what color does orange and red make

What Color Does Orange and Red Make? – Complete Guide

When you think of red and orange, you might be thinking of how these colors make you feel warm and happy. Separately, these two colors can have dramatic effects when used in various designs. However, what happens when you mix orange and red? Read further as we take a closer look at these colors, as well as explore the outcome of what red and orange make.



What Color Does Orange and Red Make?

We already know that red is a primary color, while orange is a secondary hue. So, what color does orange and red make? When you blend a primary color with a secondary color, you come out with a tertiary or intermediate color. These colors are combinations and are written in such a fashion.

So, red and orange make red-orange. This color has also been given a name and is known as vermilion.

red orange mixing

To create these colors, you require fifty percent of each


Mixing Results when Combining Different Shades of Red and Orange

Orange ShadeRed ShadeMixed Color


Creating Lighter and Darker Shades

Once you have mixed orange and red, it could be that the color is too bright. You can easily adjust the color to create various shades and tints. Shades are darker colors, and to achieve this, you can add extremely small amounts of black to the red-orange, or you can consider adding a dark blue. Just remember, if you add too much, it can create more of a muddy brown.

Tints are the opposite of shades and are what makes colors lighter. To do this, you can add some white to the red-orange. You can also add a little more yellow to brighten the color.

orange and red paint mixing


Meaning of Vermilion

Red-orange, also called vermilion might mean different things in other cultures. However, generally, it is a warm color that represents energy, health, vitality, joy, and life. The color is energizing, bright, playful, and charming. It also retains its association with passion, motivation, strength, and energy, similar to red. The vermilion color is captivating and is a positive, optimistic, and enthusiastic color, similar to orange. The color is uplifting and can be used to help encourage communication.

On the negative side, red-orange can be seen as frivolous and immature.



Understanding Orange and Red

So, where, and how do orange and red fit into the grand scheme of things? To understand the answer, you must look closer into color theory. Color theory is simply information about colors and how each color relates to every other color. To help with this, you have the color wheel, which is a representation of all the colors. The basics of colors, as we all were taught, involve primary, secondary, and tertiary or intermediate colors. There are other color models, which we will be looking into later. For now, we will mention the RYB color model we all used at school. This color model is used when you want to use paints and is also known as a subtractive color model.

This means when colors are added onto, say paper, the colors will appear to get darker as some of the color wavelengths are absorbed, while others are reflected.

The primary hues are red, yellow, and blue, and you cannot mix any colors to create them. However, if you combine them, for example, red and yellow, you will get orange. This is called a secondary color, along with green and purple or violet. If you happen to combine all three primary colors, the resulting color will be a neutral, dull, or muddy brown or gray.  So, now we know that orange is a secondary color and red is a primary color, and both are warm colors. All colors have meanings and associations that are both positive and negative. So, let us see what orange and red have to offer.

what colors do red and orange make

Shade Hex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Orange#ffa5000, 35, 100, 0255, 165, 0 
Red#ff00000, 100, 100, 0255, 0, 0 
Vermillion#e342340, 71, 77, 11227, 66, 52 



Understanding Orange and Red Within Other Color Models

Besides the common RYB color model, other systems are used for different purposes. Since the creation of the computer and television, you have the RGB color model, that represents these types of color mixtures. Instead of pigments, graphics use a combination of color and light or wavelengths. This uses another system known as an additive color model, which means that as light wavelengths are added, and if all the primary colors are combined, you will get white light.

The primary colors include red, green, and blue. When it comes to secondary colors, these are yellow, cyan, and magenta.

Tips on Orange and Red Mixed

Mixing red and orange light is different from mixing paints and pigments. You can create orange by layering red at its brightest and green and half brightness, with little or no blue. In the end, you will have mostly red, some green, and a certain amount of blue. You can see what vermilion contains in the table below. The color codes for vermilion show you the proportions in decimal format. In percentages, it will be about 89 percent red, 26 percent green, and 20 percent blue. The hex code is what you will use to identify and find colors online.


Printing Color Model

Finally, there is the CMYK color model that also uses a subtractive color system for printing purposes. Here the primary hues include cyan, magenta, and yellow. The “K” represents the black that is often used with printers as well. The tertiary colors remain the same on both color models, so red-orange is the same for both color models.



