How to Make Brown color? Guide To Mixing Brown

You can download the How to Mix Brown cheat sheet from the link below:

In this video, I demonstrate a variety of ways to mix brown.

You can create brown by mixing red with black or ultramarine blue which yields a dark chocolate brown. If you want a warmer and lighter brown you can substitute orange for the red.

It’s possible to mix brown from primary colors. I show you how to mix brown from the traditional red, yellow, and blue primary colors. Alternatively, I also make brown from the printing primary colors which are cyan, magenta, and yellow.

Another approach to making brown is to mix complementary colors together. If you don’t know what complementary colors are, you can just think of it as mixing a warm color with a cool color. For example, you can mix blue with orange, purple with yellow etc.

Light brown is also known as tan, beige, khaki, etc. Making light brown is as simple as adding Titanium White to any brown that you have. The easiest way to mix light brown is to add white to any premixed brown that you may have bought in a tube such as Burnt Sienna or Burnt Umber.

Adding white to any of the recipes for brown in this video will also create light brown.

Finally, I explain why brown isn’t on the color wheel. Brown is basically dark red or dark orange. The color wheel only shows the pure color and not the tints or shades.

Tints are when you lighten a color by adding white, shades are when you darken a color by adding black.

Most color wheels don’t show the tints or the shades so you can’t find brown on the color wheel. If the shades were included, brown would be the dark version of red or orange, depending upon which shade of brown you’re looking for.

The interesting thing is that red and blue make brown, but most color wheels don’t show this. Instead, they substitute a brilliant purple between the red and the blue. But in my video, the color wheel that I use shows the actual results of mixing red with blue, which is a shade of brown.

The colors that I use in these demonstrations are below. You don’t need all of these colors to mix brown. There are many formulas for brown that only require two colors, such as any pure red and black.

Titanium White
Burnt Sienna
Burnt Umber
Pyrrole Red
Cadmium Red Medium
Cadmium Yellow Medium
Hansa Yellow Medium
Cadmium Orange
Phthalo Blue
Ultramarine Blue
Quinacridone Magenta
Light Green Permanent
Dioxazine Purple
Carbon Black


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