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Black and Yellow Make WHAT Color When Mixed?! Wow!

After more than two dozen color mixing chart experiments, you’d think I would cease being shocked at results… but the answer to “Black and yellow make what color when mixed together” absolutely stunned me! The answer is both delightful and useful.

As background, my name is Lillie, and I’m an artist and teacher who adores doing hands-on investigations of art questions such as, “What colors make purple?” I personally create all of the illustrations in these lessons for maximum reliability. Ready to start today’s quest? Let’s go!

Black and yellow make what color?
Black and yellow make what color?

Investigating These Colors

Before we begin mixing these pigments, let’s back up and do some “color math” to understand the “ingredients” of each paint we’re swirling. In the RYB model, yellow is one of the three primary colors (along with red and blue) which make up all others, from the secondary colors onward.

Meanwhile, in this RYB color framework, black is created by combining all three primary colors together: red, yellow, and blue. Remember this detail, because it will come into play next!

Making green with black plus yellow.
Making green with black plus yellow.

Black and Yellow Make What Color?

As you can see from my illustration above, the answer to “Black and yellow make what color” is actually… GREEN (similar to what blue and yellow make)! A dusty olive green, to be exact.

What?! Are you as surprised as I was that there’s another answer to “What colors make green?” Did you know this fact about the mix of yellow with black before? Why the heck does this happen? Let’s return to the “color math” to understand.

Why They Make Green

Once we remember the ingredient colors involved (as we did with “What does orange and blue make?”), this equation actually makes sense. Black is Red + Blue + Yellow, so when we mix black and yellow, what’s actually happening is this:

(Yellow + Blue) + (Red + Yellow) = Green + Orange = Olive Green (what orange and green make). Ahhh! It all adds up! See my illustration below to realize I’m not lying… this combo really works.

Yellow and black mixed together...
Yellow and black are fun to mix.

Black and Yellow, in Sum

I hope that after reading this article, you’re now confident in answering, “Black and yellow make what color when mixed together?” Simply reply: “They make olive green, of course! And if you’re wondering what color brown and yellow make, it’s more of a light brownish green.”

If you want to further impress your listener, you can explain that olive is sometimes referred to as one of the tertiary colors, but in fact there are TWO definitions of what colors are actually tertiary. Wow, are colors ever wonderful.

Want more about green? Check out my exploration of mint green color, and the beautifully-named viridian color.