An Instant Guide on What Color Makes Red?

When it comes to experimenting with colours, mixing them and making new shades is one of the most interesting things to do for creative artists. Almost all kinds of colours can be made by mixing specific primary colours also known as pure colors. For doing so, we should have appropriate knowledge of colour palette and properties of different colours. For example if green colour is missing in your palette you can mix blue and yellow colour to create it. This technique is called mixing and most of the colour and their different shades can be obtained by this method.

What color makes red?

For the answer of this question, we have to go back to the basics to know about the properties and types of colours.

There are 4 types of colours – 

  1. Primary colours
  2. Secondary colours
  3. Tertiary colours
  4. Neutral colours
  • Primary colours – This includes three colours – Red, blue and yellow. These colours are also called pure colours and are basic colours in our universe. Every colour has at least one of these 3 colours as a basic colour in their composition. Other kinds of colours like secondary and tertiary colours can be made by mixing other colours in these primary colours.

Therefore, we can’t make red or any of the primary colours by mixing secondary and tertiary colours.

  • Secondary colours – these are the colours made by mixing primary colours. This includes green, violet and orange colour.
  • Tertiary colours – these colours can be made by mixing primary and secondary colours for example blue-green, yellow-orange etc.
  • Neutral colours – white, black and gray. However gray colour is also a mixture of black and white. We can also make different lighter and darker shades of gray by adjusting the proportion of black and white colour.

These colours are considered as neutral colours however gray is made by mixing black and white.

So, what color makes red? Basically no two colours when mixed can create red colour. So there is no alternative method to do so ?

Luckily we have some techniques that can create red colour.

Red colour doesn’t come in only one shade. There are many types of red colour like hibiscus red, mahogany, cherry red, candy apple red etc. 

We can add different darker and lighter shades of red with other colours to create different shades of red colour.

This method is called additive mixing method.

Some examples are – 

  • Red with a small amount of magenta will make raspberry red.
  • Red with white and a small amount of white will give strawberry colour.
  • Candy apple red can be made by adding a tint of orange with red.
  • When red and blue mixed in a ratio of 2:1 gives mahogany colour.
  • Crimson red can be obtained by adding a little tint of blue in red.

These are just a few examples to list. Red colour is very diverse and can be found in hundreds of shades. You can mix them if you have a good knowledge of colour palette and can create new shades of red. Other than this you can modify ratios of different colours to be mixed to adjust brightness of the resultant colour.

Let’s know about the next method – Subtractive mixing method. This method is not based on traditional colour wheel method but is based on subtractive colour wheel which includes more and some different colours than traditional one like cyan and magenta colour. Usually we don’t consider these colours in traditional colour wheel as they are made by mixing different shades of primary and secondary colours.

According subtractive colour wheel, we can make red colour by mixing Magenta and yellow colour.

Now we know what color makes red. Keep exploring about mixing techniques and experiment with other colours of the colour wheel to make new shades for your palette.


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