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What Do Yellow and Orange Make? Color Mixing!

Let the color mixing games continue! Today we will explore the question: “What do yellow and orange make when the two colors are combined?”

As background, I’m an artist and teacher who loves to do hands-on experiments of mixing together different colors: from green plus red to orange and blue, I’m trying to investigate them all.

There are few things more relaxing after a long day than to watch bright hues of pigments rippling together! Look how pretty the first drawing with these two inks turned out…

Mixing yellow and orange.
Mixing orange and yellow paints.

Amber Color

Yellow is a primary color, while orange is a secondary color. They’re next to each other on the color wheel, so when they’re combined, they form a pleasing and bright tertiary or intermediate color right between the two: yellow-orange, otherwise known as amber color!

Tertiary Colors and Analogous Colors

Other tertiary colors formed by analogous colors — those right next to each other on the color wheel — include magenta (red plus purple), teal (blue plus green), vermillion (red plus orange), violet (blue plus purple), and chartreuse (yellow plus green).

So, what exactly is amber, the result of the mix we’re studying? Well, the color is the same as the gemstone, amber, which is formed from fossilized tree resin that sometimes traps insects or other items inside it — like a beautiful and somewhat creepy time capsule.

In paint, the color orange-yellow color, amber, is perfect for adding warm, sunny, and cheerful pops of color to clothing, paintings, or decor. Most folks use it sparingly because it’s so shocking, but I usually err on the side of putting in more amber fun.

Orange and yellow make... amber!
How to make amber.

Different Shades of Orange-Yellow

As with all color mixes, the particular shade of the combination will vary depending on the type of “ingredient” colors you use in the swirl, and how much white or black is added — as shown in my drawing, above. For example, adding more white to amber (or using a lighter yellow to start with) yields a tan or peach color.

What Do Yellow and Orange Make?

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial about how yellow and orange make the color amber when combined! Do YOU enjoy the color amber in your art, fashion, or design? Which color mix of all the ones we’ve explored is you favorite? Do share!

Want to learn about significance behind each of these colors? Check out my analysis of a yellow aura meaning, and an orange aura meaning. Want a totally different kind of mix? Click on “What Do Yellow and Purple Make When Mixed?”

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