What Colors Make Orange & How to Make Shades of Orange Color

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Demonstrating what colors make orange through a painting of an orange fruit still life

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Are you fascinated by the wide range of orange colors that exist in nature? Do you dream of capturing them on canvas but find yourself unsure of where to begin? You’re in luck! Mixing various shades of orange is simpler than you may imagine. Take a moment to read this post, and discover a complete guide of what colors make orange and how to mix them to get the perfect hue for your needs!

You’ll also find some useful tips on adding subtle nuances to achieve different values in color. Let’s get started.

What two colors make orange [Answered]

You can mix yellow and red together to make orange color.

Yellow and red make orange when they are mixed together. However, mixing red and yellow is just a starting point.

Next up, I’ll show you how to make orange varying hues using different yellows.

How to make orange color with different yellows

how to make orange colour mixing chart
Yellow mixed with red to make different shades of orange

In the diagram above of what colors to make orange, you can see that I used three different yellows and mixed each of them with cadmium red.

Cadmium yellow and cadmium red are two colors that make orange a good robust color when mixed together. While yellow ochre mixed with cadmium red creates a much more muted orange. The third orange mixture with cadmium lemon and cadmium red creates a brighter orange that is much more saturated than the muted orange with the yellow ochre.

Therefore, by altering the hue of yellow employed, one can observe a notable transformation in the resultant shades of orange produced through the amalgamation of red and yellow.

What colors make orange using different reds

Let’s explore how to create the color orange by blending various red hues with cadmium yellow. By experimenting with different types of red, you can discover a range of delightful orange shades formed by combining yellow and red together. Let’s dive in!

In the color chart directly below, you can see the two reds we have here are Alizarin Crimson and Burnt Sienna.

color chart showing yellow and red are what two colors make orange when mixed together
How to make the color orange with yellow and red mixing chart

To achieve a robust and vibrant orange hue, combine cadmium yellow with Alizarin crimson. It’s important to note that this shade of orange may not be as warm and bright as when using cadmium red. This is because alizarin crimson is a cooler shade of red compared to cadmium red. Therefore, the resulting orange shade using alizarin crimson will have a cooler temperature.

Next in the color chart above, you can see a very muted orange color mixture from cadmium yellow and burnt sienna. Burnt sienna is an earth tone color, so whenever you mix it with a yellow it will create a muted shade of orange!

If you haven’t yet – get my FREE Color Mixing Guide for additional help with color mixing techniques!

What colors make orange muted?

Understanding how to make a muted orange and which colors to mix for this effect, is crucial! Almost every time you mix an orange shade, you’ll want to gently tone it down (mute it). Let’s explore how to achieve this with the next color chart.

Mixing blue and orange together

To mute a color, you need to mix it with its complementary color. Since blue is the complementary color of orange, you will then mix blue with orange. Blue and orange mixed, make a lovely neutral muted orange color when mixed together.

how to make orange muted color chart diagram with orange plus blue mixed
Blue and orange mixed, make muted shades of orange.

TIP FOR MIXING MUTED ORANGE: Orange and blue also make brown when mixed together. So in order to get a muted shade of orange instead of brown, you will just want to watch the amount of blue you mix with your orange color.

You can mix a variety of different muted shades of orange color, as you can see in the diagram above. You will notice that when cadmium orange is mixed with ultramarine blue you get a cooler muted orange. When you mix cobalt blue with cadmium orange you get a warmer muted orange color.

The cadmium orange that is mixed with the RGH blue creates an even deeper almost greenish muted orange. So, you can see that the muted orange color your blue and orange makes, is deeply impacted by the type of blue you use to mix it.

Mixing orange and green

What color does green and orange make? More muted shades of orange! Though blue is the best color to mix your orange with for the most neutral shade of muted orange. Orange and green however, make their own unique muted shades of orange color, which can add depth to your muted color palette.

