How to Make Orange Paint? – What Colors Make Orange?

Novice painters face a lot of troubles while mixing two or more colors to make a new paint. If you’re in such a situation, I’ll tell you what. A few color mixing fundamentals can blow away your struggles in the blink of an eye.

How to Make Orange Paint? – What Two Colors Make Orange?

So, you’re here to learn how to make orange paint? Red and yellow do the job.

Continue reading if you also need to know:

  • What colors make orange paint
  • How to make vivid and muted orange
  • Different shades of red, yellow, and orange colors
  • How to darken and lighten orange whenever you want
  • Some useful tips
  • And, related questions you may ask.

What Colors Make Orange Paint?

The plain and simple answer to this question is red and yellow. Although there are tons of orange shades out there and we’ll show you how you can make them, mixing red and yellow will give you pure orange color.

What Colors Make Orange Paint

You may already know that both yellow and red are primary colors whereas orange is secondary. And, to get any secondary color, you must combine two primary colors together. Similarly, if you mix two secondary colors then this will make a tertiary color.

Another way to get a tertiary color is by combining three primary colors.

How to Make Orange Paint With Different Shades of Red and Yellow

Before we make different orange shades using different yellow and red shades, let’s ponder a more fundamental factor- color bias. Because it’s crucial to know about color bias for mixing the right color.

The fun fact is, yellow is not only yellow, there are cool and warm yellows. Similarly, there are warm and cool versions of red. If you mix warm colors together, you’ll end up having vivid orange. On the other hand, mixing cool colors will end up in dull orange.

Red ShadesYellow ShadesOrange Shades
Cadmium RedCadmium YellowVivid Orange
Alizarin CrimsonYellow OchreDull Orange

Now, you may ask, what are warm and cool colors?

Simply put, colors that remind you of things like fire or sun are warm colors (e.g red and yellow). On the contrary, colors that remind you of grass or water are cool colors (e.g blue, purple, and green).

Therefore, when your yellow shows a red bias, this is a warm color. And, if the red you’re using has a yellow bias, it’s also warm. Two warm colors (Cadmium red and Cadmium yellow) will give you vivid orange.

You may ask, how to make dull orange paint?

If you use at least one color that has a little bit of blue bias, you can mix a dull orange. For example, use a cool red (having blue bias) with a warm yellow to make dull orange.

More specifically, mix Alizarin crimson and yellow ochre and you’ll get dull orange.

Warm and Cool Shades of Red and Yellow

By now, you know what color bias does mean. Knowing the warm and cool colors of red and yellow will help you to make tons of orange shades.

Below is a simple diagram of yellow shades from warm to cool.

Yellow ochre→Mustard yellow→Saffron yellow→Golden yellow→Canary yellow→Cadmium yellow→Cadmium lemon.

And, here you go with the red shades from warm to cool.

Coquelicot red→Scarlet→Light Red→Venetian red→Cadmium red→Carnelian red→Vermillion→Magenta→Alizarin crimson.

Hopefully, you’ll find the diagram helpful while making several orange shades.

Read More: Guide on Making Yellow Paint at Home

Other Orange Paint Colors

If you look around, not only at flowers, pumpkins, or leaves, you’ll see orange color in many other things.

Gold Jewlery

This can be anything like gold jewelry, a campfire in your backyard, the beautiful sunset, or perhaps the red-hired sibling sitting beside you.

But all these versions of orange colors have different strengths of orange. Can you guess how is it possible? Not that complicated, the colors are either cooled down or warmed up to get the desired color.

Look at the table, for now, we’ll explain everything below.

Yellow ShadesIntensifierAdditional ColorOutcome
Cadmium YellowBurnt SiennaWhiteGold
Cadmium YellowCadmium RedBurnt SiennaCopper
Cadmium RedBurnt SiennaWhiteRed Hair
Cadmium YellowCadmium RedBurnt UmberFiery Orange
Lemon YellowCadmium RedOrange for carrots, peppers, flowers.

