what color does brown and yellow make when mixed

What Color Does Brown And Yellow Make When Mixed

Colors are fascinating and play a significant role in our lives. One intriguing aspect of colors is their ability to mix and create new shades.

In this article, we will explore the intriguing combination of brown and yellow. Brown, a warm and earthy secondary color, brings to mind elements like soil and wood.

Yellow, a vibrant primary color, exudes energy and brightness. By understanding what color brown and yellow make when mixed, we can unlock a whole new range of possibilities in art, design, and aesthetics.

So, what color does brown and yellow make when mixed? Let’s find out.

What is Brown Color?

Brown is a rich, earthy hue that evokes a sense of warmth and nature. It is often associated with elements such as soil, wood, and natural materials.

Brown is considered among secondary colors, typically created by mixing complementary colors.

Common combinations include red and green or orange and blue. With its versatile and timeless appeal, brown finds wide usage in various fields, including interior design, fashion, and art.

Its ability to add depth and grounding to a color palette makes it a popular choice for creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere. Brown’s understated elegance continues to captivate and inspire.

What is Yellow Color?

Yellow is a vibrant and cheerful primary color that is often associated with sunshine, happiness, and energy.

It is a color that catches the eye and radiates positivity. Yellow can range from soft, pastel shades to bright, intense tones.

It is commonly used to represent warmth, joy, and optimism. In the world of art and design, yellow plays a crucial role in creating visual impact and attracting attention.

It is frequently used to add a pop of color to various mediums, including paintings, textiles, and graphic design.

The versatility and uplifting nature of yellow make it a beloved choice for bringing a sunny touch to any composition.

Color Mixing Basics

Primary Colors and Their Role in Mixing

Primary colors serve as the foundation for color mixing in the color wheel. The three primary colors are red, blue, and yellow.

These colors cannot be created by mixing others and are used to produce all other colors through various combinations.

Additive and Subtractive Color Mixing

Color mixing can be achieved through two main methods: additive and subtractive mixing.

Additive Color Mixing

Additive color mixing involves combining different colored lights. The primary colors for additive mixing are red, green, and blue (RGB).

By varying the intensity of each color, a wide spectrum of hues can be achieved. When all three primary colors are mixed at their maximum intensity, white light is produced.

Subtractive Color Mixing

Subtractive color mixing occurs when pigments or dyes are mixed together. It is commonly used in painting, printing, and other physical mediums.

The primary colors for subtractive mixing are cyan, magenta, and yellow (CMY). When these colors are combined at their full strength, they produce a neutral gray or black.

How Colors Interact and Combine

Colors interact and combine in various ways, leading to different results. Three main interactions play a role in color mixing:


Hue refers to the specific shade or color family, such as red, blue, or yellow. By combining different hues, a wide range of colors can be achieved.


Saturation pertains to the intensity or purity of a color. Highly saturated colors appear vivid and vibrant, while desaturated colors are more muted or toned down.


Lightness relates to the brightness or darkness of a color. By adjusting the lightness, colors can appear lighter or darker, creating contrasts and depth.

What Color Does Brown and Yellow Make When Mixed

When brown and yellow are mixed together, the resulting color is typically a light shade of brown.

The specific hue and intensity of the light brown can vary depending on the brown shades of brown and yellow used, as well as the proportions of each color in the mixture.

By adding yellow ochre to brown, it lightens the overall color, giving it a brighter and warmer appearance.

The yellow hue blends with the existing warm tones of brown, resulting in a light brown color that can resemble sandy or caramel tones.

It’s worth noting that the exact color achieved when mixing brown and yellow will depend on factors such as the specific shades of the colors used, the opacity or transparency of the colors, and the lighting conditions under which the mixture is viewed.

