What Color Does Red And Green Make? You’ll Be Surprised

Psychology has proven that red and green are complementary colors. We’ve all seen this in visual design. 

For example, a package with a red background and green lettering is more likely to grab your attention than one with just a white background.

But what if you want to pair these two colors together? What do they make when they’re together? It turns out the combination of red and green produces an exciting color. Read on to find out.

We’ll also discuss the different methods of mixing colors and the types of color schemes.

What Color Does Red And Green Make?

Yellow. The colors red and green are opposites on the color wheel, so they make the perfect shade of yellow when mixed. This is a fundamental principle for color mixing.

As you can imagine, red and green are the colors that most people choose when they have to combine colors for painting due to their complementary nature.

Mixing Colors

Color mixing is the art of combining color pigments to produce new colors. Color mixing is used to achieve a wide range of color palettes, as in painting. 

It also applies to printing and dyeing, where we often use the more familiar terms shade, tint, and tone.

Mixing colors is an art that takes practice and experience to master. The most important things to remember when mixing paints are:

Primary Colors 

These are colors in which no other color is mixed to create it. They are known as primary since they cannot be created by combining other hues. 

Primary colors are also known as “pure” or “hue” colors, and only three such colors exist; red, blue, and green.

Secondary Colors 

In a way, secondary colors are the children of primary colors. They are more complex, more interesting, and have more character. 

And like children, they should be cherished and nurtured because they bring forth a lot of value in making all sorts of colorful things.

Tertiary Colors

Combining two colors, one primary and another secondary will produce tertiary colors in equal amounts. 

In practice, you can produce six possible tertiary color combinations from a given three-color combination. For instance, yellow-green and red-orange.

A blend of equal amounts of two secondary colors will also produce a tertiary color.

Methods Of Color Mixing

There are two main methods of mixing colors: additive and subtractive. 

You could mix colors additively by adding light at different wavelengths or subtractively by absorbing colors at specific wavelengths. 

In other words; Additive is mixing light (hue) in equal amounts, subtractive is mixing the pigments (hue and value). 

In most colored lighting applications, such as colored lights for cars that use color mixing that is additive (the RGB additive primary colors: red, green, and blue), color mixtures appear differently depending on whether you view the lights directly or at an angle. 

This is because each primary color illuminates differently depending on the viewing angle. In other words, when viewed from aside, one of the additive primary colors will appear more dominant.

1. Additive Mixing

Additive Mixing adds light to a darker color to make a lighter color. You place the lightest and darkest colors on opposite ends of the color wheel. 

Then, you can create every other color by adding one of these two primary colors to a secondary color.

We take two primary colors and mix them to result in this mixture. 

Light’s primary hues – red, green, and blue – may be blended in different combinations to produce different hues and shades. 

This different red, green, and blue combinations are called “additive mixtures” or “additive primary colors.”

Taking red and green as an example, you’ll get yellow; taking red with blue, you’ll get purple. 

By combining these three hues, you can produce all other colors. The secondary colors that result from combining pairs of primary colors are; magenta (a blend of red and blue), yellow (a blend of the colors; red and green), and cyan (a combination of colors; blue and green).

Additive Mixing is one of the most common ways artists combine colors to achieve the desired color. Artists who use this mixing method start with a white canvas and add color.

Suppose an artist wants to create a reddish sunset scene, they will add yellow to the white background to gradually become orange and eventually red. This method is also known as “Lighting” because it involves lighting up the canvas.

2. Subtractive Mixing

Subtractive mixing is another method of mixing colors; it is the most common method. This involves the same 3-color process but with a different approach. To figure out the color you want to create, you first choose two base colors.

When mixing any two of your primary colors, you’re going to have a result of a secondary color; unless you have a tertiary color as one of your primaries. You can create different color harmonies when using this technique.

While additive color mixing uses three primary colors to create all other colors, subtractive color uses primary and secondary colors to create a range of color levels.

Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow are the primary colors of subtractive colors. If you mix these three colors, you will get black. 

When pigments inside a given item absorb white light and reflect other pigments constituted within the color, the subtractive process of combining colors is seen.

For example, except for the red pigment, the red hue reflects all wavelengths of white light. You can see that you can produce all other colors by adding various quantities of color light. This is useful for creating colors in the RGB color model.

This method creates a more muted color than what you start with. This is primarily used in realistic painting and printing to achieve a more accurate color and value.

RGB Color Wheel

One of the essential color systems is the RGB Color Wheel. There are three primary colors on the wheel plus two secondary colors in between each primary color created by mixing one of the primaries with another primary color.

The RGB Color Wheel has been around since the 1700s, but it is still relevant today. The model’s name comes from the three primary colors.

This color model combines the three primary colors in varying methods to recreate a wide range of colors. 

The idea behind this color model is simple: it’s a way to display colors digitally with light. This concept of combining different amounts of light creates millions of different shades of every color you can imagine.

Practical uses include;

  • color televisions
  • computer displays
  • video projectors
  • image scanners
  • digital cameras

CMYK Color Wheel

The CMYK color model is a subtractive method of color mixing used in print media and color printing and was the standard for print throughout the 20th century. It stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Key (otherwise known as black).

You can use this color wheel to see what colors make up a logo when designing a logo. This will help you see which colors are most dominant in your design process. You can also use this to create brand colors for your company that match your logo.

CMYK is a color masking process that hides colors wholly or partially over a lighter, generally white backdrop. 

Whenever applied, the ink reduces the quantity of light that would usually be reflected. Because inks lower the brightness of white, this style is known as subtractive.

According to the additive models such as the RGB, white is the “additive” mixture of all primary colors, whereas the absence of light results in black color.

The CMYK model is the polar opposite, where white is the “subtractive” combination of cyan, magenta, and yellow, while black is an entire combination of all colored inks.

Practical uses include;

  • Color printing
  • Print media

Color Harmony

Color harmony is the principle that governs the visual sensation of color. There are three primary color harmonies: monochromatic, analogous, and complementary.

We base Monochromatic (single hue) schemes on tints and shades of a single color, such as red, crimson, or peach. 

Monochromatic schemes use variations to create different looks, but they don’t introduce new colors into the design and, as a result, look dull.

The base of Analogous (adjacent hues) schemes is on hues adjacent to one another on the color wheel.

The complementary (opposite hues) scheme is based on two hues on the color wheel that are complete opposites. These colors are the most harmonious pairings in color theory. 


Color is not just a way to make things look pretty. It has a vital role in our lives, both as individuals and in society. That’s why we use colors for everything from coding to art.

We know you’ve been wondering what color red and green make, and it’s yellow! Hopefully, our research and findings have helped you understand this topic even more. 

John Taylor
John Taylor
John Taylor is a seasoned writer with more than 10 years of experience as a professional. He has written professionally for many different organizations, such as The Atlantic and the Boston Globe. John can write on any topic you need him to cover, from business writing to creative nonfiction pieces. His portfolio speaks for his skills; he's not only an experienced writer but also an excellent editor and researcher!


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