Ways & How

How to Mix Paint Colors to Make Brown

How to Mix Paint Colors to Make Brown

Whether you’re mixing watercolors for a painting or an art project, combining colors to create the exact hues you want can be both rewarding and cost-efficient. Once you get to know how to mix your own colors, you can produce the exact shades you need. Plus, you won’t need to forgo using that color in case you’ve run out. As an earth color, brown complements colors like green, cream and white. It is also a neutral and can be useful to add contrast or balance out other colors. Follow these tips on how to mix paint colors to make brown so you have the desired hue for your project.

  1.  Refer to a color wheel. Looking at one helps you learn color theory and acquaint you with the primary colors (red, blue and yellow) and how you can combine them to create secondary colors (purple, orange and green). The wheel also makes it easy to identify complementary colors, or those that sit opposite each other. Mixing them usually produces neutrals, such as brown. Therefore, understanding color theory proves quite useful when mixing paints to create a variety of colors.

  2. Use orange and blue. Orange can actually be considered to be in the same spectrum as brown. To create a rich chocolate brown, start with orange paint. You could mix the primary colors red and yellow to make orange as well if you’ve run out of orange or want to just practice mixing. Then, mix in some blue a little bit at a time until it darkens to the desired brown tint.

  3. Use purple and yellow. Though it may not seem very obvious at first, purple, when lightened up with yellow, can become brown. Similarly like before, you can first make purple using red and blue. Combine equal portions of the two to do so. Then, to your purple paint, add in a little bit of yellow paint. Mix and keep adding yellow until you get the shade of brown you need. The resulting brown may be a bit paler compared to the one created with the method above.

  4. Use green and red. Again, you can start by making green using blue and yellow. More yellow results in a brighter green, and more blue creates a darker green. As for brown, a bright red mixed with a cool green creates a muddy shade. Add green paint to some red paint until you get the hue you want. More red in the mix gives you a warmer brown, while more green gives you a cooler shade.

  5. Go all primary. Another way to produce brown is by mixing together all three primary colors: red, blue and yellow. However, this method may have you trying to figure out which color to add more of to get the shade right. Mixing all of them at once lessens your control over the warmth or coolness of the resulting color. Therefore, beginners may want to stick to the other methods.

  6. Mix together orange and black. Since orange has the same base hue as brown (reddish and yellowish), mixing in a small amount of black to orange paint may also do the trick. Black simply tones down the brightness of orange to create a dark brown hue.

There are so many ways to create brown paint using other colors, so you can choose a suitable method based on your preferences or available colors. Now that you know how to mix paint colors to make brown, you can easily produce the exact shade you want. Happy painting!


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