What Colors Make Burnt Orange? What Two Colors Make Burnt Orange

When you hear the words “burnt orange,” what immediately comes to mind? You may be thinking of a deeper orange or perhaps a brownish-orange.

If that is what you are thinking, keep in mind that those are individual colors named red-orange and dark orange. Burnt orange gives off a medium-deep orange hue with a reddish, dark shade. It was officially given a name in 1915.

Being a relatively new color, some people cannot agree on what exact combination will create this specific hue. If you are curious as to what colors make burnt orange, then read on to find out.

But first, you might need a little refresher on basic color theory…

Basic Color Theory

The most basic color theory, which even children know, is the color wheel. Many people have been taught that there are three primary colors: yellow, red and blue. When you mix two primaries together, you get secondary hues: orange, green and purple. Mixing one secondary and one primary color will give you a tertiary hue.

Color Wheel Mix Colors

Now, let’s talk about how to make brown. Brown results when you mix a primary color with its complementary color. For example, combining red with green, yellow with purple, and blue with orange will all create brown.

What Two Colors Make Brown

Looking closely, it becomes obvious that burnt orange sits somewhere between orange and brown. It should also give you a clue as to what colors make burnt orange.


Combining Colors

Before we proceed with the two exact colors that make burnt orange, it is important to have a grasp on how to make light and dark versions of various colors.

Say, you have a base color, which is red. You can create a more pastel hue by adding in white. You can also add a lighter version of gray to get an ashy tone. However, adding black can result in an extremely dark shade.

Take note that adding too much or too little of one color can result in a different version. This is why you want to make sure that you put in controlled amounts. After all, you can always add more of one color until you get the right version but you can never take it back if you happen to put too much.

Now that you have an idea of how to mix colors, you are ready to learn what hues make burnt orange. So, without further ado, here’s how you can create it.

What Two Colors Make Burnt Orange


What colors make burnt orange

Knowing that burnt orange is located between orange and brown, the answer is fairly simple. You can make this burnt color by mixing deep orange with a little bit of blue. This formula applies to the Pantone version of burnt orange, as it also involves the help of blue.

If you do not have a deep orange on-hand, you can simply mix more red to an orange mixture. You can create a base version of orange by mixing equal amounts of red and yellow.

Once you have your deep orange, you are ready to create a burnt version of it. Do this by throwing a very small amount of blue into the mix. Just make sure that you place just the right portion as this dark hue can greatly alter the mixture.

Keep in mind that you can create brown by mixing orange and blue. So, when you add just a bit of blue to an orange mixture, you are giving it a “burnt” characteristic.

This also explains why many people perceive burnt orange as a deep version of the base hue orange, as well as why it is often seen as a brownish hue.

Burnt Orange in Design

As this hue is relatively new, there are also disagreements as to what it connotes. Given the name, many associate it with burning or fiery colors. Some consider it a color of aggression, pride, and other negative emotions.

However, this color is also closely associated with autumn given that it belongs to the same color palette as the natural colors of autumn. This symbolizes warmth and comfort.

Many people also associate it with occasions celebrated during autumn, such as Thanksgiving and Halloween. This may be because autumn-related décor dons closely related colors.


Now that you know how to make this burnt orange color, you can start using it in your paintings and other works of art. So, whether you are a painter, a designer or a makeup artist, you can definitely pull off this color, especially when you mix it with complementary hues such as blues and greens.

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