Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Vegan Art & Craft

I'm recently discovering how difficult is is to get vegan art and craft supplies! You wouldn't think of art supplies as not being vegan but many paints, glues, lacquers, canvases, ink, water colour paper and photo paper contain animal ingredients. I miss painting so I had to do some serious research! Here's how to get your vegan arts and crafts on...

"Vivienne" 2008

Art supplies free from animal ingredients:

Graphite is a mineral. What surrounds it may not always be animal-free, but by itself, it is. As mentioned above, Derwent is usually a good choice for animal-free pencils.

Charcoal—not bone charcoal—comes from plants.

Conte Crayon is made from natural pigments (iron oxides, carbon black, titanium dioxide), clay (kaolin) and a plant-based binder (cellulose ether).

Walnut ink, made from walnuts of course, can be used in place of sepia ink and gives a tone from sepia to rich brown depending on how much water is mixed in with it.

Damar Varnish is made entirely from a plant source.

Fixative sprays by Krylon (many of them, at least) do not contain animal ingredients.

Yupo paper is made from 100% polypropylene and is suitable for all watercolour techniques. It’s good for drawing and fixatives stick to it as well.

Raw fabrics such as unsized organic hemp, bamboo, linen or cotton can all be used for supports and contain no animal products. Stretch the fabric on stretcher bars and apply Golden’s Absorbent Ground instead of gesso. Golden’s Absorbent Ground is 100% polymer and absorbent for watercolours.


Fabriano Artistico Watercolor Paper
Bockingford Watercolour Paper is made without animal derived external sizing, according to Winsor & Newton’s “vegan information sheet”
Epson Photo Papers: An e-mail response states: “We do not use any animal fats or squid inks in our products,” and a page for this information is currently being set up here regarding the use of animal by-products, although it is under construction. It may be worth confirming this one for yourself if you’re not sure.


Colors of Nature - 100% vegan paints

Jacquard: Paints, inks and powders. According to customer service, the only products that should not be free from animal products/by-products are their waxes, their inkjet sheets, certain brushes and their silks, so everything else is apparently vegan.

Holbein Artists’ Watercolor -”Without ox-gall, other animal by-products or other dispersing agents” according to the company website description – excepting the Ivory Black, which is made from charred bones

Golden Acrylic Paints - Except Bones Black, Jenkins Green, all Neutral Greys, Prussion Blue Hue, Terre Vert.

Brushes -  synthetic brushes are readily available

Winsor & Newton: artists materials such as paints, canvases and inks. They have a handy guide to which of their products contain animal by-products here.
Cotman Water Colour by Winsor & Newton – excepting Viridian Hue, Burnt Umber and Ivory Black, according to a comment posted here and according to a “vegan information sheet” provided by Winsor & Newton

Derwent: artists materials, including pastels and paints. The company will send a list of products containing animal by-products if asked, but lines which ARE free from animal products are: All Derwent Coloursoft pencils, Derwent Graphitint pencils, Derwent Aquatone, Derwent Metallics, Derwent graphitone, Derwent Pastel blocks.

Strathmore: Artist’s papers. They state on their website here that:
We do NOT use any animal products as part of our sizing process. We use plant-based and synthetic sizing.

Fabriano: Artists papers. A quotation from here states that Fabriano Artistico Traditional White Watercolor Paper is:
“synthetically sized both internally and externally so that no animal by-products are used.”

Holbein: Their watercolour paints are:
“Without ox-gall, other animal by-products or other dispersing agents…”

A recipe for kids paints;
1 cup salt
1 cup flour
1 cup water
food colouring

Face Paint

Vegan Faces
Elegant Minerals



Weldbond - wood/craft glue
Gorilla Glue - super glue, wood glue & epoxy
Best Test Paper Cement
Elmers Glue- all vegan. They state on their website "Elmer's does not use animals or animal parts to make glue. Our products are made from synthetic materials and are not derived from processing horses, cows or any other animals."
Diamond Glaze: A clear adhesive used for many media. Their customer service states that Diamond Glaze is suitable for vegans, and not tested on animals.

Eberhard Faber: Makers of Fimo products. An e-mail from customer service states that these are vegan and not tested on animals; this apparently extends to all Fimo products including varnishes.

Polyform: Sculpey/Premo/SuperSculpey. This quote from their website says they’re free from animal products: “In addition, all of our products are free of wheat, gluten, sulfur, dairy, nuts, latex and animal by-products, and they are never tested on animals.”

Van Aken: Makers of Katoclay and paints. An e-mail response states that no animal products or by-products are used according to their raw material data sheets, and that to their knowledge, no animal testing is conducted in conjunction with their products.

Plaid Products: US makers of Modge Podge, among other things. They state that:
“None of Plaid products contain animal products or by products of animals. None of Plaid products contain food products or by products of food. None of Plaid products are animal tested.”


  1. I've been looking for a more inclusive list of vegan supplies- thank you for sharing this! ~kt

  2. We produce 100% vegan, earth-friendly professional quality watercolor paint. All of our colors are vegan and so are the vehicle ingredients we use, which come exclusively from plants and water (no petro-ingredients!). Oil paints are on the way. We took great care to make sure every pigment and ingredient was safe and animal-free. Please visit

    Our shopping cart opens this September. If you visit, please let us know what you think! And thanks for sharing in our common vision of an animal cruelty-free world!

  3. Thanks Jacquie and I love your blog!

  4. Seriously you just made my day and life so much easier with your list. I've been eyeing the Holbein gouache paints at my work and we have no info on them

  5. Thanks. Bought the gorilla superglue