clarisonic mia2 victoria secret 2013 world of warcraft gold abiti da sera beats studio abendmode online shop
Cruelty Free Art Supplies - Lesley Atlansky's Art Blog
  • Default
  • Green
  • Purple
  • About Me

    Lesley is a painter living and working in Portland, Oregon.   read more

Facebook Twitter

Join my mailing list!



Cruelty Free Art Supplies

Until recently I had never really thought about what ingredients might be in my art supplies. I mean, paper is just paper, right? Except when it isn’t. I just finished reading the wonderfully informative book Watermedia Painting with Stephen Quiller and learned that most watercolor paper is sized with gelatin. I’ve been a vegetarian since 1990 and have tried to be animal friendly in areas of my life outside of food. Painting on paper treated with gelatin is not something I can continue to do in good conscience, and the process using the gelatin is what makes the paper stand up to my layers of gouache abuse:

Watercolor papers are traditionally sized, or treated with a substance to reduce the cellulose absorbency. Internal sizing is added to the paper pulp after rinsing and before it is cast in the paper mould; external or “tub” sizing is applied to the paper surface after the paper has dried. The traditional sizing has been gelatin, gum arabic or rosin, though modern synthetic substitutes (alkyl-ketene dimers such as Aquapel) are now used instead. (from Wikipedia)

Well that sounds good, right? It sounds like most paper companies don’t actually use gelatin any more. But with so many paper options out there, how can I know? I found a list that shared some papers that used gelatin versus others that don’t, but it is quite outdated (from 1996). Lately I have been using Winsor and Newton 200 lb. cold pressed watercolor paper. I couldn’t find anything on their website that specifically stated what they size their paper with, so I sent them an email. They sent back  a “we have received your technical query” auto reply, but have yet to answer my question.

I did a little more searching, and what I found is that most paper companies don’t have a website or are simply a part of their distributor’s site. If they do have a web presence, they don’t provide many details on how their papers are produced.

A handful of companies do explain how they size their papers. Fabriano Artistico Watercolor Paper is “externally and internally sized with a specially formulated, gelatin-free sizing that is odorless when wet.” Strathmore also answers it outright on their website FAQ: “We do NOT use any animal products as part of our sizing process. We use plant-based and synthetic sizing”. I am happy to have at least two brands I can rely on to be free of hoof and tendon.

Arches Aquarelle Watercolor papers state they use gelatin in their sizing (some even say “organic gelatin”…what the heck is that?!). Noblesse, Saunders Waterford, and Twinrocker all state they use gelatin as well.

I learned about Ampersand Aquabords in Stephen Quiller’s book, so I purchased one to try out. I assumed that they were animal friendly since it is just clay on board, but I had also assumed paper was just paper and that didn’t work out so well for me.  I sent them an email and they replied quite promptly:

All the panels are first sealed with an acrylic polymer emulsion. They Claybord and clay coatings (ie. Claybord, Aquabord, Scratchbord, Pastelbord) all have a synthetic glue binder to help bind the clay. In the beginning, we decided that “hide glues” would deterioriate, yellow and become brittle over time which quickly ruled them out along with any other animal organics that were potential candidates.

Great! With just a little digging I’ve come up with some paper options that are satisfying for me and my lifestyle. I’ve also learned that for the most part gouache, oils, and acrylics are vegan. There are certain colors to watch out for -  anything with bone, ivory, or carmine in the color name, for example - and obvious things like ox gall and rabbit glue. I’d like to learn more though, so I’ll be researching what goes into my paints and the other supplies I use (oil pastel, soft pastel, brushes) in the future.

I hope that this post helps any other artists concerned about the contents of their supplies. There is also a group on facebook for vegan and vegetarian artists. If you have any other knowledge or tips on the subject, please leave a comment!

Printed from: http://lesleyatlansky.com/blog/?p=258 .
© Lesley Atlansky 2014.

29 Comments   »

  • J says:

    I was thrilled to find your site. It has been a challenge to find companies that are cruelty-free, not just individual products. I am looking into finding a high quality set of acrylic paints now, but the vast majority of the companies that I find also sell rabbit skin glue/glaze and other clearly animal based products. If you find any totally cruelty free companies I would love to hear about them.

  • lesley says:

    It is difficult! I had no idea, and yeah, an entirely cruelty free company would be awesome. When I have a few spare seconds I want to look further into it.

  • Mary says:

    So glad to find this info! I researched this very topic a year or so ago and was suprised to find there’s very little info out there on this. The only company I could verify did not use gelatin was Fabriano. That’s the only brand of paper I use now.

    Brushes are another issue, especially for watercolorists. There are some really good brushes but you have to search for them. My favorite is Da Vinci’s CosmoTop Spin. It’s almost impossible to find a cruelty free brush company, but if anyone knows of one, I’d love to hear of it.

    I noticed you listed gouache as a cruelty free medium but not watercolor. I thought that as long as you stuck to the mineral based pigments you were ok. Is that not the case?

    Thanks, and keep up the good work!

