Colors, Textures & Shapes: Brown

Real World Comparisons:


Muddy water
River after the rain
Weak tea
Water stain


Tree bark
Petrified wood
Cinnamon stick


Strong tea
Runny ink
Dark Chocolate

Shades of Brown:

Umber, tan, sepia, russet, bronze, mahogany, sorrel, beige, tawny…

Make every detail count

Colors are powerful descriptors, not fillers. Make sure that if you use a comparison or contrast to highlight a color, you choose the right one. Look at the setting and atmosphere you are working to create, then draw from the viewpoint character or narrator’s history, education and past experiences to find the right fit.

Colors not only paint a picture for readers; when used well, they can also create emotional and symbolic harmonies.

Looking to add vivid imagery to your character’s world? This thesaurus has been expanded and integrated into our online library at One Stop For Writers. There, entries have been enhanced to include symbolism opportunities, a wealth of real-world comparisons that can be woven into your writing, and examples of how to describe colors and patterns in ways that engage the reader’s imagination. This collection is also cross-referenced for easy searchability so you can find exactly what you’re looking for. Interested in seeing a sampling of the updated Color and Pattern Thesaurus and our other collections? Head on over and register for free at One Stop!


Becca Puglisi is an international speaker, writing coach, and bestselling author of The Emotion Thesaurus and its sequels. Her books are available in five languages, are sourced by US universities, and are used by novelists, screenwriters, editors, and psychologists around the world. She is passionate about learning and sharing her knowledge with others through her Writers Helping Writers blog and via One Stop For Writers—a powerhouse online library created to help writers elevate their storytelling. You can find Becca online at both of these spots, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.
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4 Responses to Colors, Textures & Shapes: Brown

  1. Pingback: Color, Texture and Shape Thesaurus Collection | Writers Helping Writers

  2. Jessica says:

    Awesome! Thanks for the tips. 🙂

  3. Bish Denham says:

    Keep it coming! Wonderful!

  4. Thanks! I’m always describing brown eyes because I love brown eyes on boys. Especially cute ones. 🙂

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