9 ways how to mix brown

Browns and muds

There are some colors, which you don’t buy in large quantities. I believe, that you have white or turquoise enought for half a year, but what about brown? Just when you need it, it’s not available in your big clay inventory.

Don’t worry, because brown is mix of primary color and there a few simple way to mix it. In this article, you will find recipes, how to mix brown, also results of observation and evaluation of mixed shades.

Don’t  forget to share your impressions. If you like to work with brown or if you can’t stand it in your palette?

Recipes are prepared for Fimo polymer clay. For other brands are ratios in recipes a bit different, but rules of color mixing are similar.

From primaries

More precisely, from primary color families. Brown contains all three color components: red (pink), yellow and blue.

Recipes are presented

  1. numerically, in numbers of unit of each color. The ratio determines  hue exactly, you can choose any unit (a bar of clay, a circle cutter, grams..).
  2. visually, it makes it easier to imagine ratio of colors. It is possible to mix approximately  with strips or rollers of material as it’s shown.

The result of mixing is displayed in a circle.

From primary colors

The first and last rescue. Even if you didn’t have anything to eat, the primary colors should always be at home.

  • 5 x Magenta (210)
  • 1 x Žlutá (100)
  • 1 x Modrá (300)
When you prefer turquoise

If you don’t like true blue and you rather use turquoise. 

  • 4 x Magenta (210)
  • 1 x Žlutá (100)
  • 1 x Tyrkysová (32)
Red. A cousin of magenta

Do you love or hate pink? It doesn’t matter, you can use red instead of magenta.

  • 3 x Červená (200)
  • 1 x Žlutá (100)
  • 1 x Modrá (300)
Not yellow as yellow

Oh, you haven’t got a sunshine yellow?  ou can also use a lighter or less dense yellow.

  • 4 x Magenta (210)
  • 1 x Světle žlutá (1)
  • 1 x Modrá (300)
Compromise with carmine red

Carmine red is made from bugs and it’s just somewhere between red and magenta.

  • 2 x Karmínově červená (29)
  • 1 x Žlutá (100)
  • 1 x Modrá (300)

Largest part of color in brown is magenta/red. There is less blue and yellow.


You can swap blue for turquoise in recipes, when you remove one part of magenta/red.


Magenta is not as saturated as red (and has smaller proportion of yellow). Therefore you find in recipe always bigger amount of magenta than red.


Primary yellow is better for mixing brown. Lighter yellow is desaturated or less pigmented and often is closer to green part of spectrum. Quality must be replaced by quantity. 

Cannily: from two colors

We can mix secondaries using primary colors:

  • violet/purple = magenta and blue
  • orange = magenta/red and yellow
  • green = blue and yellow

You need only two secondary colors for mixing brown, which is nice shortcut. Condition is, that these two color must contains all 3 primary color family.

The ratio of secondaries is important to get brown. This ratio I was balanced for you in following recipes.

Rusty brown

If you do not mind that your new brown is a little rusty, use a mixture of fuchsia and yellow.

  • 3 x Fuchsiová (61)
  • 2 x Žlutá (100)
One to one ratio

There is nothing easier. Mix equal amount of purple and yellow.

  • 1 x Fialová (6)
  • 1 x Oranžová (4)
From green to red

The color math is amazing. Use a green and yellow instead of blue.

  • 3 x Červená (200)
  • 2 x Zelená (5)
Orange and black

Darken the orange until become brown. 

  • 8 x Oranžová (4)
  • 1 x Černá (9)

Black clay contains a bit of blue, that’s why mix with orange, which is red and yellow combination, makes brown color.


If you have muddy rest of clay without white, you can make brown. Try add some red, after yellow and finally tone it with blue.

Comparison of browns

Jak namichat hnědou z fima


Color shades may appear on each device differently.

It is difficult to describe colors and even more give them names. Colours can be displayed on your device differently, this could help you imagine them better.

  1. (Milk) Chocolate, medium dark brown, cooler.
  2. Dark chocolate, dark brown, cooler than previous one and slightly reddish.
  3. Hazelnut brown, light brown, warm, slightly greenish.
  4. Chestnut brown, medium dark, rich, warm tone (with touch of orange)
  5. Dark chocolate, dark brown, rich, warmer and less red than no. 2
  6. Rusty-brown, medium dark shade to rusty. (can be adjusted by adding blue)
  7. Dark mahogany, dark brown with violet undertones.
  8. Chestnut brown, dark brown , warm, darker and more saturated than no. 4.
  9. Military brown, dark brown, a little close to khaki color.

Adjusting shades of brown.

Hue is too light.
Add the crumb of black.

Hue is greyish brown, not bright
(Hue is probably too blue or green).
Firstly try add some red, after if it’s necessery add some yellow.

Hue is too cool and reddish.
Add some yellow.

Hue is too warm and reddish.
Add some blue.


Brown can be used as a warm neutral shade. It is not as strict black and gives a warmer feeling to your jewellery. Use it as a separator between the contrasting colors or use it for the edges and back sides.

Try it in combination with turquoise or fuchsia.
Be carefull not all shades of brown works nice with all colors. Use your artist sense and combine or tinge your browns as you need.

And what about you, do you like brown? In which combination do you use brown?

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