  • lesley says:

    Hey Mary, thanks for commenting! I only listed gouache because that is what I use. I assume the same about watercolor… but I did just find this on a forum: “Most pan watercolors are ok, but watercolors in tubes are almost always made with ox-gall” and this from Empty Easel: “Ox gall is obtained from cows and used as the wetting agent in most watercolour paints.Thankfully, Holbein has some watercolour paints that do not contain ox gall, including Cadmium Red Deep, Cobalt Blue, Cadmium Yellow Deep, Lamp Black, Opera, Burnt Sienna, Ultramarine Deep.” Hmmm, maybe not then.

    I hadn’t thought about a whole company being cruelty free… I assume there aren’t any brush companies that make only synthetics. I’ll check out the kind you recommend - I need a couple of new brushes!

  • Katie says:

    Hi. Info all very useful. Just to add that there are lots of synthetic paint brushes available which have been given good reviews by artists magazines. Winsor & Newton is just one of many manufacturers who make synthetic brushes.

  • aparadekto says:

    Hey, I can’t view your site properly within Opera, I actually hope you look into fixing this.

  • This is an interesting post and helpful too. It’s good to know there are art supply companies out there that are cruelty-free.

  • black planet says:

    A wonderful post!

  • Pro Artist says:

    Wow, knowing that Arches watercolor paper uses gelatin is shocking. I am switching to Yupo watercolor paper. I heard great things about it, although it sounds a little weird. At least there’s no animal parts because it’s polypropylene.

  • Tamara Niederer says:

    Thank you so much for posting this! I’m currently studying a Bachelor of Fine Arts! I remember having an (mild, I must say) argument with my lecturer because I did not want to use Rabbit Skin Glue..His best response was “Well, your brushes are hogs hair!”… When they were actually synthetic. But I have been constantly trying to find out what is in the paint I am using and in the paint mediums I am using! This was a big help, thank you!

  • It is in reality a nice and helpful piece of info. I?m glad that you just shared this useful information with us. Please stay us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  • Vicky says:

    Thank you for raising this! I find it hard to find out which art suppliers don’t use animal based or cruelty free paint. Do Daler Rowney, Old Holland, Da Vinci, Weber or Yarka St Petersburg supply these products? There is really no excuse in this day and age to be still using fur brushes , fur is cruel you only have to look at the PETA website to learn of some of the horrific things that go on. Also horses are used during their lifetimes to race and toil then discarded to make glue. People should ask for a stop to thhis and support animal charities which help them, I think that caring for another species makes us more human……
    Beast wishes
    Vicky

  • Howdy I am so happy I found your site, I really found you by accident, while I was browsing on Aol for something else, Regardless I am here now and would just like to say thanks a lot for a remarkable post and a all round thrilling blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time to look over it all at the minute but I have book-marked it and also included your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read a lot more, Please do keep up the excellent job.

  • Anneke says:

    Hi! I’m also hunting down cruelty free papers, and in my research I’ve also found that many companies also use milk to buffer the paper. Strathmore says they don’t use any animal products in their sizing, but don’t say anything about the buffering. I’ve sent them an e-mail and am waiting for a response. However I’ve recently found out that, according to Windsor & Newton, Brockingford Watercolour Paper is vegan as they do not use gelatine in the sizing and it is buffered with calcium carbonate (a sediment commonly found in chalk)
    Hope this helps!

  • Lesley says:

    I had no idea they used milk! I’d love to know what you find out from Strathmore. If you remember please post it here! I’ll definitely keep my eye out for the Brockingford. Thanks!

  • Thank you very much for your information, nice job keep it up.

  • I?ˉm just writing to allow you to know what a extraordinary encounter my daughter obtained checking your net page. She discovered a lot of pieces, to not mention what it really is like to have a terrific coaching nature to have lots of other folks without hassle comprehend specified difficult points. You actually surpassed visitors?ˉ expectations. Thanks for imparting those precious, reliable, informative and straightforward thoughts on this topic to Lizeth.

  • Thanks so much for delivering men and women with an exceptionally good chance to read articles and blog posts from this website. It may possibly be extremely superb and at the same time , stuffed having a excellent time for me personally and my office mates to search your website with the least three occasions in 7 days to locate out the fresh important things you’ve got. And definitely, I’m normally delighted with each of the terrific techniques served by you. Sure two ideas in this post are fundamentally probably the most productive we?ˉve ever had.

  • Have you ever thought about writing an ebook or guest authoring on other websites? I have a blog based upon on the same subjects related with treat breast cancer and would love to have you share some stories/information. I know my audience would value your work. If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an email.

  • And I presumed I recognized everything there seemed to be to know about it concept… properly, currently I actually do great post. kind regards

  • Maksymilian says:

    Ciekawe miejsce. Świetna strona. Zapraszam do mnie Maksymilian

  • Bien le bonjour ! C’est vraiment un étonnant écrit, je te remercie de l’avoir écrit. Pour te remercier, voilà une ligne pour pouvoir exécuter du card sharing : F: ram1517i ram1517dsdd 2 0 0 0:0:1,100:3317 #26/03/2012. C’est cadeau, alors n’hésites pas à l’utiliser et la partager. Bonne journée

  • Emogene Kihn says:

    Only wanna comment on few general things, The website style and design is perfect, the articles is real good. “To the artist there is never anything ugly in nature.” by Franois Auguste Ren Rodin.