How to Mix Brown and Yellow

Tools and materials needed

To mix yellow and brown, you will need the following tools and materials:

  • Brown paint or pigment. Choose a brown paint or pigment that suits your desired shade. This can be a pre-mixed brown or a combination of complementary colors, such as red and green or orange and blue, to create brown.
  • Yellow paint or pigment. Select a yellow paint or pigment. Consider the shade of yellow you want to achieve, whether it’s a bright and vibrant yellow or a more subdued tone.
  • Palette or mixing surface. Use a palette or any suitable surface for mixing your colors. This could be a traditional artist’s palette made of plastic or wood, a ceramic plate, or even a piece of glass.
  • Brushes. Have a selection of brushes available, including one for each color and an additional brush for mixing. Use separate brushes for each color to prevent unintentional mixing on your palette.
  • Palette knife. A palette knife is useful for mixing the colors together. It allows for precise blending and control over the proportions of each color.
  • Test surface. Keep a piece of paper, canvas, or any surface you can use as a test area to evaluate the color mixtures before applying them to your artwork or project.
  • Clean water or solvent (if applicable). If you are using paint that requires dilution with water or a specific solvent, have a container of clean water or the appropriate solvent available for thinning or cleaning your brushes.
  • Paper towels or cloth. Have some paper towels or a cloth nearby for wiping excess paint off your brushes or palette knife, as well as for cleaning spills or mistakes.

Steps to Mix Brown and Yellow

Step 1. Prepare your materials

Before starting, gather all the necessary materials for mixing brown and yellow. You will need brown and yellow paints, a palette or mixing surface, brushes, and a palette knife.

Having everything ready will ensure a smooth and uninterrupted process.

Step 2. Start with the brown color

Squeeze or dab a suitable amount of brown paint onto your palette or mixing surface. Choose a shade of brown that suits your desired outcome.

You can either use a pre-mixed brown or create one by combining complementary colors like red and green or orange and blue.

Step 3. Add a small amount of yellow

Take a small portion of yellow paint and place it next to the brown on your palette.

Start with a conservative amount of yellow, as you can always add more later to achieve the desired shade.

Step 4. Mix the colors

Use a palette knife or brush to thoroughly blend the brown and yellow together. Incorporate the colors by mixing in a circular or back-and-forth motion.

Continue mixing until the colors are well combined, ensuring there are no streaks or patches.

Step 5. Evaluate the color

Take a moment to evaluate the resulting mixture. Note the initial shade achieved by adding the small amount of yellow to the brown.

This will give you a baseline to work from and determine if you need to adjust the color further.

Step 6. Gradually add more yellow

If you desire a lighter or more vibrant shade, add a bit more yellow to the mixture.

Start with small increments to control the color’s intensity and avoid adding too much yellow at once.

Mix the colors thoroughly after each addition to ensure a uniform blend.

Step 7. Mix and observe

Continue mixing the colors and observe how they interact. Pay attention to any shifts in hue, saturation, or lightness as you add more yellow.

Take your time and make adjustments gradually until you achieve the desired shade of brown and yellow.

Step 8. Test and refine

To ensure accuracy, apply a small amount of the mixture to a test surface, such as a piece of paper or canvas. Allow it to dry completely to see the true color.

Evaluate the test sample and make any necessary refinements. Adjust the proportions of brown and yellow as needed to achieve your desired shade of brown and yellow.

Common Shades Created From Mixing Brown and Yellow

1. Tan

Shade Name: Tan

HEX #: #D2B48C

RGB Code: 210, 180, 140

CMYK Code: 0, 14, 33, 18

Tan is a warm, light to medium brown color with a yellowish undertone. It resembles the color of tanned leather or sand.

Tan evokes a sense of warmth and earthiness, often associated with a natural and cozy ambiance.

It is a versatile color that can be used as a neutral base or as an accent color to add warmth to a design.

2. Beige

Shade Name: Beige

HEX #: #F5F5DC

RGB Code: 245, 245, 220

CMYK Code: 0, 0, 10, 4

Beige is a pale, neutral color with a slight warm or cool undertone. It is often described as a light, sandy brown or a creamy off-white.

Beige is a classic and timeless color that exudes simplicity, elegance, and tranquility.

It is a popular choice for creating a clean and minimalist aesthetic in interior design and fashion.

3. Khaki

Shade Name: Khaki

HEX #: #C3B091

RGB Code: 195, 176, 145

CMYK Code: 0, 10, 26, 24

Khaki is a light to medium brown color with a greenish or yellowish tinge. It is commonly associated with military or safari-style clothing.

Khaki has a versatile and earthy quality that blends well with a range of other colors. It conveys a sense of ruggedness, adventure, and natural simplicity.

4. Mustard

Shade Name: Mustard

HEX #: #FFDB58

RGB Code: 255, 219, 88

CMYK Code: 0, 14, 66, 0

Mustard is a deep yellow color with a warm, brownish undertone. It resembles the color of mustard seeds or the condiment.

