How To Mix Earth Tone Paint Colors

There are several earth tones available in each of Rosco’s scenic paint lines: Off Broadway, Supersaturated, and Iddings Deep Colors. It is helpful, however, to know how to mix earth tone paint colors – just in case you run into a situation where you don’t have access to those particular paints. Using the Off Broadway Scenic Paints inside our Rosco Scenic Set paint kits, Scenic Artist Tessa Broyles described how to mix the most popular earth tone colors in a recent video on her Behind The Scenics YouTube Channel.

How To Mix Earth Tone Paint Colors

Using a standard color wheel as her guide, Tessa describes how to mix six common earth tones: Raw Sienna, Burnt Sienna, Raw Umber, Burnt Umber, Yellow Ochre, and Van Dyke Brown. In order to mix these earth tones, you begin with the most appropriate primary or secondary color. From there, you mix in the other two colors that form a Triad on the color wheel.

How To Mix Earth Tone Paint Colors

Tessa also explains why it doesn’t work to simply mix the base color with its complementary color. Using Yellow Ochre as the example, she points out that it doesn’t work to simply mix the yellow base color with the complementary purple, because the color comes out too green. “Yellow Ochre is not made from an even mix of red & blue,” Tessa explains. “We need more red than what the purple gives us.”

How To Mix Earth Tone Paint Colors

From there, Tessa moves around the color wheel explaining the different recipes she uses to mix together each earth tone.

  • Yellow Ochre = yellow base color + blue and an extra amount of red
  • Raw Umber = green base color + fairly equal parts orange and purple
  • Burnt Umber = blue base color + yellow and an extra amount of red
  • Van Dyke Brown = purple base color + small amounts of orange and green
  • Burnt Sienna = red base color + small amounts of yellow and blue
  • Raw Sienna = orange base color + small amounts of green and purple

For the full tutorial – watch Tessa’s entire video below.

If you’d like to follow along with the video and mix together your own earth tone colors, Tessa used #5376 Brilliant Red, #5366 Lemon Yellow, and #5373 Pthalo Blue. These three Off Broadway Scenic Paint colors can be purchased individually in quarts or gallons. They’re also available as 6 oz. jars inside our Warm Primaries Scenic Set and our Intense Primaries Scenic Set. To see more of Tessa’s instructional videos, be sure to visit and subscribe to her Behind The Scenics YouTube Channel.

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Joel Svendsen

About Joel Svendsen

Content Marketing Manager: Joel's Rosco career began in Rosco's Hollywood office in 1999 – first in sales covering the Western US and the Los Angeles Film & Television market, and then as Product Manager for Rosco's Film & Television Products. Joel's knowledge about Rosco's products and how they're used in each of our different marketplaces makes him well suited for bringing the stories in Spectrum to life.