Uses of Orange and Red in Art and Design

Since orange and red are warm, and sit close to each other on the color wheel, they go well together in designs. This is also known as an analogous color combination that is often appealing to look at. However, these colors can also be overwhelming, so pairing them with other colors like gray, white, or tan can help to tone them down. You can also make use of contrasting colors, which make each other stand out.

For example, blue and orange or green and red. In designs, you can also use different shades, for example, pastel versions of red and orange might work better.

orange and red graphic design


Red-Orange in Paintings

You can use the vermilion color to create a beautiful and warm atmosphere in paintings. The red-orange color is ideal for adding to sunsets or paintings with sunshine. The red-orange color is quite vibrant, so in many cases, you might have to tone it down slightly. However, the vibrant color can create exciting modern and abstract art. You can also experiment to find out what version of red-orange will work for you.


Red-Orange in Advertising

The red-orange or vermilion color is associated with positivity and energy. It is slightly more subtle and more friendly than a bright red or orange on its own and combines the values of both these colors. So, many brands will use this in their business or advertising campaigns to convey a message of optimism. The color is also ideal if you want to get your audience enthusiastic about your product or service.

Red-orange also grabs your attention and can form an attractive contrast when paired with greens and blues.


Red-Orange Interior Designs

Red-orange can be the color to add a bold statement to any room, adding warmth, and joy. However, it can be a bit challenging to use the vibrant color, as it can become too overwhelming if used too much. An ideal way to do this is to use the color more as an accent. You can paint an accent wall and match it up with more neutral colors, such as white. You can also use a paler version of vermilion, which you can also pair with a dark gray.

You can include the more vibrant vermilion as an accessory, for example, cushions, drapes, rugs, throws, or even in art pieces on the wall.

orange red interior design

This is a great way to bring in the beautiful warm color in the winter months, without having to commit to anything. You can also use the color in patterned items like wallpaper or fabrics. Since it is such a vibrant color, you might need to be more careful in how you use it in spaces like a bedroom. However, it can be added to any room in the home.


Red-Orange in Fashion

Early on in the 18th as well as 19th centuries, vermilion was quite a popular color in women’s fashion. This was often paired with other bright colors like emerald green to create an attractive ensemble.

Vermilion has remained quite popular and has been included in everything, from evening dresses to lingerie. Versace has even created couture bags in the vermilion color, which adds a beautiful pop of color to an outfit. You also get vibrant vermilion cosmetics, such as nail polish and eyeshadow. 

orange red interior design


Orange and red mixed gives you a vibrant and energizing red-orange that is also known as vermilion. You can use this color in any type of design but remember to use it carefully so that it does not become overwhelming. You can pair it with white and gray to help tone it down or consider using other variations. Whatever you choose, you will create warm, inviting, and happy artworks or designs.




Frequently Asked Questions


What Color Does Orange and Red Make?

Orange and red mixed will create another warm and vibrant color known as red-orange or vermilion. This is done by mixing a primary color and secondary color, such as red and orange. This is the way red-orange can be created using paints, however, using other color models, it can also be created for computer graphics and printing purposes.


Can You Mix Orange and Red to Make Brown?

When mixing orange and red, the color you will get is a red-orange. You can add more red or more orange to create variations, but it will not make brown. To create a brown, you can add some blue to the mixture. This includes all three primary colors, which then makes the muddy brown color.


Do Orange and Red Go Well With Each Other?

Orange, red, and red-orange are all colors that are positioned near one another on the color wheel. This can make for some amazing analogous color combinations if used correctly. Try to balance the colors and pair them with other, more neutral colors to create a more harmonious look.


What Is the Difference Between Red-Orange and Orange Red?

When you have a look at red-orange, the color tends to lean more toward red than orange. This color pairs well with cyan, teal blues, and other shades of blue. Orange-red leans more toward a bright orange and is more saturated, so it pairs really well with white and off-white colors.


Cite this Article

Charlene, Lewis, “What Color Does Orange and Red Make? – Complete Guide.” Art in Context. June 19, 2023. URL: https://artincontext.org/what-color-does-orange-and-red-make/

Lewis, C. (2023, 19 June). What Color Does Orange and Red Make? – Complete Guide. Art in Context. https://artincontext.org/what-color-does-orange-and-red-make/

Lewis, Charlene. “What Color Does Orange and Red Make? – Complete Guide.” Art in Context, June 19, 2023. https://artincontext.org/what-color-does-orange-and-red-make/.

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