Skip to Content

What colors make a shade of red?

What colors make a shade of red?

Red is a primary color that can be mixed with other colors to create different hues and shades. When mixed with yellow, red makes orange. When mixed with blue, it makes purple. By adding white or black to red, you can create lighter or darker shades of red. Let’s explore what colors can be combined with red to create different shades.

Adding white to red

One way to make a lighter red shade is by adding white to it. Here are some red shades created by mixing red with increasing amounts of white:

Red shade Red pigment White pigment
Maroon 100% 0%
Crimson 90% 10%
Cherry red 80% 20%
Scarlet 70% 30%
Ruby red 60% 40%
Apple red 50% 50%

As you increase the amount of white pigment, the red becomes lighter and pinker. A red with a lot of white added will start to become a pink or salmon color.

Adding black to red

Mixing black pigment into red creates darker shades of red:

Red shade Red pigment Black pigment
Burgundy 90% 10%
Oxblood 80% 20%
Maroon 70% 30%
Cordovan 60% 40%
Brownish red 50% 50%

Adding more black makes the red become very dark until it eventually becomes a brown or black shade.

Mixing red with yellow

Red and yellow are next to each other on the color wheel. When blended together, they make different shades of orange. Here are some examples:

Shade Red pigment Yellow pigment
Vermilion 90% 10%
Scarlet 80% 20%
Chinese red 70% 30%
Orange-red 60% 40%
Red-orange 50% 50%

With more yellow added, the red starts becoming more orange. When the amounts of red and yellow pigment are equal, the result is a vivid red-orange shade.

Combining red and blue

On the color wheel, red and blue are complementary colors opposite each other. Mixing them together makes shades of purple:

Shade Red pigment Blue pigment
Raspberry 90% 10%
Ruby 80% 20%
Crimson 70% 30%
Magenta 60% 40%
Violet-red 50% 50%

The more blue that gets added, the red transitions into shades of purple and violet. Equal amounts of blue and red make a vivid violet-red color.

Tinting red with other colors

You can create lighter shades of red by tinting it with any lighter color. Here are some examples:

Tinted red Red pigment Tint color
Pink 90% White 10%
Salmon 80% Orange 20%
Coral 70% Peach 30%
Rose 60% Pink 40%

Tinting with white makes a pink shade. Orange, peach, and pink tints create soft coral and rose shades.

Shading red with other colors

Shading red involves mixing it with darker colors like black, brown, blue, green, or purple. Here are some examples:

Shaded red Red pigment Shade color
Maroon 80% Black 20%
Burgundy 70% Brown 30%
Mulberry 60% Purple 40%
Wine 50% Blue 50%

Dark shades are created by adding black, brown, purple, or blue pigment to red.


In summary, many shades of red can be made by mixing it with other colors:

– Lighter reds are created by adding white or tinting with lighter colors like pink, peach, or orange.

– Darker reds are created by mixing in black or shading with darker colors like brown, purple, or blue.

– Yellow mixes with red make different orange shades.

– Blue and red combine to create purple shades.

So if you want to create a custom red, experiment by blending it with other colors to make new hues and shades. The possibilities are endless!