Mummy Bauxite (Natural Iron Oxides)

Mummy Bauxite

The only major manufacturer of this color is Daniel Smith. There are some small manufacturers, and it can be bought in pigment form from Natural Pigments.

The name comes from an early rumor that the pigment comes from mummies. Mummy brown once existed, it was a brown color that during the 16th-17th centuries in Europe was common and popular, it was made from the insides of ancient, mainly Egyptian, mummies. Gradually, the use became less, but it appeared right into the 20th century.

As it is, the paint is made from a mineral called bauxite. A very common mineral, and has nothing to do with mummies. Bauxite is a mostly red-brown soil or rock that is mainly mined to extract aluminium, copper and iron. Bauxite is very common and can be found all over the world. The mineral used by DS comes from Weipa in Australia.

saphon, CC BY-SA 1.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons
Bauxite mine near Otranto in Apulia, southern Italy.
Palickap, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

Mummy Bauxite is a very nice rust colored watercolor paint. It has nice possibilities for unclear color mixes and it granulates in a very pleasing way. It can work as a substitute for burnt sienna or Venetian red, in tone it is somewhere in between these, not as orange as most siennas, but not as red as Venetian red either.

Mixed with PY175 it gives an unclear pleasant yellow color.
In a mix with quinacridone rose
Blue-black mixture with phthalo blue (RS)

According to the manufacturer, the color is semi-transparent, but according to me, it is opaque. Mummy Bauxite is very light resistant. It doesn’t stain at all, it washes off the watercolor paper very easily. A color with a beautiful rust tone and fine granulation. However, there are some drawbacks: it is opaque, despite the manufacturer’s claims to the contrary, and it is immobile wet in wet.

The color is cheap for being a mineral color, not so strange really, the mineral is very common. It is placed in Series 1, which is the cheapest of Daniel Smith’s colors. That makes it, I believe, the cheapest mineral paint in Daniel Smith’s extensive range.

An opaque color
Adheres only slightly to the paper
No backrun
Beautiful granulation
Unwilling wet in wet

Color index name: Natural iron oxides (Pbr7)
Lightfastness: Excellent
Transparency: Opaque
Staining: Not at all
Granulates: Quite a lot

Mummy Bauxite

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