How to Make Light Brown Paint

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A paper plate and old paint brush can be just as effective as a palette and palette knife when mixing paint.
A paper plate and old paint brush can be just as effective as a palette and palette knife when mixing paint. (Image: Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images)

Brown is among the easiest paint colors to mix, but perhaps one of the most difficult to perfect. Many artists struggle with skin tones due to this reason. According to the color wheel, brown is red added to green, blue added to orange or yellow added to purple. Using the primary colors of red, blue and yellow, plus a tube of white paint, you can make a light brown paint in using acrylics, oils, watercolors or even pastels.

Things You'll Need

  • Red paint
  • Blue paint
  • Yellow paint
  • White paint
  • Palette
  • Palette knife

Squeeze a small amount of yellow paint on to your palette.

Add an equal amount of blue paint.

Squeeze an equal amount of red paint, and mix well with your palette knife until a rich brown emerges.

Add a small drop of white paint, and mix thoroughly. Continue adding a small amount of white and mixing the paint until the brown is light enough.

Tips & Warnings

  • Experiment with different shades of red, yellow and blue. Each shade of paint will give slightly different results due to the pigments used and the transparency of the paint. Note which combinations you like best for future use.

References

  • Color by Betty Edwards: A Course in Mastering the Art of Mixing Colors; Betty Edwards; 2004
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