It’s color mixing time again, friends! Today our inquiry will dive into the question: “Red and brown make what color when mixed?” The result is one of my favorites, so keep on reading.
As background, my name is Lillie and I’m an artist and teacher who conducts these color swirling parties with hands-on illustrations — everything from “What color does blue and green make?” to the mysterious, “What do red and orange make?”
I personally conduct these experiments and analyze them for your inquiring mind. I am not a robot, but rather, I am truly a real human typing this. Let’s launch today’s fun by seeing what red and brown look like when the colors (or colours, if you’re British) are whirled together by my brush… Ooh — rich looking! Chocolate cake and cherries.
What Goes Into This Mix?
Before we truly begin combining brown and red, let’s do some “color math” to predict what the mix will produce. First, we know in the RYB color model that red is a primary color. In contrast, we know that the answer to how to make the color brown is to mix all three primary colors together: red, yellow, and blue.
Hence, the equation becomes: Red + Brown = (Red + Red + Red) + (Red + Yellow + Blue). Now, we know that what color yellow and blue make is green, so the equation above becomes 4 Reds + 1 Green.
Further, we have found through our experiments that what color red and green make is brown. Therefore, the equation then can be turned into: 3 Reds + 1 Brown. What does this produce? A slightly brownish, darkened red. What does that look like in practice? Let’s whip out my trusty brushes and see, via my illustration below.
How to Make Maroon Color
It turns out that red and brown make that rich, brownish red called… the color maroon! Yes, the answer to “How to make the color maroon” is: red plus brown color. (Shout-out to the Adam Levine band, Maroon 5, and to the Taylor Swift song, “Maroon!” This is such a powerful, moody color, it’s perfect for music.) Incidentally, maroon is also the answer to “What does red and black make?”
Above, you can see that I got a light maroon with the airbrush technique I used in mixing the paints. Note that this is a similar but different, browner color than the more purple magenta, burgundy, or merlot shades from what color red and purple make when mixed.
Below, enjoy the super saturated dark maroon in my drawing, yielded by layering inky marker pigments on top of each other. I then used an airbrush to lighten a few patches of them so you can see the different shades of maroon resulting in various types of browns being used as an ingredient. Compare and contrast this with the terracotta color we got from mixing orange with brown.
If you recall our experiment in what purple and brown make, this is a similar darkening and “richening” of the non-brown color. The maroon produced above looks far more red in nature than brown, just as the plum produced by mixing purple looks more purple than brown. Naturally, it’s darker than what color pink and brown make.
Red and Brown Make What Color When Mixed?
Now you know it: The answer to the question, “Red and brown make what color when mixed?” is: the color maroon! I adore using maroon to shade in my cute drawings — especially hair colors and regal-looking dresses. Do you like it, too? Which paints should I mix next? Do share!
Curious to learn more about color theory? Check out my post on secondary colors, plus the intriguing double definition of tertiary colors.
The author and artist, Lillie Marshall, is a National Board Certified Teacher of English who has been a public school educator since 2003, and an experienced Reiki practitioner since 2018. All art on this site is original and hand-drawn by Lillie. She launched DrawingsOf.com Educational Cartoons in 2020, building upon the success of her other two sites, AroundTheWorldL.com (established 2009) and TeachingTraveling.com (founded 2010). Subscribe to Lillie’s monthly newsletter, and follow @WorldLillie on social media to stay connected!