What color does Yellow & Red make?
Absolutely Stunning!

Two warm colours: red and yellow. One is known for love and boldness, the other for happiness. So what happens when you yellow and red together?
What color does Yellow & Red make? Absolutely Stunning! Thumbnail
What color does Yellow & Red make? Absolutely Stunning! Thumbnail

Yellow & Red: An Introduction

Yellow and red - two primary colors and extremely warm. While yellow makes us cheerful, red excites us and in fact, it could even increase our appetite - it’s just that bold! So you can imagine how powerful these two colors become when they are mixed. Here’s what you get by mixing yellow and red!

Mixing yellow and red will give you a highly saturated orange. By mixing more yellow, the orange hue could be brightened and by mixing more red, it would incline toward red.

1. Understanding the Color Wheel & Color Theory

Yellow, red, orange - all three are warm colors!

On the color wheel, red and yellow are primary colors. It means that they cannot be produced by mixing other colors. 

When you mix two primary colors, you get a secondary color. Hence, orange is secondary as there’s no other way to obtain it except through color mixing. Depending on how much yellow or red you have, you can have red-orange or yellow-orange, as shown on the color wheel.

Complementary colors

Two colors that sit exactly opposite to each other on the color wheel are known as complementary colors .

For red-orange, you could mix it with the opposite color on the wheel, that is, blue-green. Since green is complementary to red, and blue is complementary to orange, therefore you could expect the resulting mix to be a dark red-orange.

Color wheel featuring both warm and cool primary and secondary colors

2. Making hues of Orange with Yellow & Red

Whether you add more red or yellow, both are warm colors.

Using only one orange hue could make an artwork look too monotonous. Use various yellow and red hues for a more diverse and vibrant approach to your drawings and paintings.

What happens if you add more yellow?

By adding more yellow to the orange, you would get a yellow-orange hue. It would also mean that the resulting orange would have more psychological effects of yellow.

You may find a few of these common yellow hues in your drawing and painting sets:

  1. Cadmium yellow
  2. Yellow ochre
  3. Lemon yellow

What happens if you add more red?

Adding more red to the orange mix would make it appear bolder. It could also tone down the ‘creative’ and ‘fun’ effect of orange.

Here are a few common red hues you can find various art kits:

  1. Alizarin crimson
  2. Cadmium red
  3. Scarlet

3. What is the color psychology of Orange?

Orange combines the mixed traits of red and yellow.

Texture of red, orange and peach

Orange is made up of yellow and red. Both are warm and primary colors, hence you could expect a fun and lively effect on the viewer of all orange hues.

So if there is more red color in your orange hue, it would appear bolder. The psychological effects would also be closer to red than to yellow. However, if there’s more yellow, the warmth would be the same but the orange would appear to have happier and more cheerful effects.

Note that the negative and positive traits could also change as you lighten or darken a color. A darker orange could appear more serious compared to a pastel one, that could evoke romantic and warm feelings.

Positive Traits Negative Traits
Youthful Impatient
Creative Dominative
Fun Superficial

4. How can I use Orange in painting?

Orange is a must-have color for sunsets and sunrise.

Orange texture with hints of red and yellow

In paintings, orange is used quite a lot for creating skin tones and warm atmospheres in landscape art.

Whenever you’re painting, follow these tips to make the most out of orange tones:

  1. Combine orange with white to get a lovely peach for light skin tones. When using oil paints, you could do this directly on the canvas for expressive brush stroke effects and better blendability.
  2. You could add the complementary color blue to orange and it would give you a dark blue or dark orange. For acrylic paints, it’s best to do the mixing as fast as possible and always create one shade lighter. This is because acrylics dry extremely fast and the resulting color always appears darker after drying.
  3. For watercolor paints, mix any red with any yellow. But if you want to go lighter, dilute the orange hue with water instead of using white to obtain tints of orange.

If you’re fond of acrylic painting, we suggest getting this pumpkin orange hue .

Apple Barrel Acrylic Paint

This pumpkin orange acrylic paint will keep you going for all sorts of art and craft projects.

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5. How can I use Orange in drawing?

Light oranges can be used a lot for skin tones.

Flowy orange ink texture in water

Orange can be used to create blended skies and a wide range of skin tones. A colorless blending pencil isn’t necessary, although it is recommended for use with colored pencils.

Using orange in monochromatic drawings is very rare. However, there’s no rule that you cannot use it. Here are some ways in which you could use multiple orange hues in drawing media:

  1. In pastels and chalks, it’s best to use orange directly. Avoid mixing an orange using yellow and red because it could appear muddy if the blending isn’t done right. For best results, restrict yourself to using one color at a time and then build up tonal values.
  2. For inks, you could easily dilute any orange hue to get light skin tones. Add a bit of blue ink to orange for darker skin tones.
  3. For sunset tones, use red and white in conjunction for a pinkish tint in your orange.

Do you love to color pages or work on unusual surfaces? Then you definitely need a set of permanent markers. Here’s a 5-marker pack of beautiful orange hues .

BIC Permanent Markers (Warm Color Pack)

A set of 5 permanent markers with yellow, purple, and 3 varying hues of orange.

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6. How can I use Orange in design?

Orange can promote a creative environment in any space.

Shade cards showing tints, tones and shades of orange

Use orange for spaces where there’s a lack of creativity and warmth.

When you add orange to a space, it promotes creativity and fun. These two basic effects make it a great choice for workspaces and even game rooms. 

For making best use of orange in your design spaces, follow these tips:

  1. Orange is a very warm color, so it’s best to use it side by side with cool colors. Blue tones make the best choice as orange and blue are complementary colors. 
  2. As a naturally bright color, orange could come across as overwhelming to the eyes and the mind. Keep orange hues minimal and add a lot of dark brown or grey in the surrounding for a more harmonious environment.
  3. You don’t have to use only paint. Bring in natural elements such as stone and wood. These could be tiny decor pieces made of such material, only to add some variety and make the space pop more.


So by mixing yellow and red, you would get a lovely orange. This hue of orange could appear more yellowish or red, depending on the proportions of each of these colors in the mix. For using orange in painting and drawing, it’s best to create a range of orange hues by adding white, grey, and black. You could also mix orange with blue, as both are complementary colors, and mixing them could result in darker blue and orange colors.

Do you wish to learn more about colors and color mixing? Don’t miss out this fantastic post on mixing blue and pink !

What color does Blue & Pink make? Absolutely Stunning!

Blue is a primary color, while pink is a tint of red. So what do they make when they are mixed together? Have a look at this beautiful color!

Jimena & Iñigo Picture

By Jimena & Iñigo

The Navarro-Rubios

My husband and I are learning how to draw and paint. We wanted to share this learning process with the world and have fun! That's why we created this blog. We'll have drawing contests every week and you'll decide who won that week! Follow along and learn with us!

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Jimena & Iñigo Picture

Jimena & Iñigo

The Navarro-Rubios

My husband and I are learning how to draw and paint. We wanted to share this learning process with the world and have fun! That's why we created this blog. We'll have drawing contests every week and you'll decide who won that week! Follow along and learn with us!



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