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What Do Red and Orange Make? Color Mixing!

Ready for another dive into our mixing colors chart? Today we will answer: “What do red and orange make when the two colors are combined?”

As background, I’m an artist and teacher, and I love exploring these painting questions with my trusty drawing tools. Let’s begin by seeing how these pigments look when swirled together with my brush and pen…

What do red and orange make?
What do red and orange make?

Vermilion Color

What color does orange and red make? Here’s the answer: the mix produces a fabulous red-orange, also known as VERMILION, color of drama and passion! Both “vermilion” and “vermillion” with two Ls are accepted spellings, but the latter is less common.

Vermilion is one of six intermediate colors, meaning it’s a combination of a primary color (in this case, red), and the secondary color right next to it on the color wheel (in this case, orange, which is a combination of red and yellow). It is also seen as one of the six tertiary colors, in some models.

Other intermediate color combinations include: blue and green make the blue-green called teal, purple and red make the red-purple called magenta, blue and purple make the blue-purple called violet, yellow and orange make the yellow-orange called amber, and yellow and green make the yellow-green called chartreuse.

Because each of these combinations sits right next to each other on the color wheel, the resulting mix is a bright and pleasing combination right between the two hues. These sets of colors are called analogous colors.

In contrast, when you combine colors that are on opposite sides of the color wheel — complimentary colors — they basically cancel each other out, and produce muddy browns, grays, neutrals, or even black. For examples of this see what red and green make, and purple and orange.

What color do orange and red make?
Vermillion color is exciting!

What Red and Orange Make, in Sum

Now you know: When orange and red dance together, they produce a vibrant (and somewhat shocking) red-orange called vermilion — also spelled vermillion. As you can see from my illustration above, this resulting color changes somewhat depending on what type of orange you use, and if you add black or white into the mix — but overall it remains a hue made to stand out.

Vermilion has an autumnal warmth, but a fiery boldness. It reminds me of a really rich cup of hot apple cider with cinnamon, or the ember of a just-extinguished match’s flame. Try it on a floor-length dress to croon a song in a jazz club, or paint it across your cute drawings to spice things up!

Want more about colors and their meanings? Check out what it means to have an orange aura and red aura