Skip to Content

What Colors Make Orange When Mixed Together?

During our color mixing chart exploits, one fundamental question keeps coming up: “What colors make orange when mixed together?” The answer in this case is, happily, more straightforward than some of our other investigations.

As background, I am a teacher and artist named Lillie, and I enjoy hand-illustrating easy-to-follow lessons about color mixing. Most recently we learned the varied answers to, “What colors make green?”

What colors make orange?
What colors make orange? There’s one easy answer, then more complex ones…

What Two Colors Make Orange?

Let’s get right into the answer. The simplest response to what two colors make orange is: This secondary color is created by mixing the primary colors, red and yellow.

That said, there are several more complex ways to create different versions of orange that use other “ingredient” colors — as we also saw in our dive into “What colors make purple?” Let us explore them now…

What Colors Make Orange?

Though there's one straighforward and easy answer to what colors make orange (two primary colors, specifically), there are several other ways to make different versions of the vibrant secondary color.

Getting Creative…

As you can observe from that list, the answer to “What two colors make orange?” is: “Any two colors that roughly create red plus yellow.” For example, pink and yellow make a light orange (sometimes called “peach”), because pink is just red plus white, meaning that the combo is actually orange plus white.

Where things get difficult is when you try to make orange with any color combination that has blue in it (like yellow plus purple). Why is this? Because as we learned in “What Colors Make Brown?” adding the three primary colors (yellow, red, and blue) together creates brown.

This became evident in our investigation of “What does orange and blue make?” Basically, if we’re trying to make orange and some blue gets in the mix, the resulting orange will start to look dusty, muddy, or brown.

In other words, in very slim instances, you CAN create orange by what yellow and purple make — but only if the purple you’re using has lots of red and very little blue in it (given that red and blue make purple) — and even then, it will look dusty and is a bit of a force.

What two colors make orange?
What two colors make orange?

What Colors Make Orange, in Sum

I hope this tutorial on what colors make orange has been useful, as well as entertaining. Now you have a way to make the most useful color for your pumpkin drawing endeavors!

What color (or colour, if you’re British) question should I illustrate next? Do share!

Want more? Check out “What Colors Make Pink?” and a question that’s a riff off this article: “What is the opposite of orange?”