Faber Castell update

Yesterday, I received an update from Faber-Castell. They sent me two statements to publish here: the English Version and a German Version for you to read.  According to those, the vast majority of products is free of animal derivatives.

They are still a cruelty-free company on all levels. They do not test on animals nor commission it by other parties.

I did reach out to them again today, to double check once more that all of the products previously listed in my February 2022 update are still free of animal derivatives and I also asked about the Fude Pens, which I forgot to ask about in December.


my Faber-Castell entry in the Compendium

Faber-Castell Vegan Statement 2022

Faber-Castell Vegan Bescheinigung 2022

Source: Mail contact

Quite perplexing …

I do find it quite perplexing, when companies decide to explain something back to me, which I already mentioned in my correspondence to them and my information sheet, I attach to all my enquiries.

I usually do not mention these kind of ‘quirks’ that I encounter, but hey, what the heck.

This week, I was informed – or mansplained if you will – that honey is not vegan; and that there is such a thing called rabbit skin glue that painters use to treat a canvas that actually contains rabbit, who would have thought.

You might just guess my bewilderment having sent this, which does state under animal ingredients both those things.

Reading into the reply, I can only guess they are still fed up with my contacting them five years ago and asking a lot of pesky questions.

all the “vegan” labelling but no replies …

Today I looked back into companies, I had written to in the beginning of this year and also in November of last year (2021);

They label (still do so, I checked) their products as “vegan” or “vegan-friendly” on their websites, in their catalogues or even on the product packaging but fail to reply, when asked about further information. Do they mean the whole product, or just for example the ink in a pen (see my 2022 Guidelines: cruelty-fee and vegan-friendly art supplies for reference; and this is my 2021 information sheet, which the companies in question received). Do they mean just the finished product or do they include the manufacturing cycle. And those are just details for the term “vegan”; then there is the whole cruelty-free status /animal testing topic, which makes a lot of companies uncomfortable, when asked about; so they just do the most convenient thing: ignore your enquiry. Which is a pity as well as bad customer service. I am not suggesting it was why the companies choose not to reply in these cases.

Companies that I, as of August 2022, have categorized as ‘declined to reply’  – after over 6 months to almost a year not responding:

  • Fabriano (for an update;  now label a couple of products as vegan-friendly on their website)
  • da Vinci Defet (for an update; label some of their products vegan online)
  • Léonard /Bullier brushes (brushes labelled as vegan in their online catalogue)
  • Etchr Lab (vegan-friendly labelled products on their website)
  • Strathmore (for an update)

source: websites; non-existing company replies

Golden Paints

manufacturer: Golden Paints

labels: Golden Paints (arylics), Williamsburg Oils (oils paints which contain honey), Qor Watercolors

cruelty-free status: the company itself does not test on animals but the raw materials are not free of animal testing, see their statement here;

products: not clear whether the given information solely applies to the finished products or the manufacturing cycle as well;

Golden Acrylicslist of ingredients containing animal derivatives

Williamsburg Oils (in 2017 listed here as vegetarian-friendly) oil paints : do contain beeswax, other animal derived ingredients: PbK9 (carbonized cattle bone) in Ivory Black, Payne’s Grey, Cold Black; size: rabbit skin glue (rabbit collagen)

Qor Watercolours: animal derived ingredient is PbK9 in Ivory Black; see their statement here

source: mail contact, websites Golden Paints, Williamsburg Oils and Qor Watercolors

Here is my new enquiry information sheet I sent out to all companies as of August 2022.

New enquiries sent out to …

Some of you wanted information about the following brands (here you find my information sheet I send to all the companies):

  • Claire Fontaine, Rhodia; an almost two hours nightmare of trying to get any enquiry through , searching contact information, all filled in forms (different countries) declined multiple times each. I thankfully finally got one email through (fingers crossed if it doesn’t get filtered out), all thanks to a reader’s  information
  • Golden Paints: updates for Golden Paints, Williamsburg Oils and Qor watercolours
  • Simply Gilded : about washi tape and stickers
  • Archer Paper
  • Hobonichi


new updated 2022 information sheet

I have updated my 2021 information sheet on the guidelines of cruelty-free and vegan-friendly (free of animal derivatives) art supplies.

Here it is:2022 Guidelines: cruelty-free and vegan-friendly art supplies, which I will be sending out to companies as of August 2022;  (and for comparison, my 2021 version here.)

My 2022 guidelines for cruelty-free and vegan-friendly art supplies:

‘vegan-friendly’ products / products free of animal derivatives:

the product does not contain any kind of ingredients of an animal
based source; no animal derivatives, – byproducts or raw materials
no animal derived material is used during the manufacturing process;
examples of animal derived material used in production:
– animal derived fats and oils in surfactants for the  dispersion of pigments
– fats and oils of an animal source used to shape the tip on brushes
all integral parts of the finished product are free of animal derivatives;
– not just the ink in a pen, but the nib/ tip and the body of the pen
– not only the lead of a pen, but the wooden body/ casing as well as the treatment /lacquer/ varnish on the wooden casing
– the laquer or foil on a wood-free pencil
– the tube, jar or pan that contains the paints
– not only the paper of a paper pad or sketchbook, but also back and cover
– adhesive/ glue used to bind paper pads and books; glue used in brushes
– canvas sizing
– dye used to colour the bristles of brushes


being a cruelty-free company

concerning animal testing:

• the company does not test on animals nor commissions any other parties to do so
• raw- material suppliers do not test on animals nor commission other parties to do so
• no material data collected through animal testing*, done or commissioned by other parties such as parent- / sister – and affiliate
companies, other partners or raw material suppliers, is used for the
MSDS (material safety data sheets)
• no MSDS (material safety data sheets) provided by other parties, including raw material suppliers – for which material information was
obtained through animal testing*- are used
• no animal testing done/commissioned abroad in order for products to be sold abroad; this applies to the company and company’s

* animal testing in recent time; not data collected through animal testing of
the past; meaning over thirty years ago

concerning the use of mica :

if mica is used by the company, it is either of synthetic origin or was
ethically sourced, meaning no child labour and no inhumane working conditions

Note: a company that sells goods, for which animals are kept in inhumane living conditions and are solely bred for being harvested /slaughter**, can only be
classified as- if they are so – being free of animal testing, concerning products
and raw materials not being tested on animals.
** examples: leather/fur goods or brushes

everything of animal origin /
everything that is part of the animal and its anatomy,
everything what the animal produces,
is not considered ‘vegan-friendly’ / free of animal derivatives

definition of the term “animal”:
• all vertebrates:
› fish
› amphibians
› reptiles
› birds
› mammals
• all invertebrates:
e.g. insects, spiders, mollusc
(e.g. snail, sepia, mussel),
corals, sponges, crustaceans

examples of animal derived material:
• beeswax, honey
• charred bones, bone ash, bone flour, pigment PBk9
• bone charcoal
• casein / milk derivatives
• gelatin
• squalene
• sepia
• silk
• tallow
• animal derived oils/ fats/ wax
• lanolin / wool fat
• ox gall/ox bile
• cochineal
• leather / skin of animals
• rabbit skin (as in rabbit skin glue)
• animal fur, hair ***
• animal teeth
• feathers
• shellac
• sponge
• pearl
• mother of pearl
• rennet • egg
• anything derived from the animal anatomy, e.g. organs or body parts

***natural hair and bristles examples : sable, marten, ermine, weasel, polecat, squirrel,
mongoose, wolf, badger, goat, horse, bear, pig, wild boar, ox, cattle


The German version of the 2022 guidelines will follow in the next days;

Pitt Artist Pen problems?

Hi there,

I just wanted to reply here as well to a reader’s mail and their disappointing experience with their Pitt Artist pens.

Should the colour apply plotchy /stripey/ bleed on the paper, the chances are very high that you might be using the wrong paper.

From my experience they work e.g. on Hahnemühle Nostalgia Sketch paper, Hahnemühle Bristol (I preferred a more cicular application here or wiping over the surface right after to smooth the application),and the most beautifully – I love to put them on watercolour (or mixed media paper): of course, you have to look out that the paper does not have such a texture that it will be like sandpaper to your pens (e.g. like canvas, which will 100 per cent grind your pens down) and they might “drink” /absorb more of your pen. What I love to do with them is also to apply them to paper and immediately go over the application with e.g. a waterreservoir brush. It moves and dilutes the colour and when it dries down it goes to its waterproof state.

Don’t forget, you can also mix your Pitt Artist pens, like you would do your watercolours. You can apply them onto a white porcelain plate,  dilute and mix them. I also put the brush tip of my watertank brush onto the pen for colour application (I am not telling you, you should do that, it is just what I do).

In case, the paper isn’t your problem but the pen itself: if it has gotten drier due to age / or what you have put it through, don’t throw them away! You now can shape them /be rough on them and use them for texturing; e.g. leaf cluster, flower buds, grass … ; if they truely have nothing left in them, keep a couple of spare caps/lids, so you have one in your hour of need, when they miraculously disappear and you’ll find them weeks or months later. This goes of course for all your pens and markers.

Anja (Ansho)

Here is my latest Faber-Castell entry.


2017 information on varnish

I have yet to make an update on varnish and more,

but in the meantime, here is my 2017 information about varnish:


Hahnemühle offers a protection spray for digital fine art prints; here is my blog enty from February 2022; Here you find my compendium entry.

source: mail contact ; websites


All paper and canvases by  Hahnemühle are free of animal derivatives and additives.

This of course means all Hahnemühle paper products are free of animals – including the Digital FineArt products as well. The only exception are books with a leather cover.

Photo Silk Baryta was taken off the market for the moment, because of a change in the supply chain – to make it vegan.

Caution: old Photo Silk Baryta stock from retailers won’t be vegan

PastellFix was taken off the market for good; unfortunately changes to make it conform could not be achieved;

Old PastellFix stock from retailers is not vegan.

The Hahnemühle Signing Duo and Protective Spray are free of animal derivatives.

cruelty-free status of 2017 : no animal testing, no commissioning of such (again, information of 2017); 

Certificates of Conformity: English; Deutsch

source: mail contact

Hahnemühle compendium entry

Hahnemühle website