Red and Orange Mixed! What Color Does Orange and Red Make?

Curious what happens when you mix the colors orange and red together? In this article, we will discuss the answer and some information about color theory.

As an artist, you regularly work with colors in order to create your breathtaking masterpieces.

To do this, you don’t just paint with the colors right out of the tubes. Instead, you experiment by mixing them with one another to create a wide variety of hues that you can use in many different ways.

When exploring your palette, you have probably created many complex mixtures, giving you a good grasp on how color mixing works. However, it is always smart to look back at the basics to refresh your mind on the foundation of colors.

Today, we will be talking about what color does orange and red make.

Ready? Keep reading…

Basic Color Theory

When reviewing the foundations of art, there is nothing more fundamental than basic color theory, which features the color wheel.

Now, think back on the times when your art teacher showed you this wheel. You probably noticed that it has a bunch of similar-looking colors. There is an explanation for this.

Color Wheel

But before that, let’s talk about what makes up the color wheel: primary, secondary and tertiary colors.

Back in grade school, we learned that there are three primary colors, specifically red, yellow and blue. When you combine one with another, you will get a secondary hue.

The three secondaries are orange, purple and green. Mix one secondary and one primary, and you will get a tertiary hue.

Primary Colors, Secondary Colors, and Tertiary Colors Wheel Chart

Now, let’s go back to the observation that there are similar-looking colors in the wheel. The best explanation for this is that the wheel is made up of different combinations of red, yellow and blue. Then, these hues are arranged according to their chromatic relationship.

So, you will see that blue is followed by blue-green, green, yellow-green and so forth.

Are you curious about what hue you will create when you blend orange and red? You might want to review color temperature first…

Color Temperature

Before we reveal the resulting hue when you mix orange and red, it is important to know that colors have temperatures, too. There are two temperature categories: warm and cool.

Warm tones are those that have red or yellow characteristics. These are usually called active or advancing colors because they tend to visually pop when placed alongside cool hues.

Warm, Cool Color Wheel

Meanwhile, cool tones are those that have blue or green characteristics. They are also referred to as passive or receding colors as they seem to retreat when placed beside warm colors.

In fact, some types of reds and yellows are recognized as warm-cool because they have a greenish or bluish bias. For example, Magenta is considered a cool or warm-cool hue because it has a bluish bias.

There are also types of greens and blues with yellowish and reddish bias.

So, what hue can you expect to create when you blend orange and red?

What Colors Orange and Red Make?

The answer is simple: red-orange. Basically, you just need to add an equal part of orange and red to create this tertiary color.


Not sure what this is? It’s simply orange with a reddish undertone.

Red and Orange Mixed

If you do not have orange readily available, you can create it by mixing equal parts of red and yellow. Now, when you throw another part of red into the mix, the result is this hue.

Looking back on the difference between warm and cool hues, you know that this tertiary hue is extremely warm, especially as it is composed of yellow and a significant amount of red.

How to Use Red-Orange in Design

You can use this color in many ways. If you are looking to paint a rich sunset, then a dollop of this color can help you with that. You can also use gradients of this hue by adding white, gray and black.

Moreover, there is nothing wrong with experimenting by adding more yellow or red to truly convey the magical phenomenon of the setting sun.

Orange Chair, Interior

Aside from nature scapes, you can use this hue to paint many other things. To do this effectively, you might want to take advantage of color psychology.

Keep in mind that orange is closely associated with adventure and socialization. This is why it is often linked to enthusiasm, vitality, and courage.

Negative traits connected to orange are dependency, self-indulgence, pessimism, and exhibitionism.

Compared to red, orange hues are seen as passionate and aggressive, which can be considered positive and negative. So, you can use this color to convey a more intense version of the traits associated with orange, but less extreme than red.

The Bottom Line

We hope you like our thorough explanation of what happens when you mix red and orange together. You’ll now be able to use the color red-orange in your artwork.

Art conveys meaning not only through the literal picture you paint but also through other visual elements such as color.

Combined with other artistic devices, you can make a truly remarkable and meaningful work without being too literal. Try using red-orange today and see what you can create!

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