Sustainable alternatives to fur paint brushes

Written by: Keily Torres

Ever wonder what options are out there in the market for more vegan or environmentally friendly paintbrushes? While many artists prefer the natural stroke of a fur paintbrush, many don't know the poor care conditions animals have to go through in order for this industry to grow. Thankfully, there are options and alternatives nowadays to keep this from happening without having to sacrifice the quality of work of your pieces. Here are 2 of the best options, as well as some more creative ones, to use fur paintbrushes.

Use Synthetic Paint Brushes. Supporting the cruel industry of fur paintbrushes is a thing of the past since people can now select from an incredibly wide range of synthetic paintbrushes that will give you great, if not better results, than fur paintbrushes. Some of the advantages of using synthetic paint brushes are:

  1. They have a longer life-span. Due to the nature of the materials used to make synthetic paintbrushes, they are more durable than natural hair bristles, which since they are organic, wear off with every use.
  2. They are more affordable. Synthetic brushes have been a big hit the last year, which makes them very varied as well as accessible to all people regardless of your skill level. This is a great feature if you are looking to experiment with different techniques or mediums.
  3. They maintain their shape. To my acrylic artists out there! Synthetic brushes are your best bet when it comes to using acrylic medium since they are the best when it comes to making a clear and smooth stroke. This does not mean they are not useful for watercolors or oils though.

Don’t get me wrong. There is so much variety out there you can find a synthetic brush for everything. While synthetic paintbrushes ARE made of plastic and other materials, they are the best options if you are vegan and need brushes to create art. For those who wish to contribute to environmental activism, here is a great option:

Make your own brushes! Yes, you can make your own brushes with your own hair. If you have long uneven hair, taking a bit of it and sticking it to some kind of stick will actually make a pretty good brush. Just make sure that you are taking a pretty decent amount of hair so that the brush carries a good amount of pigment and make sure to use a really good glue that is waterproof. To complement this hack you can use wooden sticks and/ or bamboo, a material currently being used in a lot of sustainable products.

Another alternative to synthetic paintbrushes is making natural paintbrushes. This is lesser-known and lesser done, simply because it would take a longer time to make and the results can vary a lot. However, if you have a creative mind and you love coming up with ideas that will give your pieces a unique look while allowing you to help the environment there are a couple of options for you. Some of the alternative materials used to make natural paintbrushes are; grass, pine needles, and flower petals, or the flower itself. After all, if you are already being creative with your pieces, why not be creative with your materials?

Published: 2021-03-25

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