Working with different
shades of brown

Shades of brown are an interesting variant of mixing the primary colors. Here, the initial focus lies on the experimental nature of these color blends. It allows the students to perceive a wide range of color shades. With the many different colors we can then create the fittings of the brown store, where,apart from chocolate and cocoa, numerous brown groceries are sold.

Downloads.
Further material for this article.

Working with different shades of brown

The "Color Shop" that only sells brown items: For example cocoa, bread and chocolate.

Shades of brown are an interesting variant of mixing the primary colors. Here, the initial focus lies on the experimental nature of these color blends. It allows the students to perceive a wide range of color shades. With the many different colors we can then create the fittings of the brown store, where,apart from chocolate and cocoa, numerous brown groceries are sold. Name signs can be made of brown shades, too. Our example shows a heart made of gingerbread. As a basis for our store, we used an old cardboard box that we cut into shape to make it look like a toy shop.

Information on Primary Colors

The 12 color wheel serves as a basis for our observation. In the color wheel, all colors are arranged in a circle. Certainly, there are many more colors; however, for a basic apprehension, this simple depiction will do. Shades of brown are created by mixing the three primary colors together; however, a reduced amount of cyan blue is used. In our example, yellow and magenta red are mixed together. Then a small amount of cyan blue is added.

12er Farbkreis
12 color wheel including the three primary colors yellow, cyan blue and magenta red. Together, all three colors make a grayish black, for brown shades the amount of cyan blue needs to be reduced.
 

Material for the Teaching Unit "Working with Different Shades of Brown"

This is what you need:

  • Paint box K12
  • Paint brushes with long and short bristles, sizes 10, 12
  • Cardboard for the shop
  • String
  • Glue, scissors

All download materials at a glance:

Coloring templates:

  • Heart, nut, chocolate marshmallow, chocolate ice cream, raisins, mushroom, loaf of bread, cocoa and a bar of chocolate.
  • Gingerbread heart

It's as easy as this:

There is a lot to explore in the brown store: Already at the entrance, you are welcomed in this color shade when entering through a brown door. If you like, you may combine our download templates and create your individual brown shop. Let your students create their own templates, too. Later on you can use them again as presentation material.

 
The brown groceries are made either by working on your own or by working with a partner. This way, you can present your personal store, later on.

Brown Groceries

The single groceries of the brown store can be drawn onto previously cut out pieces of cardboard. Altogether, they are glued onto a large piece of cardboard and are decorated nicely with the remaining shop fittings (e. g. with a door, an own door sign and other decorations).

The groceries are different altogether; however, each of them have the same basic color in common, the color brown.
 

Color Modulation

There are many combinations of brown shades: Light, dark, intense and pale colors. These opaque colors can be lightened with white or even receive a "watery" look by adding water. The students should experiment here as much as possible!

Details of the groceries can be accentuated easily, by using darker shades of brown. This way, you can trace the outlines, like in our example, draw whole raisins.

The groceries are different altogether; however, each of them have the same basic color in common, the color brown.

Shades of ocher expand the color space, as well. They, too, can be mixed with black and white, to darken or lighten the color shade. Not only do shades of ocher fit to the mushrooms, but also to the other shades of brown.

 
Shades of ocher expand the range or brown colors. Accentuating is also possible using dark brown.
 

Gray Component Replacement

Shades of brown can also be mixed using the primary colors yellow and magenta red together with the color black. This is what you call the "gray component replacement". It is also used in the printing industry.

However, to get started, of course the students may just as well use shades of brown from their opaque paint box. These brown shades can also be varied using black and white paint and serve as a solution oriented color experience for the children. After all, it is not only about learning the different mixing techniques, but also about finding out how manifold the color brown can be.

Easy realization of the brown shop: This student project was made out of only a small amount of "finished" colors, which has also lead to an individual result.

Natural Shades of Brown

Shades of brown can be found in nature more often than one might at first assume. Even stones, rocks and especially sand are the substances that spread the widest over the Earth surface. In desert regions, not only are there brown houses, the animals living there, such as camels, for example, have brown fur.

(compare Gekele, H. 2000): "Handbuch der Farbe - Systematik. Ästhetik. Praxis. Köln) (means: Compendium of Colors Systematic. Esthetic. Practice. Cologne)

 

Gingerbread Heart

Our gingerbread hearts from the brown shop are well suitable, if name signs are needed.

 
In the shelf with the heart inside the brown store, a gingerbread heart can be hung up, later on. In our case, it was decorated with a brown piece of string

It's as easy as this:

Before you can get started, you will have to print out the templates!

 
  1. Apply glue to the top half of the backside of the crafting template.
  2. Along the folding line, then fold the bottom half of the template to the back and glue it against the backside of the heart.
  3. Now, paint the heart and make a hole by using a tooth pick.
  4. Finally, to hang it up, loom a piece of string through the hole.

 

Have fun crafting!

 

 

Further templates to download

At this point, we would like to encourage you to let you students create their own brown groceries or everyday items. We would like to offer you the following download templates as further materials. They can either be used as a basis for your own individual creation, or in whole, just the way they are:

Download Templates I: Heart, nut, chocolate marshmallow, chocolate ice cream and raisins.
Download Templates II: Mushrooms, bottle of mustard, cocoa and chocolate.