Welcome, color mixing friends! Today we will answer the question: “What colors make pink when mixed together?” There is one obvious answer, then a whole lot of surprising other solutions.
As background, my name is Lillie and I’m an artist and teacher who has done dozens of hands-on experiments to solve such queries as, “What are Intermediate Colors?” and the ever-popular and exciting question, “What colors make brown?” Let’s start by analyzing my illustration of six different ways to make pink…
How to Make Pink
In investigating what colors make pink, we will start with the simplest answer, then an easy variation on it. After that, we’ll get a little wild and crazy about this color (or colour, if you’re British).
1. What colors make pink? Red plus white!
Mixing the pigments red and white will produce various shades of pink, because in its essence, the color pink is just light red. Now let’s take this up a notch, because one answer to why is art important is that it shows us there is more than one way to do something…
2. Red plus a very light version of any other color (tints).
Some background vocabulary: “tints” are lighter versions of a color created by adding white. This is the opposite concept to “shades,” which are darker versions of a color yielded by adding black — such as in our “Red and black make what color?” experiment.
Given that red plus white equals pink, this means that you can also get pink by adding red to any other color that’s been tinted so light that it’s almost white. You can see this demonstrated in my illustration above: Red and yellow make pink if the yellow is a light enough tint. By this logic, you’ll notice in my drawing that red and orange make pink, too, if the orange is super light.
This even works for colors that don’t usually combine to form anything close to pink. For example, red and green make a dark and muddy brown color — but if the green is tinted so light it’s just white with a hint of green, it can result in pink when added to red. Magic!
3. Red or pink plus purple.
The third relatively straightforward way to make pink is by combining red or pink plus purple. Red and purple make the vibrant pink color, magenta — and pink and purple make a lighter version of it!
Now that we have the simplest methods of making the color pink under our belts, let’s add in the more shocking options…
What Colors Make Pink?
Though the obvious answer to "What colors make pink?" is red plus white, there are several other surprising pigment combinations that will do the trick. See them here...
Red and Purple
The vibrantly joyful bright pink called magenta is formed by mixing red and purple together.
Orange and Purple
Now for a surprise: Mixing purple and orange paints or pigments together can actually create a dusty shade of pink called mauve!
Red and Yellow
Though red and yellow traditionally form orange, if the yellow is a light enough tint (with lots of white added in), the resulting mix becomes a slightly peach-tinged pink.
Yellow and Purple
Whaaaat?! Yellow and purple mixed together can form pink?! Yes! The result is a grayish, brownish shade of mauve, but it's still distinctly pink, when combined in the right way.
Orange and Blue
In an even more mind-blowing twist, the pigments orange and blue can actually form a mauve pink when mixed together -- among several other very different results.
Pink and Purple
I would be remiss in this roundup of ways to make pink if I didn't mention that pink plus purple equals light magenta -- that vibrant pink shade. Yes, it's kind of weird to say you can make pink by mixing pink with something, but I'd say it's still valid, because it's making a different version of the color, which has different uses.
Brown and Pink
While we're on the topic of mixing pink with another color to make a different version of it, I was astounded to realize that pink plus brown equals a beautiful darker shade of pink -- many times not muddy at all! Click through to see the lovely illustrations.
Pink and Yellow
Finally, we end with another shade of pink: the delicious peach or salmon color created by swirling together pink with yellow. Remember that the lighter the tint (the more white added) to the yellow, the more pink the resulting combination will "read" to the eye.
What Colors Make Pink, in Sum
Now that you know the full options of what colors make pink beyond just red plus white, and red plus purple, which are your favorite options? Do share!
Want more for your artistic mind? Check out “8 Benefits of Drawing.”
The author and artist, Lillie Marshall, is a National Board Certified Teacher of English who has been a public school educator since 2003, and an experienced Reiki practitioner since 2018. All art on this site is original and hand-drawn by Lillie. She launched DrawingsOf.com Educational Cartoons in 2020, building upon the success of her other two sites, AroundTheWorldL.com (established 2009) and TeachingTraveling.com (founded 2010). Subscribe to Lillie’s monthly newsletter, and follow @WorldLillie on social media to stay connected!