques/arches-aquarelle/
I totally agree with you that it shouldn’t be that difficult to find out.
I hope this helps, all the best,
thank you so much for this very detailed and comprehensive article.
I was looking for vegan painting materials and throught a french website, I’ve just discovered your page.
I was sure it was possible to celebrate Nature artistically, without spoiling it.
Hi Christine, thanks so much for this
valuable information! I know the original post was a few years ago and just wanted to check Langridge oils are still completely vegan?
Thank you for your comment – as far as we are aware the formula for Langridge Oils is still the same as it was, I will however check for you to make sure.
Hello! Apparently Dr PH Marten’s ink is
vegan, I emailed them some time ago and
have been using it ever since. Hope this is
Thank you very much for sharing this information, great to know.
All the best,
Hello Christine, Thanks for this article. Do
you know whether Winsor & Newton’s
granulation medium is vegan? Or whether
granulation media in general are vegan?
Thank you for your question – I’ve asked Winsor & Newton directly as the safety data sheet doesn’t specify the exact ingredients. I’ll let you know as soon as I have a response.
All the best,
Please let us not forget that a good product is ALSO GOOD FOR
THE ENVIRONMENT. It is simply not enough when a product is
100% vegan. Why are we rejoicing that a product is synthetic???
Are we forgetting that synthetic is potentially very BAD for the
environment?? Cruelty free is only half of the story!
This is a valid point for sure. We want to offer transparency and as much information as we can on the products we sell at Jackson’s, so that our customers can make as informed decisions on their purchases as is possible.
Does this mean all of the jacksons
acrylic artist paint isn’t vegan? As it’s
not mentioned here.
Good morning Molly,
Thank you for your comment – great question. We’ve looked into it and can confirm that Jackson’s Artist Acrylics are vegan, they are made from an acrylic polymer and pigments (none of which are animal-derived) and are not tested on animals. I’ll update the post now and include this information.
All the best,
Thanks for your time and writing this
article. Would you happen to have
information about Sennelier oil pastels? I
wrote an email to them and they
responded that all their oil pastels are
vegan, which does not appear to be true
since their colour chart mentions Pbk 9
in most of their black and greys. I am not
familiar with all pigment codes and their
composition so I was wondering if they
provided more honest and accurate
information to you guys.
Thanks in advance for your time, I
Good afternoon Aurelie,
Thank you for your question – I’ve sent Sennelier a message on their social media platforms and am awaiting a response, if I don’t get a reply that way I will email them directly to find out for you. Pbk9 is usually ivory black (which is normally made from charring animal bones, and one to avoid if you are vegan) We have a blog post which looks at the different black pigments and their make-up which might be useful for you: https://www.jacksonsart.com/blog/2020/11/27/exploring-the-differences-between-black-pigments/
I’ll keep you updated as soon as I have a reply.
All the best,
This is such a great resource! Thank you
for publishing it.
Do you have any information on the
Prismacolor product line? I’m curious if
their markers and NuPastels are vegan.
I’ve written the company but received a
bureaucratic diversional response as if I
was some kind of industrial spy. I would
expect a greater level of transparency from
such a popular manufacturer and I see
that others have received such a “cold-
shoulder” reply as well.
Can you recommend a vegan hard pastel?
Thank you for your comment, glad you find it so useful.
As for Prismacolor – from looking online it appears to be notoriously difficult to get transparent information as it seems that the components and ingredients within their ranges are sourced from multiple suppliers, therefore they cannot provide a definitive answer as they don’t have sufficient information. Which is frustrating to say the least.
In terms of hard pastels, Faber Castell’s Pitt Monochrome pastels do not contain animal ingredients and are not tested on animals.
I’ve emailed Cretacolor to find out if their Carres hard pastels are vegan, I’ll let you know as soon as I have a response from them.
Daler Rowney state that none of their products are tested on animals, however it is unclear whether there are any animal-derived ingredients in their hard pastel range. Again, I’ve contacted them to confirm and will let you know as soon as I have a response.
I hope this helps, if there are any other ranges you were looking at and were unsure then let me know and I can look into it.
All the best,
Thank you For Sharing a valuable post.
Glad you find it so useful Dhanveen.
All the best,
I just wanted to say that I come back to
this article every once in a while to see if
there are updates, I love it!
On a side note: I hope Jackson’s Art will
bring out high quality vegan gouache in
the future, it can’t hurt to dream. 😀
This is such great info and very needed
thank you. I’m on the hunt for Water Guilding
vegan Bole and non rabbit skin glue
products, there’s not much I can find out
there on successful alternative processes
Extremely grateful to Jackson’s for
doing this research and sharing it – only
wish I’d found it sooner! Really
appreciate a Cruelty-Free art list to refer
to. Labelling on products so could easily
identify whilst shopping would be even
Glad you found it useful!
What is TBC on a product Animal Derived Ingredient TBC
Thank you for your comment and question. So if in the product spec on our website it says ‘TBC’ usually that means that we are checking with the supplier/manufacturer of the product as to whether it contains any animal derived ingredients. Is there a particular product that you had in mind that you saw on the website?
Hello, thanks for your answer so quickly. It was the Montana Acrylic Pens. I sent an inquiry to the company yesterday and have heard back, here is the message:
“Thanks for reaching out in this regard.
Please be assured that we at Montana-Cans consider ourselves strong supporters of protecting our environment and animal rights and absolutely refrain from the cruel practice of testing products neither encourage our partners to test on living beings.
Sadly we are not able to give you a 100% warranty of our paints being completely vegan, as there is always a slight chance of organic matter to be contained in specific color’s pigments provided by some of our third party suppliers.”
Thanks for your help and I am glad this blog is here.
Thank you for your update of Kuretake gansai tambi watercolor paints. Have you received any specific information on what ingredient(s) in this paint are not vegan? As a vegan I keep hoping that Kuretake will replace the non-vegan ingredients, since I would really like to use their paint! I have also emailed them for more information on this, but have not received a reply yet.
Thank you for your comment – have you received a reply from Kuretake?
I’ve been using synthetic brushes for my oil
painting for years and they’re great. But now
I’m starting encaustic wax painting and I’m
told, synthetic brushes will melt. Are there
any natural hair brushes out there that are
manufactured in some way that is cruelty
free? Like humane sheep hair brushes?
Sheep is wool so would make an overly soft brush and goat, likewise is not stiff enough for encaustic.
All I know of at the moment, if you wish to continue to use plastic brushes for your painting, is the Catalyst mini blades that withstand the heat of encaustic. Silicone pastry brushes might work, though they are pretty soft, too.
The usual brushes used for encaustic are hog bristle brushes. They are made of hair that is a by-product of the meat and leather industry. No hog is raised for its bristles. The hair is worth so little that they often don’t bother collecting it. So you can think of it as using the whole animal and not wasting that part that would have been thrown away.