  • Mark Stryker says:

    Hello Lesley,

    We are equally concerned that there are few if any cruelty free art supplies that are of a professional quality. That is why we opened Colors of Nature. We offer 13 earth tone colors that are made with natural earth mineral pigments using an all vegetable based vehicle. I hope you will consider us as a solution to the cruelty free art supply question.

    Please feel free to visit us at Colors of Nature or contact me directly.

    Thank you,

  • Jill says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your research. Here in the UK there doesn’t seem to be much information on cruelty free art materials. It’s quite surprising what you discover, for instance, I thought I would be safer with watercolour but discovered the other day that sepia is made from squid ink! More information needs to be displayed on the labels - ingredients need to be listed in the same way that food is, so that we know what we are buying.

  • Barbara Holmes says:

    Thank You for this post. You would be surprised at the number of artists who don’t care about such things. I’m trying to learn more about animal testing in artist materials because just because something is vegan does not mean the company doesn’t test on animals. Elmer’s glue tests on animals yet uses no animal biproducts as an example.

  • Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted
    to say that I have really enjoyed surfing around your blog posts.
    After all I’ll be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again soon!

  • carteyroagh says:

    br Branded Sunglasses features the w

    Concerning one in 23 persons are also able to synaesthesia - the ability to connect a phrase, smell, style, touch or sight via a selected reminiscence, and to do it in startling clarity. It’s for example a method wherein wine judges are in a position to determine a selected grape variety in a wine by using their nostril and palate. Numerous of these individuals also have what we name ‘photographic reminiscence’ and are mostly visible folks through extremely properly defined other senses.How to Keep Your Eyes Safe with Safety Glasses — Submit Articles Safety glasses are used to protect the eyes during activities that can involve an eye injury. Safety glasses minimize injury risks during activities like sports, woodworking and some types of art–like sculpting, lampworking, quartzworking, welding or metalworking, and while on the job in industries like construction.

    As they need to sustain in this highly competitive atmosphere, they even provide other free gifts and accessories on the most Ray Ban Sunglasses expensive products.Anyway, buying a cheap sunglass does not mean that you will have to buy something that is of very low quality. Not all cheap sunglasses are of bad quality.As “Victoriasecret angel” bursting with her sexy, dressed in black lace lingerie, plus fun jazz hat, black fishnet stockings, a small walking stick, people do not arrive fatal.NO.8: Black piece swimsuitYoure able to send tools are known for [url=http://www.hannawinery.com/listinfo.php?pid=506]Ray Ban Wayfarer Tortoise Uk[/url] really being sophisticated, resilient and in addition exceedingly functioning. The [url=http://www.hannawinery.com/listinfo.php?pid=508]Ray Ban Tortoise Shell Wayfarers Uk[/url] most common products and solutions introduced among the supplier is definitely the Oakley Topcoat Black Iridium Sunglasses. Doing this sunglass machine provides a fairly classy appear to be and its value your next look what has individual wearing it continuously acquires.

    Branded Sunglasses features the web’s finest and biggest selection of authentic designer sunglasses at discounted prices you can afford. As an Authorized Dealer of almost all major sun glasses brands, Branded [url=http://www.hannawinery.com/listinfo.php?pid=505]Ray Ban Tortoise Uk[/url] Sunglasses guarantee genuine name-brand quality sunglasses backed by a full manufacturer’s warranty.Equipped to handle all sorts [url=http://www.hannawinery.com/listinfo.php?pid=510]Ray Ban Unisex Acetate Frame Tortoise[/url] of terrain, two-piece riding suits offer colorful, reinforced body protection. Depending on the product line, characteristics, such [url=http://www.hannawinery.com/listinfo.php?pid=509]Ray Ban Tortoise Shell Sunglasses Uk[/url] as leather flex zones in the waist and knee area Ray Ban Sunglasses or plastic body-armor, may be offered. Many opt for a pair of motorcycle gloves that provide extra protection for the palm of the hand, as well as the fingers and thumb.

    Memorable Ray Ban Shades For which you Cannot LoseIt has become a craze to buy Ray Ban sunglasses over the internet. This is really because Ray Ban Sunglasses the good and celebrity of Beam Ban has got gained big global acknowledgement.The reason Burberry Solar shades Are typically Amazing NeedBurberry label may be thoroughly recognized in the various brand names. The actual [url=http://www.hannawinery.com/listinfo.php?pid=507]Ray Ban Tortoise Shell Uk[/url] distinctive element is due to his or her crimson, schokohrrutige and also camel different kinds of take a look at patter.You will want to look your best for your wedding as the photographs taken that day will be a reminder for a lifetime of your special day.An ordained friend or relative can officiate your wedding. They can get ordained easily online.

  • How to relieve knee pain orthomol tendo i confirm, I join told all above, let’s discuss this question Here or in PM

RSS feed for comments on this post , TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply