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What Does Red and Black Make? Color Mixing!

Hi! Today our color mixing chart exploits take a new turn as we tackle the question: What does red and black make when the two colors are mixed together? This is our first time swirling in black, so it opens a whole new door to… shades!

But first, some background. My name is Lillie and I’m an artist and teacher who delights in hands-on experiments to show what happens when pigments dance together. We’ve seen the answer to what red and green make, and even the surprising response to what orange and purple make.

Let’s start today’s process by observing how beautiful the primary color, red, and the neutral, black, look when combined together by my brush. Yes indeed, these two colors definitely go together — in a powerful, fiery way!

What does red and black make when the colors are mixed?
What does red and black make when the colors are mixed?

Adding Black Creates Shades

Just as a beach umbrella creates shade from the sun, adding black to a color creates “shades” of that color: darker versions of it. Therefore, the answer to “What color do red and black make?” is: dark red, as shown in my illustration below.

The red result gets progressively darker as you add more black to the mix. But wait — we’re not done yet, because there’s a more fleshed out elaboration needed, regarding the specific color name.

Red and black make... dark red or maroon!
Red and black make… dark red or maroon!

Making Maroon, Burgundy, Merlot, and More

Now that we know that red plus black equals dark red, the question is: What is the name for dark red shades? The most fitting name for it is: maroon color. (Yes, this is similar to our result of what color red and brown make.)

Rich reds also remind me of wine-themed colors such as “merlot” or “burgundy” — but be a little careful here. Those wine shades are CLOSE to maroon or dark red, but they have a touch more purple in the mix (the color red and blue make), so they’re not exactly our result in this experiment. Throw a little blue or purple in the mix, however, and they’re yours.

Meanwhile, if you’re still wondering whether red and black go together in fashion, enjoy my illustration, below, that’s colored entirely using different versions of that color combination — including the dark red and maroon shades we’ve discussed. The combo gives off a vibrant, powerful, regal vibe — slightly Darth Maul scary, but also exciting!

See the pretty colors red and black make together?
My dress design with red and black together.

What Does Red and Black Make?

Now you know that the answer to: “What does red and black make when the colors are mixed?” is shades dark red, or maroon color — ALMOST burgundy, merlot, or wine, but less purple or plum color. I hope this article and my illustrations have been helpful and entertaining. What color combos should I illustrate next? Do share!

Want more? Check out “What Does Red and Purple Make?” and the neon bright answer to the question, “What Does Green and Yellow Make When Mixed Together?”

To examine these colors in terms of their meanings, read up on the meaning of the red chakra, as well as the lesser-known Earth Star Chakra, which is the Black Chakra, connected with seeing a black aura. Its meaning is a beautiful one!