How to Make Yellow Paint: Color Mixing Guide

Have you ever been painting, and the paint ran out in the middle? An instant solution to this problem is to blend two or three colors and make a similar shade. However, if you run out of yellow paint in the middle of the job, the technique might not work because yellow is a primary color.

how to make yellow paint

Are you thinking about how to make yellow paint, then? Since yellow is a primary color in the RYB color model, you can’t actually make yellow paint using the traditional painting method. But you can make yellow by adding red color to green color in the additive color model.

In this article, we are going to discuss how to make yellow in the additive model and give you more information about making different shades of yellow.

What Colors Make Yellow Color?

In the world of colors, there are different color models. Some very common color models are RGB, CMY, CMYK, and so on. But to keep things simple, you can keep two models in mind; the Additive color model and the Subtractive color model. You may consider them as the base models. Let’s discuss them briefly.

What Colors Make Yellow Color

Additive Color Model:

The additive color model is based on how light produces different colors. This color model is widely used in digital screens like televisions, smartphones, cameras, etc. The RGB or Red, Green, and Blue colors are the primary colors in this model.

Subtractive Color Model:

Unlike the additive color model, the subtractive color model is based on how pigments make different colors using reflected light. Printing, traditional brush-on painting, etc. fall under this model.

The model that most of us are familiar with is the RYB model. The RYB model also falls under the subtractive color model. RYB stands for Red, Blue, and Yellow. And when we paint something with paint and brushes, this model is applied.

Now, coming back to our topic, when we are painting with paint brushes, we are in the subtractive model. Yellow is the primary color here, hence no other colors can make the original shade of yellow. Nevertheless, you can make colors close to yellow that can get your job done.

However, in the additive model, there is a different scenario. If you add a red color to a green color, this will produce a yellow color. To answer the question, what colors make yellow, we would say red and green if we were in the additive color model.

What Two Colors Make Yellow?

In the additive color model, red and green make yellow. If you want to make yellow color in the additive color model, you need to gradually add red color to the green color. You will notice the color is gradually turning into a yellow shade.

What Two Colors Make Yellow

But when it comes to subtractive models like regular painting, you cannot make the actual yellow shade by mixing two colors. The best you can get are shades that are close to yellow.

How to Make Yellow Paint: Step-by-Step Guide

As we said earlier, you can’t make the original shade of yellow in the subtractive color model because yellow is a primary color. So, if you want to make yellow using paints and brushes, it’s not completely possible.

how to make yellow color paint

However, the additive color model allows us to make the yellow color by mixing different colors. Let’s see the procedure step by step. But first, let’s gather some resources.

  • Two glass jars
  • Red liquid
  • Green liquid
  • Paper
  • A light source

Step 1: Initial Setup

Take the same amount of green and red liquid in two different glass jars. You can use a glass table or something of the same height where you will put the jars containing the liquids. You should place the paper on the ground, under the table, to visualize the resulting color.

Make sure the table is transparent so that light can pass through and get projected on the paper underneath.

Step 2: Visualizing the Color

To better visualize the color, turn off the light in your room.

Now, turn on the light source on the green jar. You will see a green light on the white paper sheet. Keep it turned on. Now, turn on the light source on the red jar.

Take the projections of both red and green colors closer, and you will see the color on the paper has turned yellow. The better the projections are mixed, the clearer yellow you will see.

This will defy the basic rule that you probably studied in elementary school art classes. What you will be seeing is yellow, produced by red and green light because, in the additive color model, red and green are primary colors, but yellow is not.

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How to Make Darker Yellow Paint?

Okay, no more science stuff with light projection, you can make darker yellow paints in the traditional way. This method is suitable for watercolors, acrylics, oil pastels, and oil paints. When making a darker yellow color, your objective should be to maintain the tone so that the color remains joyful yet represents the desired shade.

How to Make Darker Yellow Paint

Before we actually get started, let’s familiarize you with complementary colors. These are useful when you want to make a darker shade of a color. So, complementary colors are basically colors that sit opposite one another on the color wheel. For example, red’s complementary color is green because they sit opposite one another on the color wheel.

In the case of making a darker shade of yellow, we are not limiting the complementary color to just one color. To make a darker shade of yellow, you can use purple, gold, and orange. You may even try brown or green.

Try taking a little amount of the complementary color and mixing it with yellow to see which shade matches your desired shade. You can try the following way:

First, take a small amount of yellow on the paper.
Add some brushes of purple or other complementary paints.
Blend the paints well.

If you want to darken the shade but don’t want to ruin the tone, you can mix different shades of yellow and make your desired shade.

How to Make Brighter Yellow Paint?

While making yellow paint brighter, colors like white, light green, and gray come in pretty handy. However, the temperature and the vibrancy of the resultant bright yellow will vary for sure.

How to Make Brighter Yellow Paint

Adding some touches of white is the easiest way to brighten a yellow shade. However, this easy method can ruin the vibrant tone of the yellow because white somewhat mutes the yellow.

If you don’t want to use white, you can use gray or a cool shade of green. Both will make the yellow shade look brighter, but the yellow can get a cooler tone if you use green.

Making Yellow Paint More Mustard

When making a yellow paint that looks more like mustard, feel free to feel hungry because the mustard sauce is what makes hot dogs complete! Making a mustard yellow can be easier than it sounds! Here are the things you’ll need:

  • Red paint
  • Yellow paint
  • Small bowl
  • Craft stick

Step 1: Measuring the Paints

Take an equal amount of yellow and red paint in a small bowl.

Step 2: Mixing the Paints

Blend the colors well using the craft stick. You will get a nice shade of orange.

Step 3: Measuring and Mixing Again

Take some yellow paint in a different bowl. Now add an equal amount of the orange paint that you just made. Mix the paints well, and you should get your desired mustard color.

Step 4: Adjusting the Color

If the color doesn’t look like the shade you were looking for, no worries, you can adjust the tone. Add a small amount of yellow to the mix if the shade looks darker. On the contrary, if the shade looks lighter, add a small amount of orange to the mix.

How To Make Dark Yellow With Acrylic Paint?

Creating a dark yellow shade with acrylic paint is simple and requires a basic understanding of color mixing. To achieve this, follow these steps:

  1. Gather Your Materials: You’ll need acrylic paints in primary colors, namely, yellow and a dark color like brown or black, along with paintbrushes, a palette, and a mixing surface.
  2. Start with Yellow: Begin by squeezing a small amount of bright yellow acrylic paint onto your palette. This will serve as your base color.
  3. Add Dark Color: To darken the yellow, gradually add a small amount of brown or black acrylic paint to the bright yellow. Mix it thoroughly until you achieve the desired shade. Remember, a little dark paint goes a long way, so add it incrementally.
  4. Test Your Mix: To ensure you’ve reached your desired dark yellow shade, apply a small amount of the mixed paint onto a scrap piece of paper or canvas. Adjust the color by adding more yellow or dark color as needed until you achieve the perfect hue.
  5. Use with Care: Now that you’ve created your dark yellow, you can use it for your acrylic painting projects. Keep in mind that acrylic paint dries quickly, so work efficiently and clean your brushes promptly to maintain their quality.

By following these steps, you can easily create a rich, dark yellow shade using acrylic paint for your artistic endeavors.

Final Words

Yellow is a bright, joyful color. It transforms dull surfaces into lively ones. If you were working with raw yellow and ran out of it in the middle of the job, probably you wouldn’t be able to make the exact shade by mixing other colors. But you can experiment with lights of different colors and make yellow in the additive model.

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