Review Casaneo da Vinci Brush Set

The Defet Brush Factory was so kind to send me a set of three brushes to try out. They are from their Casaneo watercolour brush range: a flat and squared top one (5898 No. 8) and two different sized ones (5598 No4 & 8). They are obviously synthetic brushes, but the brush hair is constructed to imitate squirrel hair. I never have used real squirrel haired brushes, so I can’t give you a comparison on this point. If you pay attention to the hair texture, you will see that it is slightly wavy.

Having never used real watercolour brushes (they really differ from the normal hobby and crafts one) before, this was my first. The brushes are so soft and have practically no resistance on the paper. They run smoothly over it and hit all the crevices of the structured watercolour paper (Hahnemühle).  I tried them at first with gelatos, but that did not work as they are too soft to take colour from the gelato itself. Rubbing the gelato on the paper and trying to load up colour did not work either. Watercolour brushes really need a quantity of water to run so smooth, so I used my old Winsor & Newton watercolour paints and a couple of new ones from Kuretake (Gansai Tambi). With those the brushes’ flow was really lovely. I also tried the brushes with Finetec Pearlcolors. If you want to add some sheen to your watercolour painting, that works, but the colors get eaten rather fast using them with so much water. In the end, I also tried the small brush No. 4 with some drawing and calligraphy ink and small delicate lines were possible. I tried some writing with them and you might be able to use them as calligraphy brushes as well, although Defet also offers a range of calligraphy ones (set Nova). They have a versatile range of vegan friendly brushes.

Here are the da Vinci Casaneo watercolour brushes http://www.davinci-defet.com/englisch/artist-brushes/products/new-products-2013-2016/da-vinci-casaneo-water-colour-brushes.html

And here are some, I just stumbled upon, with unusual shapes: http://www.davinci-defet.com/englisch/artist-brushes/products/special-brushes/brushes-for-pinstriping-squirrel-imitation-synthetic-fibre.html

To the conclusion: I really like them, although I had a not so even start, using the wrong watercolour paint at first and having never used specific watercolour brushes before as well as not being a landscape (loving) painter. With the bigger brush the background is painted in no time. And what I never realized before: they work like blenders. After drying a bit, I noticed some edges, so I went over again with the big brush and they smoothed out completely; they were gone.

I really did want to use vegan supplies for this paintings and this post, but again, I had to use my old Winsor & Newton ones, that I have had since I was about 10 years old. For my first attempt I used mostly the Gansai Tambi ones (pale aqua and cornflower blue). For the second attempt I drew my creature with a mechanical pencil and blue lead (Faber Castell) and then painted over it with the watercolour.

“Wading, Floating and Flying in spring”; my first attempt with Casaneo da Vinci brushes
“Flowerpot Femme Blooming Spring”; second attempt with Casaneo watercolour brushes

Brands / Companies update

Here are brands, which responded to my inquiries but which products unfortunately didn’t make it in my compendium (yet).

-Brevillier for Cretacolor products: They do not test on animals but they cannot guarantee this for   their suppliers and subsuppliers; the supplied raw materials can be contaminated by an animal source/derivatives.

Source: Mail contact

 

-Botz Glazes: Botz is a small business and although its own brand glazes could be considered vegan friendly (including cruelty free), they cannot guarantee this for the supply chain and the other products they sell.

http://www.botz-glasuren.de/home/

Source: Mail contact

 

-Caran d’Ache: cruelty free, they do sell vegan friendly art material but they prefer not being mentioned here. So if you want to know about a product you are interested in, send them an inquiry.

Source: Mail contact

 

-Colart_ following brands belong to Colart: Conté à Paris, Winsor & Newton, Lefranc & Bourgeois, Reeves and Liquitex.

( Liquitex: you find Liquitex in my vegan friendly compendium.)

Lefranc & Bourgeois: they are in process of creating a vegan friendly product list

Winsor & Newton: This PDF list was sent to me end of January, after inquiring about the Brushmarkers. I do not know how old it is and I am waiting for a response to my latest inquiry.

