Brown is a versatile and popular color that can be made by mixing various combinations of shades. The most common way to make brown is by mixing complementary colors from opposite sides of the color wheel such as red and green, blue and orange, or yellow and purple. However, many other color combinations can also result in different hues and shades of brown. In this article, we will explore what two shades make brown and provide some examples of color mixes that result in brown.
Red and Green
One of the most basic ways to make brown is by mixing red and green. Red and green are complementary colors opposite each other on the color wheel. When mixed together, they create a neutral brown shade.
The exact hue of brown will depend on the shades of red and green used. A bright red mixed with a leafy green will create more of a reddish or rusty brown. Deep shades like burgundy red and forest green will make a darker chocolate brown. Lighter tints of red and green will create more of a tan or beige brown.
For example, mixing a scarlet red with a lime green will result in a vivid reddish brown. Combining a maroon with a hunter green will create a deep chocolate brown. And mixing a soft peach color with a sage green will result in a soft tan brown.
Blue and Orange
Like red and green, blue and orange are also complementary colors opposite each other on the color wheel. Mixing different shades of blue and orange together will create various earthy brown tones.
Deep shades like navy blue and burnt orange will blend into a dark chestnut brown. Bright shades like royal blue and tangerine orange will create more of a clay brown color. And soft pastel shades of blue and orange will mix into a warm beige or sand brown.
Some examples of blue and orange shade combinations that make brown include:
– Navy blue + Rusty orange = Espresso brown
– Royal blue + Pumpkin orange = Hazelnut brown
– Baby blue + Peach orange = Creamy beige brown
Yellow and Purple
Yellow and purple also complement each other on the color wheel. Mixing different shades of yellow and purple will result in muted brown shades with hints of grey.
Bright yellows will mix with deep purples to create more of a taupe brown. Soft buttery yellows will mix with lavender purples to create an oatmeal or wheat shade of brown. And golden yellows paired with plum purples will result in a soft mushroom brown.
Some yellow and purple combinations that blend into shades of brown include:
– Lemon yellow + Eggplant purple = Khaki brown
– Banana yellow + Lilac purple = French beige brown
– Mustard yellow + Mulberry purple = Dusty brown
Blue and Brown
While not complementary colors, combining different tints and shades of blue and brown can result in new complex earthy brown tones.
Deep cobalt or navy blues mixed into chocolate browns will create almost-black shades of brown. Royal blue tints blended with caramel browns make a nice hazelnut tone. And powder blue mixed into light tans result in sophisticated greige shades of brown.
Some examples of blue and brown combinations include:
– Navy blue + Dark chocolate brown = Espresso brown
– Robin’s egg blue + Cinnamon brown = Clay brown
– Baby blue + Sand brown = Mushroom brown
Red and Brown
Mixing different shades of red into brown produces warmer, spicier shades of brown. Bright cherry reds will create terra cotta type earth tones. Burgundy reds blended with chocolate browns result in deeper mahogany shades. And softer coral reds make nice peachy-brown tones.
Some red and brown combinations include:
– Crimson red + Saddle brown = Rust brown
– Garnet red + Mocha brown = Mahogany brown
– Blush red + Beige brown = Terracotta brown
Green and Brown
Combining greens and browns creates natural, woodsy brown tones. Hunter greens mixed into chocolate browns make a rich forest shade. Lime greens blended with caramel browns result in an avocado-inspired tone. And seafoam greens add subtle hints of green into light nutty browns.
Some examples of green and brown combinations include:
– Forest green + Dark chocolate brown = Espresso brown
– Sage green + Cinnamon brown = Moss green brown
– Seafoam green + Tan brown = Olive brown
Yellow and Brown
Warm yellow tones can be mixed into brown to create brighter, sunnier shades of brown. Mustard yellows blended with saddle browns make nice hazelnut colors. Lemon yellows mixed into caramel browns result in toffee-like shades. And buttery yellows added to cream browns create an almond inspired tone.
Some yellow and brown combinations include:
– Mustard yellow + Chestnut brown = Hazelnut brown
– Lemon yellow + Toffee brown = Butterscotch brown
– Buttery yellow + Cream brown = Almond brown
Orange and Brown
Vibrant orange tones add excitement and brightness when mixed into browns. Pumpkin orange blended with chocolate brown makes a rich clay color. Peach orange mixed with beige brown results in a warm tan. And brighter marmalade oranges create energizing terra cotta browns.
Some examples of orange and brown combinations include:
– Burnt orange + Espresso brown = Bittersweet chocolate brown
– Peach orange + Sand brown = Desert sand brown
– Tangerine orange + Caramel brown = Clay brown
Purple and Brown
Regal purples mixed into brown result in luxurious, antique-looking brown shades. Plum purple blended into milk chocolate brown creates a nice mocha tone. Lavender purple mixed into cream brown makes a soothing latte-inspired color. And eggplant purple added to chestnut brown results in a rich burgundy-brown.
Some purple and brown combinations include:
– Plum purple + Milk chocolate brown = Mocha brown
– Wisteria purple + Cream brown = Latte brown
– Eggplant purple + Chestnut brown = Burgundy brown
White and Brown
Mixing white into brown results in softer, lighter brown tones. Stark white blended into chocolate brown makes a nice mocha latte shade. Creamy white added to caramel brown results in a milky coffee color. And eggshell white mixed into saddle brown creates an understated taupe tone.
Some white and brown combinations include:
– Stark white + Chocolate brown = Light mocha brown
– Cream white + Caramel brown = Cafe au lait brown
– Eggshell white + Saddle brown = Taupe brown
Black and Brown
Adding black into brown deepens the shade and saturation of the brown color. Coal black blended with chestnut brown makes an espresso-inspired tone. Charcoal black mixed with cinnamon brown results in a deep chocolate color. And smokey black added to beige brown creates a sophisticated dark taupe.
Some black and brown combinations include:
– Coal black + Chestnut brown = Espresso brown
– Charcoal black + Cinnamon brown = Dark chocolate brown
– Smokey black + Beige brown = Dark taupe brown
Grey and Brown
Mixing neutral greys into brown creates more muted, sophisticated brown shades. Steel grey blended with mocha brown makes a nice pewter tone. Heathers gray added to walnut brown results in an understated concrete-inspired color. And charcoal grey mixed into tan brown creates a weathered driftwood brown.
Some grey and brown combinations include:
– Steel grey + Mocha brown = Pewter brown
– Heather grey + Walnut brown = Concrete brown
– Charcoal grey + Tan brown = Driftwood brown
Pink and Brown
Soft pinks add warmth and femininity when blended into brown. Bubblegum pink added to chocolate brown results in a romantic blush tone. Dusty rose mixed into chestnut brown creates an elegant antique look. And ballet slipper pink blended into caramel brown makes a creamy brown with just a kiss of pink.
Some examples of pink and brown combinations include:
– Bubblegum pink + Chocolate brown = Blush brown
– Dusty rose + Chestnut brown = Antique rose brown
– Ballet slipper pink + Caramel brown = Creamy pink-kissed brown
While the most basic way to make brown is by mixing complementary colors red and green or blue and orange, many other color combinations result in beautiful shades of brown. Mixing analogous hues like different shades of blue into brown creates sophisticated cool-toned browns. Complementary yellows and purples make for muted, earthy browns. And adding bright, warm colors like red, orange, and pink can really energize brown and create exciting new shades.
With countless colors to work with, the possibilities are endless when mixing two shades together to form enticing brown tones and hues. Being creative and experimenting with different color combinations is a great way to develop nuanced and stylish shades of brown for any design or project.