what does red and white make

What Does Red and White Make? – Creating Shades of Pink

Red and white are colors that are often seen together in the fashion and design industries. Of course, these colors are also part of the American flag. Red is a powerful and bold color, while white helps to balance the boldness of red. So, red and white mixed should create something that is just as appealing. The answer is most likely obvious to most, with the result being a range of pink colors. To understand how this color combination works, let us take a closer look at the results of mixing white and red.



What Do Red and White Make?

You have most probably guessed by now that mixing white and red creates a shade of pink. Pink is a softer or lighter shade of red, making it more delicate in appearance and having a slightly different meaning from red. Altering the amount of red and white can also produce variations of pink. Adding more red, creates a more vibrant and bold pink, while adding more white will create a more relaxing and softer hue.

Below, you can see that red and white mixed created a light red, however, if you keep on adding more white, it will eventually form a paler red or pink.

Red and White Mixed

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Red#ff00000, 100, 100, 0255, 0, 0 
White#ffffff0, 0, 0, 0255, 255, 255 
Light Red#ff80800, 50, 50, 0255, 128, 128 
Pink#ffc0cb0, 25, 20, 0255, 192, 203 


Mixing Results for Different Shades of Red and White

Red ShadeWhite ShadeMixed Color



Understanding Red and White As Colors

The most common color model that most artists work from is known as the RYB color model. This traditional color model is often used when mixing paint colors. The primary colors are recognized as red, yellow, and blue. Mixing any two of these colors will then produce a secondary hue, which we know as orange, green, and purple. You can go even further and create tertiary colors, which is a mixture of a primary and secondary hue.

To have a visual idea of how all these colors work together, you can look at a color wheel. So, we have learned that red is a primary color.

Mixing White and Red

Red is also a warm color, similar to yellow and orange, and these colors are usually positioned next to one another. All the cool colors like blue, green, and purple find themselves on the opposite side of the color wheel. What about white? White is not a color, so you cannot find it on the color wheel. White is considered a non-color or achromatic color, meaning that white is not a hue. “Hue” is a term used for particular colors and is often mistaken for the general word “color”. Besides pure white, you can also get shades of white, which simply means that the white now has an undertone color. However, we are only going to be using pure white.


Meaning of Red

Red is a color often associated with passion, and love and has a certain confidence, energy, and power to it. Red is a stimulating color that can be used to increase the appetite, or it may even increase blood pressure. Red is also a dramatic color that likes to draw attention, which is why many danger signs use the color to warn people. In various Eastern countries, red is a color of wealth, beauty, and good fortune.

On the negative side, red can also appear aggressive and domineering.

Shades of Red and White Mixed


Meaning of White

White, even though not considered a color, still has many profound meanings and associations attached to it. White is the color of pureness, cleanliness, and virtue. White can also be a balancing and purifying color that is associated with goodness, hope, and mental clarity. White is often used at weddings, however, in various Eastern cultures, white can be seen as a color of mourning.

Too much white can also seem overly sterile, boring, cold, and empty.



Mixing Red and White Paint

Since red is a primary color in the RYB color model, it cannot be created by mixing other paint colors. So, you must buy red paint already in a tube, the same as the white paint. However, you do get different shades of red that can have cooler undertones or warmer undertones. So, always check the paint label and try to experiment with the various reds available to see what happens. Each one, when mixed with white, will form a somewhat different shade of pink.

Many artists also use the CMYK color model, which also uses subtractive color mixing that also applies to the RYB color model. This means that the various colors or color wavelengths are either absorbed or reflected from an object.

Mixing White and Red shades

So, when combining all the primary colors, it produces black. The primary colors for this system include cyan, magenta, and yellow. This color system is used mainly for printing purposes, where different color inks are mixed. Artists choose this model because you can mix magenta and yellow to produce red. However, magenta paint is not all that widely available. If you are into experimenting, you can also create magenta by mixing blue and red.


Meaning of Pink

Being a lighter shade of red, pink is also a color that we associate with love and romance, but with a little less passion and more compassion. The softer color is also calming and nurturing and has a certain light-heartedness to it. Pink is also often a color that is associated with femininity, and in countries like Korea, it is a symbol of trust.

Some negative connotations include pink being immature and timid, with no confidence.


Creating Lighter and Darker Shades

When mixing white and red, it is the definition of creating a lighter shade, which is also known as a tint. To do this, you can use white to lighten any color. You can adjust the amount of white being added to red, to create a variety of pink colors. If you want to go darker, you will want to create a shade, which is the opposite of a tint. To do this, you can add very small amounts of black to your pink. Work carefully when doing this, as the black can take over. If you are only looking to dim the color a little, consider adding more red.

Also, if you want a more muted pink, consider adding a small drop of green, which is the complementary color of red. However, too much green and you will create something closer to brown or gray.

