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What Does Pink and Orange Make When the Colors are Mixed?

I’ve now done twenty six color mixing experiments — but realized with a jolt yesterday that I hadn’t yet touched investigating the question, “What does pink and orange make?” With a gasp, I whipped out my art equipment and got right into finding out.

As with our answer to the query, “What does purple and brown make?” the answer today has a delicious, food-related twist to it. Let’s start this hands-on exploration by seeing what the two colors in question look like when swirled together by my brush…

What does pink and orange make?
What color does pink and orange make when the two are mixed?

Color Mixing Math

As always, let’s begin our color mixing experiments by doing some “color math” to break down the ingredient colors into their component parts. This then helps us predict the outcome.

The answer to “What colors make pink” is: either red and white, or red and white with a little blue. (This blue will be important later, so keep an eye on it). It is a tint, which means it’s a color with white added.

Meanwhile, the most straightforward answer to “What colors make orange?” is red and yellow — it’s one of the three secondary colors. Therefore, when we mix pink and orange together, we are actually mixing: White + Red + Red + Yellow. (We’ll discuss the optional tinge of blue momentarily.)

We can therefore predict that the resulting color of pink + orange will be an orangish-pink which is more pink than orange, since there’s a double red in there. Further, if we add the optional tinge of blue to make a cool pink, we’d get a slightly browner version of that orangey pink, since brown color is made when all three primary colors are present. Let’s look at my illustration and see if we were right…

What color do orange and pink make when mixed?
What color do orange and pink make when mixed?

What Does Pink and Orange Make?

Yes indeed! Looking at my painting above, you can see that the answer to “What does pink and orange make?” is indeed an orangish pink — more pink than orange. It has an official name, and that name is: “salmon color” or “salmon pink!” Now, this title requires a quick discussion to flesh out some surprising background about the fish the name alludes to.

About Salmon Color…

Salmon pink color is a reference to the fish, a salmon, which is thought of by most people as being the very orangish-pink that we’ve painted here. Here’s a shocker, though — many salmon fish aren’t actually this color! Sigh… we once again have actual biology bumping against art, just as happened with our cute snail drawing fiasco.

Orange and pink make salmon color.
Orange and pink make salmon color.

The Difference Between Salmon vs. Peach

Now is a good time to draw a distinction between the results of this color mixing experiment, and what happened when we inquired, “What color do yellow and pink make?” The result of the latter is, as we learned, the color peach.

So what’s the difference between peach and salmon? Though both would tick the “Yes” box for the question, “Is pink a warm color?” peach is a pinkish orange (closer to yellow), while salmon is an orangish pink (closer to red).

Why? If we go back to the color math, peach is basically just a light orange with a hint of light red, whereas salmon has a double dose of red in the mix, yielding more of a pink. Either way, peach and salmon are delicious both as colors and as food! (Add the result of what color red and green make — brown — and you have chocolate to nosh on, too!)

What Does Pink and Orange Make, in Sum

I hope this article has been helpful in learning what pink and orange make when the two colors are mixed together. I would also bet that the result made you a little hungry for eating some yummy salmon fish today! (Feel free to check out my article, “How to Stop Snacking at Night” if the nibbling gets out of control.)

Which color combinations should I swirl together next? Do share!

Want more? Peruse my thoughts on the rich, earthy beauty of terracotta color.