For example, in the color chart below I used a couple of different orange color mixtures to mix with cadmium green to create muted orange.

what does orange and green make color mixing chart diagram
How to mix orange and green to make muted orange colors

Now, cadmium orange is a much more saturated orange than mixing your own orange from red and yellow.

The diagram below shows cadmium orange mixed with various green colors:

  • Cadmium orange mixed with pthalo green creates a darker cooler orange.
  • In contrast, when you mix cadmium orange with veronese green, you get a lighter mixture than the one above it.
  • The third color mixture combines cadmium orange with cadmium green, to create a much more robust and warm muted green.
color chart diagram showing what color orange and green make
Vibrant orange and green mixed to make different shades of orange

For more on how to mix different types of green colors, you can refer to my green color mixing guide here.

Problems with mixing muted orange

When mixing muted orange, one common issue is that the color may unexpectedly turn green. In this video, I’ll show you how to tackle this problem and ensure it doesn’t occur. Additionally, I’ll provide solutions for other color mixing challenges. Click play to watch the video below!

VIDEO GUIDE: How to mix the perfect orange

Learn how to make sure that your muted orange does not turn green! Also how to fix any other color mixing problems you might run into.

Different shades of orange in art examples

Take a look at this captivating painting by British Artist Diarmuid Kelley, showcasing an array of vibrant orange hues on the surface of the oranges. Notice the diverse palette, featuring dark shades, light oranges, yellowish undertones, and reddish accents. Explore the richness and depth of colors brought to life by the artist.

Oranges by Diarmuid Kelley
Diarmuid Kelley, Seville Oranges

To truly appreciate the interplay of light and darkness falling on the oranges, it’s crucial to experiment with a delightful array of orange varieties. Additionally, this allows you to immerse yourself in the subtle shifts of color rippling across the orange’s surface.

Orange Painting by Euan Uglow
Euan Uglow, Orange on a Match

Above is another painting of an orange but this time by Euan Uglow. You can see very clearly that there are patches of a variety of different orange colors all around the orange. It is all these different orange colors working together that gives the orange subject volume and makes it feel round.

Portrait painting tips, using orange

Self Portrait by Edgar Degas
Edgar Degas, Self Portrait

When painting a portrait or figure, you won’t typically use a straight orange color mixed from yellow and red alone. Instead, you can apply the skills you’ve learned earlier in this article to mix various shades of orange. This technique will enable you to achieve more captivating and lifelike skin tones for your portrait paintings. Give it a try and see the difference it makes!

In portrait painting, the orange colors often possess a subdued quality compared to those in a painting of an orange still life, for instance. Understanding how to create muted shades of orange colors can be immensely beneficial in this regard.

What colors make orange in conclusion

As you can see, at the base of what two colors make orange, yellow and red make orange when mixed together. However, you can also see, that mixing different types of red and yellow together will yield different shades of orange color.

When it comes to creating muted shades of orange, there are several color combinations worth experimenting with. Combining blue and orange produces a more neutral muted orange, while pairing orange with green results in distinctive temperature contrasts and muted orange shades.

Want to delve deeper into mixing orange, as well as different greens, blues and more? Take a look at the following comprehensive resource that will provide you with everything you need.

Resource for mixing even more colors

In addition to orange–learn how to mix all of the colors you need, with the help of my 150+page, Color Mixing Master Guide ebook!

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The Color Mixing Master Guide ebook, contains over 60 color mixing charts that detail how to mix all of the different colors you need for your painting.

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    Hello! I'm Elisabeth Larson Koehler

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    6 thoughts on “What Colors Make Orange & How to Make Shades of Orange Color”

    1. Hi Elizabeth baby I am Misa and a beginner I wanted to know if you can use the training course for colorimetry and color making. Thank yo

    2. All this information on mixing colors is wonderful. I do not understand the warm colors vs muted vs neutral. I am a beginner so I haven’t done mixing

      1. So glad to know that you are finding this color mixing information helpful. I have a few articles that deal with those different color topics and will help to get a deeper understanding of them. If you type warm colors, muted colors or neutral colors in the search bar you will see some helpful information come up!

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