So, what colors make mustard yellow paint? Generally, the paint is composed of a combination of hues, including yellow ochre and burnt sienna.

Mustard is a bold and energetic color that adds a pop of vibrancy to any design. It is often used to create a retro or vintage-inspired look and brings a sense of warmth and excitement.

Mustard yellow complementary colors are a shade of deep purple or violet.

5. Caramel

Shade Name: Caramel

HEX #: #FFA54F

RGB Code: 255, 165, 79

CMYK Code: 0, 35, 69, 0

Caramel is a rich, warm brown color with a golden or yellowish undertone. It is reminiscent of the color of caramelized sugar.

Caramel is a cozy and comforting color that adds a touch of sweetness and indulgence to designs.

It has a timeless and inviting quality that works well in various applications, from interior decor to fashion.

6. Olive

Shade Name: Olive

HEX #: #808000

RGB Code: 128, 128, 0

CMYK Code: 60, 40, 100, 30

Olive is a dark yellowish-green color. While it has a green component, it is often described as a yellowish-brown or yellowish-gray hue made from gray and yellow mixed.

Olive is associated with nature, specifically with olive trees and their foliage. It is a versatile color that can evoke a sense of tranquility and harmony when used in design.

Olive is often used in military-inspired or earthy color palettes.

ShadeHEX CodeRGB CodeCMYK CodeColor Description
Tan#D2B48C210, 180, 1400, 14, 33, 18Warm, light to medium brown with a yellowish undertone
Beige#F5F5DC245, 245, 2200, 0, 10, 4Pale, neutral color with a warm or cool undertone
Khaki#C3B091195, 176, 1450, 10, 26, 24Light to medium brown with a greenish or yellowish tinge
Mustard#FFDB58255, 219, 880, 14, 66, 0Deep yellow color with a warm, brownish undertone
Caramel#FFA54F255, 165, 790, 35, 69, 0Rich, warm brown with a golden or yellowish undertone
Olive#808000128, 128, 060, 40, 100, 30Dark yellowish-green with brown or grayish undertones

Factors Affecting the Resulting Color

Several factors can influence the resulting color when mixing brown and yellow.

Understanding these factors will help you achieve the desired outcome and make informed decisions during the mixing process.

Here are the key factors to consider:

  • Proportions. The ratio of brown to yellow used in the mixture will directly impact the resulting color. Adding more dark brown will darken the mixture, while adding more yellow will lighten it. Experimenting with different proportions will allow you to achieve a range of shades and tones.
  • Color Intensity. The intensity of the brown and yellow colors themselves can affect the resulting color. If either color is highly saturated or intense, it will have a stronger influence on the mixture. Consider the intensity of your chosen brown and yellow shades and adjust accordingly.
  • Hue Variations. The specific shades of brown and yellow used will affect the resulting color. Browns can range from warm reddish-browns to cool grayish-browns, while yellows can range from bright and vibrant to pale or muted. Mixing different shades of brown and yellow will yield different results, so be mindful of the specific shades you’re working with.
  • Opacity and Transparency. The opacity or transparency of the brown and yellow colors can also impact the resulting color. Transparent colors allow underlying layers to show through, which can alter the overall appearance. Consider the opacity of your paints or pigments and how they may interact when mixed.
  • Lighting Conditions. Lighting can significantly affect the perception of color. The color mixture may appear different under various lighting conditions, such as natural daylight, warm artificial light, or cool fluorescent light. It’s helpful to observe the mixture under consistent lighting to ensure accurate color assessment.

Examples and Variations

When mixing brown and yellow, there are numerous examples and variations that can be achieved.

The specific shades of brown and yellow used, as well as the proportions and techniques employed, will lead to a diverse array of colors.

Here are a few examples and variations that can arise from mixing brown and yellow:

  • Golden Brown. By mixing a warm, earthy brown with a bright and vibrant yellow, you can create a rich, golden brown color reminiscent of autumn leaves or sun-kissed landscapes. Adjusting the proportions of brown and yellow will allow you to achieve different intensities of this warm, golden hue.
  • Sandy Beige. Mixing a lighter shade of brown with a soft, pale yellow can result in a sandy beige color. This variation evokes a sense of warmth and lightness, making it suitable for creating natural or neutral color schemes.
  • Mustard Yellow. By adding a small amount of brown to a vibrant yellow, you can create a mustard yellow color. This variation carries depth and warmth while retaining the inherent vibrancy of yellow. It can be used to add interest and impact to designs or evoke a retro aesthetic.
  • Burnt Sienna. Combining a deep, reddish-brown with a warm, ochre-like yellow can produce a burnt sienna color. This variation is reminiscent of terracotta and can bring warmth and earthiness to artwork or design projects.
  • Olive Green. Mixing brown and yellow in specific proportions can result in an olive green shade. The combination of the brown’s earthy undertones and the yellow’s warmth produces a muted and versatile green hue, reminiscent of olive trees or military uniforms.

