How to do the brown color in painting. Everything is ready: the easel, the canvas, the brushes, the palette, the tubes of paint, the inspiration. You are prepared to paint the forest that opens up behind your house. The soaring peaks of the elegant fir trees, the foliage of the oaks, the intricate development of the lower bushes, the clear lines of the Lianas and further down. The lively sprouting of some mushroom, and why not, the cute little face of some small inhabitant of the wood.
Quickly, just as you get to work, you realize that color is missing from your tubes! There are all the greens for the leaves and bushes, and there is blue for the sky. There is even red to paint a fascinating, flashy but poisonous Amanita Muscaria. Unfortunately, however, brown is missing—the brown for the trunks of the fir trees and the oak branches.
Taken by indecision, you start wondering how to make brown so as not to have to give up work and rely on our online shop for art accessories. Let’s be clear: we are very ready to deliver any tube of paint – oil, acrylic, tempera, and watercolor – very quickly, but unfortunately, we would not be able to satisfy you within an hour! So here, in order not to compromise your pictorial afternoon, you have to learn how to make brown.
The accessories and products needed to understand how to make the brown color
To understand how to make brown, just read this guide to the end and put our tips into practice. Therefore, you will need some products and accessories at hand to try what you will read for yourself. Specifically, you will need the tubes of primary colors (you decide which ones to use, based on the technique you prefer, selecting between tempera, acrylic colors, oil paints, and watercolors; you could even try with simple colored pencils!).
Suppose you choose to make the brown color with the brush, in addition to the tubes of paint. In that case, you will need to have the necessary thinner (and therefore simple water for acrylics and watercolor), a palette, and support, and consequently some paper, canvas, or wood panels. So now you are ready to discover – or re-discover – how to do the brown color and lotus flower drawing.
A quick lesson: primary colors and secondary colors
We anticipated needing the primary colors to make the color brown, namely magenta, cyan blue, and yellow. Yes, because these colors cannot obtain from other shades, thanks to them – as long as you know the various combinations – it is possible to create many different colors, possibly intervening with a little white to lighten the resulting color.
By mixing the primary colors in equal quality two by two, the secondary colors are obtained: by blending red and yellow, for example, we will have orange while mixing yellow and blue, we will have green. Otherwise, we will no longer have secondary colors but tertiary colors by combining the primary colors in different percentages. In summary, therefore, to make the color brown, you must have the primary colors at hand, and this same goes for any secondary and tertiary color.
How to make brown: 5 different ways
In front of you, you have red, blue, and yellow. Starting from these primary colors, we will teach you how to do the brown color in 5 different ways, arriving from time to time to different results. The first technique – probably the most widespread – to make the brown color consists of mixing red and yellow (with a prevalence of the first) to have a lovely orange. Here, therefore, a little blue will be added, just a little, so as not to risk having a brown that is too dark: a pinch of cyan will be more than enough to transform the orange into a brown that approaches the tones of chocolate.
To have a different brown, you can instead go for purple. First, therefore, red and blue are mixed, and then a pin of yellow is added, which can be increased to turn towards beige. And it is the third method that we propose to you to learn how to make the brown color – you can make a licorice brown, passing through the green. After mixing the blue and yellow in equal measure, you will therefore have to add a thread of red, and voilà, you will have a respectable brown.
A much more laborious method to get to brown involves combining blue and green and then adding brown-black (which we obtained by mixing all three primary colors with yellow to a lesser extent) of red and yellow to have a rather dark brown (which can be lightened not through white, which could dampen it, but through a further addition of yellows). Finally, by abounding with yellow, it is also possible to obtain a brown by mixing all three primary colors. So now you know how to do the brown color for your paintings: to make less effort and to have more possibilities. First, however, we advise you not to be taken aback anymore and buy all the products on our e-commerce for art products. Primary colors you need by rummaging through the many loose paint tubes!
Brown in the history of Italian painting: a curiosity
Since the beginning of this guide on making the color brown, we have continued to speak precisely of ‘brown,’ words derived from the French ‘couleur marron’ or the expression ‘chestnut color.’ In our pictorial tradition, however, we hardly ever speak of brown instead of the various types of brown. Therefore, painters do not tell of light brown and dark brown, but, in reality, of brown from Mars, brown Vilbert, brown Van Dyck, and so on. So, you haven’t learned how to do the brown color, but how to create the brown color!