How to Make Tan Paint: Tan Color Mixing Guide

While creating a masterpiece, artists are required to work with different shades of brown to create the right skin color. However, not all of the paint kits come with a dedicated tan skin tone color. That is why many might have to stick with the regular mix of brown and white.

How to Make Tan Paint

But the good news is that you will not be one of them. In this article, we are going to show you how to make tan paint in four simple steps. Yes, you read that right; four simple steps! Do not believe us? Well, you will need to go through the article in that regard.

What Colors Make Tan Paint?

Before we head into the process of making tan paint with the other colors that are surely available in your arsenal, we would like to give you a basic idea about the paint. Tan is a very light shade of brown. That dictates that if you mix brown with a lighter color, you should end up with a tan, right?

Well, the theory is not entirely wrong. But that mixture will not have that much depth to it. For example, if you just lighten up the brown color by adding a good amount of white, you will only end up with a light brown color.

Even though light brown and tan might seem like the same thing, it will simply not have the complexities that masterpieces such as the one you are creating require. Many artists will use the beige color and lighten the paint up by adding a bit of white. There is a caveat to that too!

Tan is closer to brown than beige. Yes, you will end up with a tan if you lighten up the beige color. But that mix is going to have a pinkish tint of the beige color. In other words, it will not have the depth and complexities of the tan color.

Many even ask what two colors make tan color paint. Well, what they are simply referring to is yellow and brown. But in reality, the colors that actually make a proper tan color are brown, white, and red.

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How to Make Tan Paint: Complete Step-by-Step Process

Unlike the other guides that you will find on the internet, we focus on keeping things simple. And we have stuck with that thinking while we were preparing this guide. That being said, the steps that you would need to follow to make tan paint:

Step 1: Get a Good Amount of White Color in Your Palette

First of all, you need to drop a significant amount of white color on your palette. We are starting off with a light color because we can understand when the blend is getting dark when we add the other colors. In other words, there will be less chance of the blend losing the consistency your painting might require.

Step 2: Add a Bit of Brown to the Mix

It would be good if you used different brushes to mix the blend. But if you want to stick with one brush, ensure that you are rinsing the brush head properly. Take the brush and dip it into brown paint. First, mix just a brush-worth of brown color. Check the depth of the mix and the darkness of the color.

If the mix requires a little bit more depth or darkness to it, add more. But do ensure that you are mixing a brush-worth every time. That will ensure that the mix does not suddenly turn darker than you wanted it to be.

Step 3: Mix a Bit of Red

We will add a touch of red color to our mix. And no, it is not because of getting the pinkish shade. Instead, it will be to add a bit of life to the tan color. Now, you might be wondering what we actually meant with the last statement. If you take a closer look at people with tan skin, you will notice that the skin has a bit of red tint.

That is exactly what we are going to chase by adding the red color. But do not go full in on the red because you might end up with pinkish-tan instead of a natural tan color. Instead, apply less than a brush-worth of the color. Remember to rinse and dry off the brush if you are using one brush only.

Step 4: Mix the Whole Thing

Now that you have added all the required colors, you need to get into mixing the whole thing. Use the brush to mix the color. Ensure that each of the parts of the blend is mixed with the colors that you have added later. If you do not blend the mix properly, you might end up with pockets of brown on the blend.

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How to Make Darker Tan Paint?

To obtain a darker shade of tan color, you would need to tweak the mixture that we have just made in the last segment. First, add in a bit of red. Start by adding one and a half brush-worth of red to the mixture and mix the whole thing up. The shade would have a darker and earthy tone to it at this point.

However, you might not be satisfied with the darkness of the shade yet. In that case, you need to head back to the brown color. Rinse and dry them first and then add two brush-worth of brown. Blend the mixture together properly and see if the darkness is up to your satisfaction or not.

To darken up the shade more than that, you just need to add a touch of red and brown together. But do remember, if you add too much brown and red, you might just end up with light brown instead of tan.

How to Make Tan Color Paint Lighter?

If the mixture ends up with a darker tone, the chances are that you have mixed too much red and brown color. In that case, the first step would be to add white. It will do a proper job of lightening up the blend.

However, if the shade is not light enough to become a part of your masterpiece, we would recommend adding a bit of yellow. Light green is going to work too. But if you add too much green or yellow, the color will lose its tan nature and might end up looking beige.

CMYK percentage and RGB Code for Tan Color

You might want to pick a reference point through a digital medium before you work on your physical masterpiece. Or you might just want to create a digital version of your workpiece.

Well, no matter what the case is, you need to know the CMYK percentage and RGB percentage of the tan color to properly work with the art piece. The percentage of CMYK is as follows:

  • C : 0 percent
  • M: 14 percent
  • Y: 33 percent
  • K: 18 percent

These percentages will get you the basic shade of the color. And to get a darker and lighter shade, you need to tweak a bit. For a dark shade, increase the percentage of K. The higher the percentage of K, the darker the shade is going to look. For a brighter shade, decrease the level of K.

You can also try and increase the Y percentage if you want to get a lighter shade of the color.

That being said, for the RGB, the code is #D2B48C. This will again offer you the basic shade of the tan color. And if you want to get a darker shade, increase the value of red and blue a bit. To make the color light and bright, decrease both and add a good percentage of white.

Would I Be Able to Use Beige as an Alternative to Tan?

The color beige is basically a lighter shade of tan. That means it will not have any complexities or the depth that the tan color has. You can certainly use it on your artwork if the work requires it. However, it is certainly not a proper alternative to tan.

But if you do not want to follow the process of making tan that we have described above, you can always make a basic form of tan. And for that, you would require yellow and brown. Use the brown color as a base and add the yellow color as required. The more yellow you add, the lighter the tan is going to be.

Final Words

There is really no need to get stressed when you run out of a tube of a tan color. Instead of panicking, just follow the step-by-step process of making tan paint properly, and you should end up with the shade of tan you were looking for.

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