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How to make a tan colour from paint

Updated February 21, 2017

If you are painting a portrait and need a tan skin tone you need to know exactly how to mix up tan paint. Although you can purchase actual tan or skin tone paint from most arts and craft stores, you may wish to mix paint yourself to come up with the tan colour. By mixing the paint yourself you can create your own skin tone to perfectly match the colour you are going for.

Apply a large amount of white in a mixing container. It is important to start with the lighter colour. It only takes a small amount of brown to change the entire consistency of the colour.

Rinse off the white paint in a glass of water, dry off the paint brush in a rag and dip the brush into brown paint. Mix just a brush-worth of brown paint into the white. See how dark the paint becomes, then repeat the process with a small amount of brown at a time until you reach a suitable tan.

Add a touch of red paint. This adds a little life to the tan colour. If you are creating a skin tone you are going to notice most skin has some sort of colour in it, whether it be a slight red, yellow or even green. Apply just a small brush-worth into the tan paint. This colour is subtle and overdoing it can ruin the entire tan colour.

Thoroughly mix up the paint before using it. If you don't you are going to end up with pockets of brown or white paint that do not evenly match the overall colour of the paint.

Things You'll Need

  • Paintbrush
  • Brown paint
  • White paint
  • Red paint
  • Mixing tray
  • Water
  • Rag
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About the Author

Greyson Ferguson is a graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design with a degree in film and television. He currently resides in Lansing, Michigan where he works on independent film projects and writes for numerous publications. Ferguson primarily focuses on computer and electronic articles. Greyson produces TheDailyUpbeat.com, focusing on only upbeat news stories with daily updates.