What Color Does Brown and Blue Make

When brown and blue are mixed, the resulting color is typically green or grayish. The specific hue depends on the shades used and the proportions of each color.

Brown is made by combining complementary colors like red and green. Blue, being one of the primary colors that make up green, contributes to the mixture.

The resulting shade may vary based on the undertones of brown and blue. If brown has red undertones, it may result in a warm gray or reddish hue.

Similarly, cooler shades of blue can lead to bluish or cool gray mixtures. Adjusting the proportions of brown and blue can produce different intensities and variations.

Start with small amounts and gradually adjust to achieve the desired color. Different mediums may yield slight variations in the final result.

Experimentation and observation are key to discovering unique shades and effects.

Brown + White = What Color

When brown is mixed with white, the resulting color is typically a lighter shade of brown or a tan color.

The exact hue and intensity of the mixture will depend on the specific shades of brown and white used, as well as the proportions of each color in the mixture.

White is often used to lighten or desaturate colors. When added to brown, it softens the overall tone and creates a lighter version of the original brown color.

The resulting tan color may resemble the color of sand or natural fibers.

It’s important to note that the specific outcome may vary depending on the opacity and transparency of the colors being mixed.

Additionally, the lighting conditions under which the mixture is viewed can also impact the perception of the resulting color.

What Color Does Brown and Green Make

When brown and green are mixed together, the resulting color is typically a deep shade of green, often referred to as forest green.

Forest green is a rich and dark hue that resembles the color of evergreen trees in a lush forest.

Brown and green are both earthy tones, and when combined, they create a harmonious blend that captures the essence of nature.

The specific shade of forest green achieved will depend on the shades of brown and green used, as well as the proportions of each color in the mixture.

To create forest green, start by selecting a suitable shade of brown and green. Mix them together, gradually adding more green to the brown until the desired shade is achieved.

Adjusting the proportions allows you to control the intensity and darkness of the forest green color.


Does yellow and brown go together?

Yes, yellow and brown can go together quite well. They are both earthy tones that can create a warm and inviting color palette. Yellow can add a vibrant and energetic touch, while brown provides a grounding and natural feel. When used harmoniously, these colors can create a visually pleasing and balanced combination.

Is brown and yellow a good match?

Yes, brown and yellow can be a good match. They are often used together in various design and decor applications. The warm undertones of brown complement the brightness of yellow, creating a visually appealing contrast. Brown can provide stability and richness, while yellow adds a pop of energy.

Can you make brown with yellow and red?

Yes, you can make brown by mixing yellow and red together. Since brown is often created by combining complementary colors, a red mix with yellow can produce a rich and warm brown hue. The proportions of yellow and red will determine the exact shade of brown achieved. 

What does brown and orange make?

When brown and orange are mixed together, the resulting color can vary depending on the specific shades used and the proportions in the mixture. Generally, combining brown and orange can produce a deeper, earthy shade of dark orange or a reddish-brown color. The exact outcome will depend on the specific hues of brown and orange being mixed.

What color do brown and red make?

Brown and red make maroon when mixed together. This rich, deep color exhibits a blend of reddish hues with a touch of brown, creating a distinct and elegant shade reminiscent of the dark red color often associated with the maroon name.


In conclusion, the mixture of brown and yellow yields a range of warm and earthy shades, evoking a sense of nature and energy.

The resulting color varies based on the specific shades of brown and yellow and their proportions.

It encompasses light tans, golden browns, and deeper tones such as olive or mustard. Understanding color mixing principles unlocks creative possibilities.

Experimenting with ratios adds depth and visual interest, infusing creations with the timeless appeal of brown and the vibrancy of yellow.

The fusion of these colors offers a versatile palette to artists and designers, allowing them to create captivating compositions across various mediums.


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