How To Make Brown Color

by | Sep 26, 2023 | DIY, Life Hacks

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Brown is a versatile and earthy color used in various art projects, crafts, and interior design. Creating your own brown color allows you to tailor it to your needs and preferences. Today, we will explore making brown colors using basic art supplies.


The color brown is made by combining colors from the primary color palette: red, blue, and yellow. By adjusting the ratios of these colors, you can achieve a wide spectrum of brown shades.

So, through this DIY guide, we’ll delve into different variations of brown that can be achieved by adjusting the quantities of specific colors. Whether you want a rich, deep brown or a lighter, more subtle hue, we’ve got you covered.


Let’s have a look at the necessary supplies:


  • Paint palette or mixing surface
  • Paintbrush or mixing spatula


  • Yellow paint (preferably a warm shade)
  • Red paint (primary red works best)
  • Blue paint (opt for a cool, dark blue)
  • White paint
  • Black paint

Step-by-Step Process 

Step 1: Basic Brown

A step-by-step guide to making brown color

Red, blue, and yellow make a brownish shade

Start by squeezing a small amount of yellow paint onto your palette or mixing surface. Add an equal amount of red paint next to the yellow. Now, add a smaller quantity of blue paint to the mixture. Mix the three colors using your paintbrush or spatula until you achieve a smooth, uniform brown color. This is your basic brown, and the proportions of yellow, red, and blue can be adjusted to achieve your desired shade.

Step 2: Deeper Purplish Brown

A step-by-step guide to making brown color

Add extra blue for a different brownish shade

To create a deeper, purplish brown, you’ll need to add a bit more blue to the basic brown mixture. Gradually introduce small increments of blue paint to the brown mixture, mixing well after each addition. Keep experimenting until you achieve the desired purplish hue.

Step 3: Lighter Earthy Brown

brownish shade

Add extra yellow to make an earthy brownish shade

If you prefer a lighter and more earthy brownish color, you’ll want to emphasize the yellow in the mixture. Add yellow paint to the basic brown mixture, stirring thoroughly to blend the colors. The increased yellow content will result in a warmer and lighter brownish shade.

Step 4: Deep Grey Brown

A step-by-step guide to making brown color

Add extra red again to a darker brownish shade

Add red to the basic brown mixture to obtain a deep brownish grey. Introduce small amounts of red paint, stirring as you go, until the color becomes darker and leans towards a greyish tone.

Step 5: Lightening the Brown Shade

Add more white to lighten the shade

Add more white to lighten the shade

If you wish to make the color slightly lighter, you can do so by adding white paint. Carefully incorporate a small quantity of white into your brown mixture, mixing well until the desired lightness is achieved. Be cautious not to add too much white, as it can quickly overwhelm the desired color.

Step 6: Darkening the Brown Shade

Add more black to darken the shade

Add more black to darken the shade

Conversely, if you want to darken the color, you can use a tiny amount of black paint. Add the black paint incrementally, stirring thoroughly after each addition. Be mindful not to overdo it with the black, as a little goes a long way in darkening the brown.



1. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different proportions of yellow, red, and blue to discover unique brownish shades that suit your project or artwork perfectly.

2. The quality of your paints can significantly impact the final result. Opt for artist-grade paints for more vibrant and consistent colors.

3. While experimenting, keep notes of the color ratios you use for each shade of the desired color. This will help you recreate the same color in the future.

4. When adding additional colors to your mixture, start with small amounts and gradually increase until you achieve the desired color. It’s easier to darken or lighten a shade step-by-step than to fix an overly saturated hue.

Things to remember

1. The colors you start with (yellow, red, and blue) should be pure and not already mixed with other colors. Otherwise, you won’t get accurate results.

2. Different brands of paints may have slightly different color pigments, so don’t worry if your browns vary slightly from those of other sources.

3. Always clean your paintbrush or mix spatula thoroughly between color additions to avoid cross-contamination and preserve the purity of each color.

In conclusion, by understanding the color wheel and the effects of adding different primary colors, you can craft a wide range of shades, each suited to your artistic vision.

So, grab your paints, let your imagination run wild, and experiment with the delightful world of colors!

Also Read: Exploring Evaporation Through Colors | Science Experiment


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