pigments for san art
snymanskraal san art

When Were San Pigments First Used?

“Anatomically modern man” (Homo sapiens sapiens) was creating, mixing and using colour pigments many millennia before he began drawing or sketching. The discovery of a 100,000-year-old “paint workshop” in the Blombos Cave, in South Africa – complete with various ochres, bones, charcoal, grinding-stones and hammer-stones, abalone shell containers and mixing vessels, ), where used lumps of red, yellow and some other ochre pigment were discovered. A reasonable minority of them would have had some experience in sourcing, extracting and blending pigments for personal decoration, one of these very scares areas where sourcing of the pigments were extracted was on the now known farm Snymanskraal in the Albertinia area, the San people travelled hundreds of miles to mine for pigments there due to the variety of colours to be found at this site.

Left: A very good example of the pigment colours they founded at the Snymanskraal mine.

Pure earth pigments are not affected by sunlight, temperature, or humidity. Vibrant: The pigment particles are now smaller and together with Dry Tech Aerogels aerogel technology we add the best of today’s technology to the best ancient methods and natural pigments giving you insulation, hydrophobicity, no soiling, anti-algae, anti-fungus, no colour fading UV protective, energy saving, rust protection, flame retardancy, colours can be mixed and matched to give you your required colour you want.

San Colours, available in water, oil and acrylic.


• Using natural paint can reduce the amount of VOCs present in the home, improving indoor air quality.
• Natural paints are microporous, allowing the walls to breathe. Because moisture is not trapped
between the wall and the layer of paint, there is no blistering or peeling
• Natural paints do not use petroleum products and contain ingredients from sustainable sources
• Because of their non-toxic, natural ingredients, many natural paints are biodegradable, easily
disposed of and even fit for a household compost pile once dried. This reduces landfill mass,
environmental pollution and disposal costs compared to synthetic paints
• Can be used as an adhesive
• It has natural anti-bacterial qualities
• Good barrier to heat and insects like mosquitos