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How to Make Light Brown Paint

Updated April 17, 2017

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

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

  2. Add an equal amount of blue paint.

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

  4. 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.

  5. Tip

    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.

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Things You'll Need

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

About the Author

Leah Newman has been a professional writer since 1999, writing about fine arts both in print and online. She specializes in how-to articles covering DIY projects. Newman holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Georgia and a Graduate Certificate in Children's Literature from Pennsylvania State University.

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