How to Make Black Paint Color & What Colors Make Black

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Black paint movement

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As a painter, did you know that you do not have to buy a tube of black paint? Did you also know that some of the most prominent painters do not even own a tube of black paint color and prefer to mix their own? In this article I will show you how to make black color to use for your painting and what colors make black when mixed together!

Not only will learning how to make black paint color end up saving you money due to not having to buy a tube of black paint every time you need it. But when you mix your own color of black, it will be a much more vibrant and dynamic black color than that you will get from a tube.

Different shades of black color

Believe it or not but there are a few different shades of black color. I know it is easy to think of the color black as just that… black. However, there are shades of black that are cooler in color temperature and lean towards being shades of blue. As well as shades of black that are more greenish and even ones that have shades of red in them.

All of these shades of black color are what are possible by discovering what colors make black when mixed. When you mix your own color of black, you can control the shades of black you create so much more.

What colors make black: Color recipes for mixing shades of black paint color

How to make black color: with Alizarin Crimson, Ultramarine blue, and Yellow Ochre

Alizarin crimson, ultramarine blue, and yellow ochre make a good black when mixed together

Red, blue and yellow are the three primary colors for what colors make black paint when mixed together. Simply mix equal amounts of red, blue, and yellow together and you will get a nice black. If you want the color of black to be a little more bluish, just add a little more blue to your color mixture.

For this initial color of black, I recommend using the colors: Ultramarine blue for the blue, Alizarin Crimson for the red and Yellow Ochre for the yellow.

How to make black color with ‘printing primary’ type of colors: Phthalo Blue, Quinacridone Magenta, and Hansa Yellow Medium

phthalo blue, quinacridone magenta and hansa yellow mixed together make a great black

These colors are very close to the ‘printing primaries’, which are primary colors that are pretty much used by all the printing machines!

First mix the phthalo blue with the quinacridone magenta and mix a good shade of purple. Then, add a little bit of Hansa yellow to neutralize the color. Yellow is the complementary color of purple, so that is why the hansa yellow will neutralize the purple color and you will come out with a great black.

What colors to make black a lighter shade of black: Phthalo Blue + Cadimum Orange

phthalo blue and cadmium orange makes a lighter more brownish black

To learn how to make black lighter, we will mix the color orange with blue. The color of the cadmium orange will neutralize the phthalo blue. Which makes the color of black that is created here a lighter shade of black and almost a bit of a brownish-black color.

This can make for an interesting color of black, especially if you aren’t wanting a very dark black color.

What two colors make black a very dark black color: Ultramarine Blue + Burnt Umber

ultramarine blue and burnt umber are easy colors to find and mixed together create black

This is one of my favorite mixtures for how to make black paint color because it is so simple! Most artists almost always have ultramarine blue and burnt umber on their palette as it creates a very dark black color!

In addition to creating a dark black color, this color mixture creates a cooler shade of black due to the ultramarine blue in it. Ultramarine blue and burnt umber can actually be used to make cool dark colors in general. As well as dark shades of green when it is mixed with yellow.

Another shade of dark black color: Ultramarine Blue + Burnt Sienna

burnt sienna and ultramarine blue make a good black when mixed together

This mixture is much the same as the dark black color mixture above, of ultramarine blue and burnt umber. Except that the color of black we mix here, with ultramarine blue and burnt sienna, will not be quite as dark. Also, the shade of black mixed here, will not be quite as cool in temperature. As burnt sienna is a much warmer color than burnt umber!

How to make black color with purple and green: Dioxazine Purple + Pthalo Green

dioxanine purple mixed with phthalo green mixed together make a good black color

It may come as a surprise, but purple and green mixed together can make a great color of black. Dioxazine purple and pthalo green are both dark and make a great, rich black color together!

However, since phthalo green is a very strong color, just make sure that the green does not overpower the purple. You can test out the color by testing it on a white surface and make sure that it is a black color and not green.

Making shades of black color mixing green and red together: Phthalo Green + Alizarin Crimson

mix black with phthalo green and alizarin crimson oil paint

Green is the complementary color of red and they mix very well together! Phthalo green and alizarin crimson make a great black, especially since phthalo green and alizarin crimson are both dark versions of green and red.

Additional color of black mixing green and red: Phthalo Green + Quinacridone Red

phthalo green and quinacridone red make a great black

These two colors make for a great transparent black when mixed together, since both phthalo green and quinacridone red are transparent colors. However because of this, it is difficult to make a neutral grey with this color mixture.

How to Make Black Paint Color Resources

Thank you for joining me in the exploration of what colors make black when mixed together and how to make black paint color. The examples found in this chiaroscuro in painting article, is a good study of how to use the dark colors we learned to mix here. Additionally, the following are the colors mentioned in this article and are available for Purchase on Amazon.

Pthalo Blue

Alizarin Crimson

alizarin crimson

Ultramarine Blue

Cadmium Orange

Cadmium Orange

Burnt Sienna

Burnt Umber

Dioxazine Purple

dioxazine purple

Phthalo Green

Yellow Ochre

Quinacridone Red

Quinacridone Magenta

Hansa Yellow

Elisabeth Larson Koehler creator of art studio life

Hi! I am Elisabeth

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      4 thoughts on “How to Make Black Paint Color & What Colors Make Black”

      1. Thank you for combos I’d not explored yet. I admit to owning a tube of lamp black but rarely use it, I am a black mixer too…old art school habits…but you have a couple of suggestions I hadn’t heard of. Your site is hugely informative for all artists , regardless of experience. Thanks so much for well thought out posts and great info …so happy to have found you.

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