Winsor Newton Animal derived ingredients list

Colart does not test on animals or orders third parties to do so. They currently cannot guarantee that the supplied raw materials do not come into contact with animal derivatives. BUT they are working on getting this information concerning the supply chain, which is great.

You can read this for yourself here: Colart Vegan Friendly Statement March 2017

Source: Mail contact

 

-Daniel Smith: Still waiting for an update, so far I gathered that their paints are vegan friendly except Sepia, Ivory Black and Payne’s Grey (pBK9 in those)

Source: Mail contact

 

-Dr.Ph.Martin’s (Salis International Inc.): All products are claimed to be vegan friendly and they do not test on animals, however, I am still waiting for an update concerning their suppliers and whether really all of their products (i.e. masking fluid, not only the inks) can be considered vegan.                                            I did purchase some inks (3 iridescent inks) and they are nice.

Source: Mail contact

 

-Edding: They do not test on animals or order third parties to do so. They don’t use animal derivatives in their markers and writing utensils but they cannot guarantee that raw materials in their supply chain do not come into contact with animal derivatives.

Source: Mail contact

-G. Lalo/ Herbin and Brause: they are not interested in the vegan art sector at the moment. (upsetting information to me, because I wrote with Herbin inks and used their sealing wax already since I was a primary school kid)

Source: Mail contact

 

I hope I will find vegan friendly sealing wax.  And talking calligraphy/ drawing matters,  the Finetec Pearlcolors in solid form are also pretty sweet, so don’t sigh too much over the Herbin ink plunder.

 

 

-Havo/ Creall products: well, they just wrote to me /Sir or Madam, letting me know not to eat their products, which I didn’t plan on doing, and that they have informed me enough. So that is a no on vegan friendly products to me.

 

-Holbein: here I have to say, see for yourself and how vegan it has to be for you. In my opinion, I cannot put them in my vegan compendium.

They sent me a list of products here: Hoblbein -List

BUT their pigments are cleansed/ treated with small amounts, nevertheless amounts, of animal oils/fats. Apart from this fact, the coloured pencils do not contain any animal derivatives.  All products do not contain animal derived ingredients themselves, with the exception of Ivory Black in the Artist’s oil and Artist’s watercolours ranges and there are the ox gall mediums, which are obviously not vegan suitable. Another exception are the brush cleaners, which contain animal derived squalene.

They did not answer my question about animal testing and they cannot guarantee the products being completely vegan.

Source: Mail contact

 

This information sucked for me, as I just discovered they have a pastel tone coloured pencil set. They are releasing a pastel tone coloured pencil set of 50 this year.

But better to know it up front then later having purchased the product already. They really were my latest pencil crush.

 

–  Koh-I-Noor: most of their products should be suitable, except inks, animal hair brushes, and wax aquarelles. They will make a list of vegan friendly products, but it will take them one to two years for their over 3000 products.

Source: Mail contact

I hope I will be able to give you product updates and won’t have to wait for two whole years for the complete list.

 

-Kuretake: no news yet from Headquarters, but Kuretake UK is keeping me updated: they sent me information about vegan friendly products from time to time, but I am not yet allowed to publish them.

Source: Mail contact

 

-Lamy: does not pursue vegan suitable products at the moment

Source: Mail contact

 

-Yupo Paper by Legionpaper: Yupo could be vegan, it is purely synthetic paper, but I don’t have information concerning the manufacturing process.

Source: Mail contact

 

-Pentel: no animal testing and they don’t intentionally use animal derived products. However, they do not want to be mentioned here.

Source: Mail contact

 

-Schneider Pens: they can’t confirm vegan suitability for their products at the moment.

Source: Mail contact

 

-Stabilo: they don’t use animal raw materials e.g. fat or tallow, but they cannot guarantee pure vegan raw materials.

Source: Mail contact

 

-Staedtler: They do not test on animals or commission third parties to do so; several products contain beeswax. Overall they cannot guarantee that the raw materials they use are not contaminated with an animal source.

Source: Mail contact

 

-Tombow: waiting on an update; so far all writing utensils except lead pencils and coloured pencils are free of animal derivatives; no information about animal testing yet.

Source: Mail contact

 

-Viarco (ArtGraf): will keep me updated, checking their products.

