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What Does Red And Orange Make? Color Mixing Swatches

Mixing colors are very satisfying, especially bright ones. Red and orange are both warm colors that are close to each other on the color spectrum.

When you mix red and orange together, you would typically get a color that is a variation of orange, possibly a slightly darker or richer shade of orange-red.

The exact result of mixing these colors can depend on the specific shades of red and orange you’re using, as well as the medium you’re mixing them in (e.g., paint, light, digital colors).

What Does Red And Orange Make
My tests mixing red and orange

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Vermilion Color

What does red and orange make? When you mix red and orange paints, you get a vivid reddish-orange color called vermilion or vermillion.

what red and orange make

Even though it is a red color shade, it is not a primary color. It is what we call an intermediate color or a tertiary color in RYB color model (red-yellow-blue).

An intermediate color is when we mix one primary color (red) with one secondary color (orange is a secondary color as it is a mix of yellow and red).

Read more: How To Mix Acrylic Paint? – Your Complete Color Mixing Guide

In fact, vermillion is often replaces red in paint sets and this pigments is known from the ancient times! Women in Hindu have a red line along the hairline on the forehead – it is a vermilion Sindoor.

red and orange make vermilion
Photo by SUSHMITA NAG on Unsplash

Traditionnaly vermilion pigment was made by grinding red-colored mineral – cinnabarite. This mineral though contains some mercury and could be potentially harmful for us.

The modern manufacturers use synthetic cinnabar to make PR-106 (Red Pigment 106) – vermillion. Which is also happened to be brighter. Yet, even synthetic cinnabar can be dangerous so all the paint has to conform to non-toxic test.

Chinese red is also a vermilion color but it was made of the resin of the Chinese laquer tree which was as poisonous as the ivy!

Cadmium replaced Vermilion widely in 20th century as it was safer to use to produce red. And we know now that Cadmiums are much more accessible yet also can pose some health risks.

Read also: Is Acrylic Paint Toxic or Safe? 23 Brands Toxicity Included

Vermilion meaning

  • In Religion: in Hinduism wearing vermilion powder for women marks that they are married. The vermilion rose is considered a symbol of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In Shinto all the gates in sacred places are vermilion – it keeps evil away.
During my trip to Japan I visited a lot of Shinto temples
  • In Chinese mythology it is said that vermilion represented south, as well as summer, fire, a certain note on the musical scale, a certain day of the calendar

In general, Vermilion is a color that carries various associations, including:

  1. Passion and Energy: Vermilion’s intense and vibrant nature often symbolizes strong emotions, enthusiasm, and energy.
  2. Creativity
  3. Attention-Grabbing: Vermilion’s boldness and brightness naturally draw attention
  4. Drama and Intensity: The deep, rich hue of vermilion can evoke a sense of drama and intensity, adding depth to visual compositions.
  5. Warmth and Comfort: Like many warm colors, vermilion can evoke feelings of warmth and coziness like a brick country house you go to during fall or winter and where you can sit by a fireplace and sip some test with orange, honey and cinnamon your grandma made.
  6. Vermilion’s assertive presence can be associated with qualities of power, authority, and leadership.
  7. In some contexts though, vermilion might signify caution due to its visual similarity to warning signs.

Vermilion and Other Red shades

Vermilion is a warm red shade so warm shades will be close to it.

  • Scarlet is red shade but has less orange in it than vermillion
  • Persian red (artificial vermilion) has a little bit less red than vermilion
  • Pyrrole Red has more hot pink to it
  • Cadmium red is pretty similar to Vermilion but can be more saturated in red.
  • Naphthol red is very close to Scarlet.
  • Carmine – is a deep dark red color, it’s darker and richer than vermilion.

What Does Red And Orange Make?

Mixed red and orange in 99% of cases make vermilion. If we adjust the ratio of the two colors, the paint type, and the shades of red we can make various mixes.

Pure red-orange color is red and orange mixed in equal amounts 1:1.

Let’s see what other shades of red and orange will make when mixed.

Where is orange and red on color wheel?

Both orange and red belong to the warm color family.

color wheel

Red is a primary color on the color wheel, along with blue and yellow.

But orange is a mixed color – secondary color – that we make by mixing yellow with red. Orange is thus situated between yellow and red on the color wheel.

Since we mix orange by using red already, mixing more red to orange will create red and orange hues and variations.

In my tests I used:

Mix Red and Orange Swatches:

Scarlet red mixed with orange make nice vibrant vermilion color.

Mixed with Azo orange the color is a little bit more on the orange side.

What Does scarlet Red And Orange Make

Cadmium red mixed with orange make dense red-orange brick color, identical to vermilion.

What Does cadmium Red And Orange Make

Naphthol red and orange also make color called red orange.

What Does Red And Orange Make

I don’t see much difference between what Cadmium or Scarlet (both warm reds) make mixed with two different oranges – both make almost identical Vermilion. Same goes for other warm shades of red.

So I decided to test what a cooler shade of red will make.

Primary Magenta and Azo orange make darker shade of intense red, almost like Pyrrole or Alizarin Crimson. Magenta and Cadmium Orange made almost dark hot pink color.

What Does magenta Red And Orange Make?

When you mix cadmium orange with magenta you can almost see pink and even purple being mixed. Very beautiful color but definitely not vermilion.

I’ve also tried to use acrylic gouache, just to experiment as I know different mediums and brands may have some discrepancies in colors.

Holbein acryla gouache deep yellow and scarlet made dark orange with little red, but deep yellow with Carmine make deep opaque Vermilion.

What Does Red And Orange Make

Making Red-Orange Lighter or Darker

If you use lighter orange or red you can make the mix lighter and more on the orange side, like a red-orange pumpkin color.

If you use stronger red and less orange, the color will appear darker.

You can also mix in some white to lighten up the color, it will make it more pastel.

To dull the color and make it a red-orange shading color, you can add dark grey or even black, but a little bit.

What does red and orange mean?

Warm colors like red and orange are often associated with energy, warmth, and excitement.

They evoke feelings of heat, passion, and intensity.

In color psychology, red is often linked to intense emotions from love to assertiveness or even aggression and danger.

Red also stimulates the appetite, and its physiological effects include increasing heart rate and blood pressure.

Orange and red are often used to create a sense of vibrancy and dynamism in art, design, and various visual contexts.

At the same time when I was studying meaning of sounds and colors, I remember that studies discovered A being an aggressive sound and letter linked to red. And red was at the time used a lot in advertisement as a call to action color.

What Color Do Red and Orange Make in Lights?

When red and orange lights are mixed together, they create a color that is very close to the original red color.

What Color Do Red and Orange Make in Lights

In lights we use RGB color model – red, green, blue are primary colors in it. When we mix lights, their wavelengths are added not completely mixed or neutralized like in paint.

The orange itself is made differently in lights than in paint. In paint we use red and yellow, but in lights it is red and green.

Red and Orange Colors in Designs

Red and orange go well together in interiors as they are close, analogous, colors.

They will make the best combination with some neutral colors to bring down the intensity: white, grey tones, beige, steel grey, pastel colors.

Red and Orange Colors in Designs
Photo by moren hsu on Unsplash

WHen I was little I dreamt about red wallpaper in my room but my parents resisted for long years but one day they gave up and the room has red walls till that day (almost 20 years) and it’s very calming, good atmosphere for a small bedroom.

We picked darker red and I had a lot of wooden furniture.

Other colors that go well together:

Vermilion or red orange would be great in paintings that go in your house: nature scenes, abstract acrylic pouring, rich sunset landscapes, prints.

It will brighten up the space and add accents of a white wall. If you have imperfections and you place red-orange, yellow-orange prints on the wall, they will pull attention from defects.


What colors does red and orange make?

When you mix red and orange, you generally get a shade of deeper or more intense orange. It can be:
Vermilion: A vivid reddish-orange color.
Burnt Orange: An earthy, warm orange with hints of red.
Pumpkin: A bright and lively orange with a touch of red.
Red-Orange: A color that sits between red and orange on the spectrum, combining their characteristics.

What is orange red color called?

The color that’s a blend of orange and red is often called “vermilion.” It’s a warm and vibrant shade that carries elements of both colors. It’s also sometimes referred to as “orange-red” due to its composition, where the fiery intensity of red meets the sunny brightness of orange.

Do red and orange go together in painting?

Colors situated close to each other on color wheel like red and orange make nice color combination for acrylic painting and pouring as they form what;s called analogous color combination scheme.

Does red and orange make brown?

Red and orange don’t directly make brown when mixed together. But blue and orange or all 3 primary colors (blue, red and yellow) can mix a nice brown color.

Is orange a mix of red and yellow?

Yes, orange is a color that is created by mixing red and yellow together.
Orange is a secondary color, while red and yellow are 2 primary colors. When mixed they make different shades of orange and that’s why if you look at the color wheel orange is between red and yellow.

Is orange a tertiary color?

Yes, orange is indeed a tertiary color. Tertiary colors are created by mixing a primary color with an adjacent secondary color on the color wheel. In the case of orange, it is produced by mixing the primary color red with the secondary color yellow.
The full set of tertiary colors includes: Red-orange (mix of red and orange),Yellow-orange (mix of yellow and orange), Yellow green (mix of yellow and green), Blue green (mix of blue and green), Blue-purple (mix of blue and purple), Red-purple (mix of red and purple).

Mixing orange and red doesn’t create a completely new color;

instead, it can enhance the warmth and vibrancy of the original orange and redshades.

Vermilion – the color red and orange make when mixed, is a popular, bright, opaque color that will work great for painting sunset and when you need warm intense yet subtle red.

Check out other mixing guides in my blog:

red and orange make