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How to: Mixing the perfect brown

What you need:

  • 1 medium sized paintbrush for color mixing
  • Acrylic paints (primary colors only: red, yellow, & blue)
  • 1 glass of water for cleaning your brush
  • Paper towels or a cloth to dry your brush
  • 1 paint palette
Today we’re going to learn a bit of color theory and mixing (don’t worry, we’re starting with some basics). The question I hear most at my ArtNights is, “how do I make brown?”, which is a perfectly wonderful and understandable question. Brown is a challenging color to make, but today, we will learn how! We don’t need many colors to start off with, just the primary colors: red, yellow, & blue. From these, we can make orange (red + yellow), green (yellow + blue), and purple (red + blue). For our first step, you’ll want to mix all these colors on your palette. In the end, you should have 6 colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, & purple.Now that you have your 6 colors, let’s mix some brown variations :)Brown is best (and most easily) mixed using complementary colors. Complementary colors are those that sit across from one another on the color wheel.

Complementary Colors:

Red & GreenOrange & BlueYellow & PurpleNow it’s time to experiment with all the different shades of browns you can mix! Mix each complementary color together to see what happens (spoiler alert, you should get brown)! Each brown will vary depending how much of each color you use. Feel free to play and experiment to perfect your paint mixing skills and find your perfect brown! Happy Painting ~ KP
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