Source: Mail contact

 

-Marabu: currently checking the ingredients of their products

Source: Mail contact

 

-Deleter: both mails to Deleter and Deleter USA did come back, mail error, although I used the correct addresses

 

-Montana: website error, could not sent the mail; tried it several times.

 

From these companies I am still waiting for a response or an update at the moment:

 

-Canson

-Colorfin: Sofft Sponges (Pan Pastels are listed in my compendium)

-Daniel Smith – update

-Dr.Ph.Martin’s – update

-Marabu (checking the ingredients momentarily)

-Pelikan

-Tsukineko

-Uniball Mitsubishi

-Winsor Newton – update

-Viarco (checking the ingredients momentarily)

-Tombow – update

-Motip Dupli

-Shin Han Art

-Cléopâtre

-Viva Décor

-Schoellershammer

-Old Holland

-Weber Art

-Lukas

-Ghiant

-Blockx

-Arches

-Eberhard Faber

-Deka Farben (colours)

-Clay and Paint factory

-Bob Ross

-Lyra (and Giotto belong to Fila group)

-Rotring

-Royal & Langnickel

-Standardgraph

-Gerstaecker

-Boesner

-Zebra Pen

-C.Kreul

-Molotow

-Pébéo

-Royal Talens for Sakura (European distributors)

-Art Select

-Vang

-Sennelier

-Amsterdam

 

I sent my inquiries to about 76 to 80 companies, two weeks ago. I am still waiting for some to answer or to update me. For a couple of brands/companies I could not find any way to contact them (they are not listed here). Anyways, I will let you know.

 

Concerning raw materials, REACH and ECHA (European Chemicals Agency) and animal testing:

This really troubles my mind and I cannot make up an answer. And I don’t know the laws and habits of other countries outside the European Union.

But it concerns all of them:

Raw Materials must be tested whether they are save for our environment and Human’s Health.

ECHA urges  non-animal testing, using information of already carried out animal tests and sharing this information with other companies, or compare materials to others, which behave similarly and were already tested.

Here is the link: https://www.echa.europa.eu/web/guest/chemicals-in-our-life/animal-testing-under-reach

You will have read above from a couple of companies, mentioning raw materials and that they cannot guarantee for them not being tested on animals or being contaminated by animal derivatives. Not all companies mention this information in the replies to my inquiries, or anything at all about the supplied materials but others do.

A lot of raw materials used in art materials will have already been tested decades ago, whether it was cruelty free or through animal testing for REACH.

To the contamination of raw material with animal derivatives, I will not list them as vegan suitable.

 

Overall, I wasn’t idle and I wrote to a bunch of companies. Somehow the waiting and not getting a reply at all is far worse than writing. I really like writing, the answer however, could be an artist’s heart crushing, so I dread them. Nobody wants to know, that a product you have been eying for too long a time (in my case, even years), even having become your artist’s crush or the product you are already using for so long, suddenly is on the no list.

If you use a brand or know of one I haven’t yet mentioned, please write me and I will sent them an inquiry.

 

 

Hello

Welcome to veganartstuff. I am Ansho, and these are my vegan-friendly and cruelty-free criteria, which have to apply to the products and companies:

A product can be considered vegan, if the entire product itself does not contain animal ingredients, byproducts/ derivatives and none of those are used in the manufacturing process, e.g. the use of animal derived oils and fats in surfactants for the dispersion of pigments. The manufacturer does not test on animals or commissions other parties to do so, none of their parent and sister companies or any other partners test on animals or commission animal testing, none of their raw material suppliers and subsuppliers test on animals or commission animal testing, if there are other options. (According to the European Chemicals Agency, ECHA, animal testing has to be avoided if it is possible and has the goal to minimize animal testing for REACH. Lastly, there is no animal testing abroad for the manufacturer’s products to be sold abroad.)                                                  By “entire product”, all parts of the product are meant, e.g. the ink and its jar it is contained in, the body and nibs of a marker, a pencil’s wooden body as well as lacquer/ print on it.

I will keep contacting art supply companies to amass product information for this compendium and build it up more and more over time, so animal respecting art lovers will have an overview of suitable art supplies.