So, suppose you want to make the gold jewelry color you’re looking at. To do so, you have to mix cadmium yellow (light), burnt sienna, and white together. Hence, start using a very little amount of burnt sienna and play around with its amount.

Because the more burnt sienna you add, the darker the final outcome will be. So, build to your desired color by gradually adding burnt sienna.


Copper is another orange-ish color but it’s a bit dark orange. How can you get copper?
Mix cadmium red, cadmium yellow, and burnt sienna to get a rich and burnished copper color. However, if you want to make the copper light, you can add more yellow to it. Otherwise, add more burnt sienna and get dark copper color.

Red Hair

To get exactly the red-orange color of red hair, it may take a bit long to end up with the exact right shade. You can mix cadmium red, burnt sienna, and white to get a red hair color.

Warning: Add only a tiny amount of white to avoid having pink hair.

It’s best if you add a very small amount of white last and add it just how it’s needed. Try to jot down the formulas once you mix the colors, this will help you in the future.

Fiery Orange

Now, let’s see how you can get fiery orange. Shall we?

Mix cadmium red with cadmium yellow first. Mix the red and yellow in a 2:1 ratio. This will provide you a bright, pure orange fire color. After that, add only a tiny bit of burnt umber to get the deeper center of a campfire. This is it.

Another amazing goal is to make orange vegetation colors. This is for painting carrots, peppers, orange-colored flowers, and so on.

Firstly, mix lemon yellow and cadmium red or you can mix cadmium yellow and cadmium red instead. Start with a small amount of cadmium red since it’s a really intense color that can overwhelm the yellow. Overall, this mixture will provide you a very bright orange.

How to Darken Orange Acrylic Paint

Dark Orange Acrylic Paint

You can add either black or blue to darken an orange paint.

Because black dulls down the paint too much so many artists don’t like using it to orange. Since black is the combination of three primary colors, you may won’t like adding another 3 colors to the existing orange.

On the other page, blue is the complementary color of orange on the color wheel.

So, you can use:

  • A blue-green to get a red-orange counter
  • Cobalt blue to get a more neutral orange

This is how you can use blue to end up with dark orange. Adding purple also gives you a rich, dark orange color. But you must start small and then increase gradually.

How to Lighten Orange Paint

Yes, you can lighten orange acrylic paint as you want. In this case, yellow and white will help you. But there’s an issue with using white that it turns the color a bit chalky.

So, yellow will work even better. It’s pretty easy to get light orange by adding orange to the yellow. No matter how your painting is going on, you can always lighten any color at any time.

Additional Tips

  • The mixing ratio of different colors determines which shade of final outcome you’ll get. So, make sure you keep notes on the ratios of colors you use.
  • Always add dark color to light one, not light color to dark.
  • Similarly, add opaque color to a transparent one.
  • Don’t overmix colors.
  • If you think one color is too intense, soften it using a complementary color.
  • Try to test the colors before you start painting.

Similar Topic: What Color Does Orange Can Make?


How can I make green from orange?

Unfortunately, you can’t make green from orange because both of the colors are secondary colors. You can mix blue and yellow (two primary colors) to get green.

What ratio should I follow to make a red-orange color?

Use red to yellow at 2:1 for a reddish-orange color.

What color do orange and yellow make?

You’ll get a bright orange shade after mixing yellow and orange together. You can also call it yellowish-orange.

Is it possible to make orange with no red?

Well, since orange is a secondary color, you need primary colors to make orange. And, guess what? You can’t create a primary color. So, it’s not possible to make an orange without using red.

Final Words

You still there? Thanks if you’re saying yes. As you can see now, it’s not hard to answer the question ‘what two colors make orange?’.

And, tell me who doesn’t love the color that’s associated with pleasure, self-gratification, and occupational wellness?

Orange enhances confidence, independence, and happiness. And, playing with the different shades will also make you thrilled.

Happy painting!

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