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What Colors Make Green? Surprising Answers…

Searching for what colors make green? You’ve come to the right place to learn the standard, easy answer, a slightly more complex one — then a whole bunch of shocking other correct responses from our ever-growing color mixing chart!

As background, my name is Lillie, and I’m an artist and teacher who delights in hands-on experiments to solve questions like, “What colors make purple?” I adore going beyond the obvious answers in art to find the exciting ones that many people miss. Ready for our exploration around creating green? Let’s go…

What colors make green?
What colors make green?

What Two Colors Make Green?

The most classic answer to “What two colors make green?” is: Mixing the primary colors, yellow and blue (in the RYB color model), yields one of the three secondary colors, green. Yes, blue and yellow make green… but what other methods are there?

Well, believe it or not, one of the answers to, “Black and yellow make what color?” is… the color GREEN! Specifically, it’s an olive green, but yellow and black distinctively do work for our green quest when combined. Now let’s dive even deeper.

RYB vs. CMYK vs. RGB

Getting a bit more complex, in the world of the CMYK subtractive color model (used in printing), the primary colors are yellow, magenta (what red and purple make), and cyan: a bright aqua blue that’s slightly lighter and greener than azure color. In the world of CMYK, the two colors that make green are yellow plus cyan.

Ready to get crazier? In the RGB addictive color model used in screens and light, green is one of the primary colors (along with red and blue), so there’s nothing that makes it, since it’s just one of the foundational building blocks of the system — it just IS!

Surprising Other Methods

Heading back to the traditional RYB color (or colour, if you’re British) model that we’re used to from paints and markers, it’s time now to investigate several other ways to make shades of green besides yellow plus blue. I bet you’ll be as surprised as I was from the results of some of these hands-on experiments…

What Colors Make Green?

There are obvious answers to "What colors make green?" and not-so-obvious ones. Here is a range of options for creating shades of this wonderful secondary color.

What Colors Make Green?

So… were you as surprised as I was that another answer to what colors make green besides yellow and blue was what orange and blue make, and (more or less) what brown and yellow make?! I was stunned!

Did the other shades of green like viridian color go ahead and pique your interest? What’s your favorite in the bunch?

Did this article make you hungry for eating lettuce, mint, or kale, or produce the desire to frolic in verdant fields of grass? Are you curious now about the opposite of green? Do share!

If you’d like to continue exploring how to create certain colors, check out my new addition to this series in the form of the article: “What Colors Make Orange?”

Want more? Learn about mint green color, or check out my hands-on investigation of what colors make pink — a set of color mixing experiments that produced similarly intriguing and unexpected results…