Are you curious what colors make brown? Do you want to learn what colors to mix to make brown?
In this article we share what primary colors can make brown, and more importantly what 2 colors make brown.
Brown is essential to any artist’s palette because it is the basis for painting many commonplace subjects like hair, skin, wood and earth.
Women also want to learn how to mix colors to apply on make-up.
Fortunately, there’s no reason to waste your money on brown paint or make-up when you can create any hue you need with the three primary colors.
This guide will explain how to mix any shade of brown using red, blue and yellow acrylic paint and how to create lighter or darker shades of brown.
It will also explain the concept of complementary colors to help you figure out what colours make brown when you’re working with limited supplies.
Alright, let’s get started =)
What Primary Colors Make Brown?
There are actually many ways to make brown, but the simplest is to combine all of the primary colors in equal proportions.
You’ll also want to have some opaque white on hand for tinting and to make adjustments if you want to make a lighter shade of brown.
This technique allows for optimal refinement and customization.
Before you get started, you’ll need the following tools:
- Red, yellow, blue and opaque white acrylic paint
- A palette
- A palette knife
- A paintbrush
- A surface for testing colors
- Water for rinsing the brush
- Paper towels for cleaning the palette knife
As you can see from the basic illustration below…. you can mix blue, red, and yellow to make brown.
Of course, there are countless variations of every color, so try to use paints that look as “classic” as possible. For example, cadmium red, cerulean blue, cadmium yellow medium and titanium white are good choices.
How to Make Brown Using Primary Colors
For this particular example, I’m going to talk about how to mix paint to make brown but the theory can be applied using make-up, play-doh, ink, or markers, etc.
Step 1: Put equal-sized dollops of each color on your palette with plenty of space between them.
Step 2: Combine equal portions of the primary colors and mix them together with the palette knife, which should give you a muddy brown.
Step 3: Add a very small amount of white. Use less than you did of the other three colors. A touch of opaque white can help make your brown lighter, but apply a little at a time. You can always apply more to reach your desired color.
No matter what you plan on painting, you’ll likely need more than one type of brown. As mentioned before, if you want a lighter tint, keep adding a bit of white. Make sure to thoroughly mix before adding in more paint.
If your brown starts looking beige, you can add red or yellow to warm it up, or throw in some blue to cool it down. Warm tones are great for painting brick or wood reflecting sunlight.
Cooler browns are better for wet wood, snow covered trees and dark fur. Playing with the ratios of each primary color can give you an array of browns.
Check out this quick video that shows you how to make brown paint!
What Colors Make Dark Brown?
We mentioned that you can add white above to lighten the brown.
So you’re probably thinking I should add black to make dark brown…right?!
While you may be tempted to add black paint to darken your brown mixture, you would end up with a color that looks more like mud than dark hair or chocolate.
If dark brown is what you’re trying to achieve, adding in some dark blue paint will give you colors that are better suited for nighttime forest scenes.
Nice little tip huh!?
What Two Colors Make Brown?
Combining white with the three primary colors should provide any variation of brown you desire, but what if you don’t have all of those colors available at the moment?
Don’t fret; several color combinations can make brown. You just need to understand the very basics of color theory.
As you likely know, red, blue, and yellow are called the primary colors because they can be used to create any other color on the color wheel.
The secondary colors sit between them because they are each a combination of two primary colors: purple is the combination of red and blue; orange is the combination of yellow and red; and green is the combination of blue and yellow.
Each of these six colors can be mixed in various ways to create neutral hues.
To make brown, you just combine equal amounts of a secondary color and its complimentary primary color.
Complimentary colors sit on opposites sides the color wheel. Therefore, brown can be made using the following combinations:
- Mix Blue and Orange to make Brown
- Mix Red and Green to make Brown
- Mix Yellow and Purple to make Brown
As you can see there are many ways you can make the color brown. As explained you can make brown using primary colors or you can make brown only using two colors with secondary colors.
Either way, it’s nice to know that if you’re limited on color supplies you can always mix colors together to get the desired color palette.
Hope you enjoyed learning what two colours to make brown and how to make brown color. Cheers!