Hues of Red and White Mixed



Understanding Red and White in Other Color Models

Besides the color models we have already discussed, there is also the RGB color system that is used on computer and cellphone screens and involves the mixing of colored light. In this color model, you have red, green, and blue as your primary hues. So, red is again a primary color and white is not a color but is what is produced when you combine all the primary colors. This also uses additive color mixing, where you layer colors to produce the various hues.

So, to create pink, you will need to layer red, green, and blue, adjusting each at a different brightness level.

Below we have two examples of different shades of pink. As you can see, hot pink is a vibrant option that consists of 100 percent red, 41 percent green, and 71 percent blue. The baby pink is a softer choice, with 96 percent red, 76 percent green, and 76 percent blue.

Mixing White and Red Hues

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Hot Pink#ff69b40, 59, 29, 0255, 105, 180 
Baby Pink#f4c2c20, 20, 20, 4244, 194, 194 



Best Uses for Red and White in Art and Design

White is a neutral color that is often used with any other color, so it will go with red and pink in all types of designs. You can also use all three colors in a design, however, if you want a more serious look, consider taking out the pink. Red can be used in art as a symbol or meaning to create a certain mood.

Red stands out and can command a sense of authority, adding a dramatic tone to a painting. Red can also be used as an underpainting or to create realistic objects like red clothing or plants and flowers.

White is used to create lighter and brighter colors, while pink can be used to create various skin tones or to add a certain innocent expression to a painting. These are just a few uses in art, let us now look at a few other design uses for red and white. 


Graphic Design

In graphic design, red is an excellent color to draw attention to various elements on a website. The color is also used to persuade the viewer to take action. Red is a bold and energetic hue when considering brand colors. Red can be used to make certain references to health and food and can be used to capture attention and create excitement. Pink is a calming and sentimental color that is often used by companies that focus on toys or baby products. However, pink also works well with many other colors to create a slightly different feel. White can also be used with both red and pink.

There are also many different shades of pink to choose from, each one providing a different look and feel to a design.

Mixing White and Red Colors


Fashion Design

Red can easily be paired with a neutral like white. This can be an outfit that consists of a pair of red slacks and a white top, or it can be a white skirt and a red top. The red and white can also be incorporated into a pattern, which can be worn as a dress. Other neutrals like black and gray can also be brought into the mix. Red can also be added more subtly, for example, wearing a red pair of shoes or carrying a red handbag. Pink is also extremely popular, as it can be worn in many ways.

Pink is also often paired with white to create a more stylish look. Even men today are wearing pink shirts, ties, or even suits.

Mixing White and Red Pant


Interior Design

Red and white can be a color combination that works in any room, even the bedroom if applied correctly. You might want to bring in other neutrals, and maybe even other colors to help create a more balanced look. Red looks great as an accent color, while white can easily be used as a neutral wall color.

Softer pink interiors are quite popular, where pink works wonderfully with white.

Mixing White and Red Pigments

Depending on the pink, it can be warm, calming, and soothing, or it can be more energetic and vibrant. The softer pinks tend to work best as a wall color unless you really want to make a statement with a bolder look. Brighter pinks are also perfect as accent colors.


Compared to other color combinations, mixing white and red is very easy to understand. The resulting color, pink, is formed whether you use a traditional color model or any other color system. Not only is mixing these colors simple, but red and white also work extremely well when used together in designs. However, when mixing colors, there is always space to experiment, so have a little fun with using different shades of red to create a variety of pink colors!




Frequently Asked Questions


What Do Red and White Make?

Red and white mixed is a simple combination. When mixing the white into red, it will create a lighter version of red, which is often referred to as pink. The more white that is added to the red, the paler or lighter the pink will become. If you add more red, the color will become darker.


What Works Well With Red and White?

White is a neutral color, so it can work with most other colors including red. When working with the combination of red and white, you can also include various shades of green and blue to add contrast. Other neutrals, like black or gray, are also great options.


Do Red and White Work As Interior Design Colors?

Red and white work great together and make a bold statement. This is because the white helps to create a more balanced look and prevents the red from becoming too overwhelming. To prevent the red from being too dominant, you should also consider using it as an accent color.


Cite this Article

Charlene, Lewis, “What Does Red and White Make? – Creating Shades of Pink.” Art in Context. November 20, 2023. URL: https://artincontext.org/what-does-red-and-white-make/

Lewis, C. (2023, 20 November). What Does Red and White Make? – Creating Shades of Pink. Art in Context. https://artincontext.org/what-does-red-and-white-make/

Lewis, Charlene. “What Does Red and White Make? – Creating Shades of Pink.” Art in Context, November 20, 2023. https://artincontext.org/what-does-red-and-white-make/.

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