What Colors Make Black? Understanding Color Combination 

What Colors Make Black

Coloring is the beauty of artistic work. A creative work of art without the right color can put the audience off or degrade the value of that artistic work. So, color is the key! 

However, black is one of the most commonly used colors globally, either in the fashion industry or artistic work.  

Many people might be curious about this. But that’s quite evident. In the fashion world, black symbolizes business, class, and sexiness. And it’s very popular. 

Interestingly, you can combine some colors to form black. An artist or painter can decide to combine colors to get black if there is no black color available. 

What about painters? It’s the same thing. They can decide to formulate the black, depending on the project and color needs. 

Now, here’s a question we’ll be answering before going deeper.  

What Colors Make Black?

It’s simple. The primary colors such as blue, red, and yellow, produce black when mixed. All one has to do is mix these colors in the right proportion. 

That is, ensure each color present in the mixture is of an equal amount. You’ll have a nice cool black color after mixing them. 

There’s more to this article. So, we urge you to keep reading. 




How To Make Black With Primary Colors

Different color combinations can produce a black color. It all depends on what the painter desires. The first combinations of colors we will observe are the primary colors.

Mixing the primary colors (blue, red, and yellow):

Now, this is one of the easiest ways to make the black color. These primary colors can be easily accessible. All you need is the three colors, palette, and palette knife, and color brush. Follow the steps below


Collect blue, red, and yellow colors

It is important to note that you can use different shades of blue, red, and yellow. And this will be the resultant hue of your black. Using darker shades of the primary colors will produce deep black. A light shade tends to produce a brownish kind of black.

For strong black, you can use ultramarine blue, crimson red and yellow ochre.

Step 2

Gently squeeze the colors on different spots on the palette

Gently dab some amount of each primary color on the color palette. You should place the colors on different spots on the palette, about a few centimeters apart. If you desire a basic black color, collect an equal amount of each color with a different palette knife.

Avoid using bare hands to collect colors for a mixture. Furthermore, use an individual palette knife for each color. Please don’t mix them up.

Step 3

Mix the colors evenly

Mix evenly with the aid of a brush. It would be best if you used a paintbrush to mix. Palette knives can also come handy for paints/color that is more viscous or denser, where a paintbrush would be difficult to use. 

After that, the thorough mixture can be moved around the palette for about 10-15 seconds to ensure the mixture is whole and there is no single trace of individual color leftovers.

Step 4

Fine-tune the shade of the black

Your intention and use of black will affect the hue of the black. Someone who wants to portray trees and plants at night will add a green color to the black. Also, if the black is deep and needs to be lightening, a dab of white will do.

Nonetheless, you can experiment further with some touches of other colors or the primary colors to fine-tune or adjust the value and hue of your black color. 

A Mixture Of Complementary Colors To Make Black Color

You can mix two complementary colors or other colors to make black. Below is a summary of the colors combination, including how they form black

Combine Red And Green To Make Black

The secret here is to consider colors opposite each other on the color wheel, such as red and green. When you mix these colors, they’ll absorb their light or color properties then produce a black hue.

You can select any shade of red and green depending on the resultant black hue you want. A mixture of Naphthol red and Phthalo green is a good combination to make a black hue.

A mixture of blue and orange

A good mix between ultramarine blue/cobalt blue and burnt umber/translucent orange, respectively, can make the black. Collect equal amounts of both colors and gently churn them together to make black. 

If the resultant black is not dark enough, you can add some more blue to make it black. It is important to know that the mixture of ultramarine blue and burnt umber makes a dark black color.

Combination of yellow and purple

The same way red is complementary to green is how yellow is to purple on the color wheel. When you mix yellow and purple in the right proportion, you’ll get black.

Cadmium yellow is the preferred yellow when you want to mix yellow with purple to make black. You can use a combination of roughly 60% purple and roughly 40% yellow and tilt the combination ratio to make the black you desire.

Blend blue and brown

The blend of different shades of blue and black can make black. Below is a summary of the different shades of blue to use in combination with brown to make black.

Ultramarine blue and black:

You should be familiar with the color blue. A blend of color brown with ultramarine blue will make black. Make sure more than half the color you will need for this blend to make black is ultramarine blue.

Another way to blend blue and brown to make black: 

Place a dab of blue and burnt umber just a few centimeters apart and gently whirl the two colors together. As you mix them up close, you will make black. You can increase either of the colors and swirl more to get your desired black.

Prussian blue and brown:

Suppose you desire to get a deep black or night’s darkness black. You can mix the color brown with Prussian blue. Prussian blue is needed to darken the black.

Recommended Colors That Can Make Black

Some unique color shades are recommended for you to make black. You can have these colors combined with others to form black. Listed below are these colors: pthalo blue, Hansa yellow, yellow ochre, quinacridone red, quinacridone magenta, phthalo green, dioxazine purple, burnt umber, Prussian blue, burnt sienna, cadmium orange, ultramarine blue, alizarin crimson, and the list goes on.


What colors make black? You’ve had an interesting time learning different color combinations that make black. The ideology in what color makes black is simply mixing colors opposite each other on the color wheel or just a blend of cool and warm colors.

You can’t mix two or more colors to get a perfect black. But that doesn’t imply that you can’t get a tight black. And this is because the different shades of color you use and the quantity mixed will determine the outlook of your black. The color that forms black is dependent on the shades of hue and quantity used.

Nevertheless, experimenting with these color combinations create dynamism in art and painting. It will also give artists an opportunity to express themselves in different ways.

You can also use the techniques on this post to blend different colors to make black. Good luck trying!


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