How To Make Orange Paint? 7 Useful Shades For You!

how to make orange paint7 shades you didn’t know that you could make with your acrylics!

I think what I like the most about painting is mixing up the colors. Picking the right brightness in a color, for instance. Finding other colors that compliment or contrast a color is also fun. I also like knowing that there are so many combinations out there that I’ve always got some important decisions to make as an artist.

So do you, of course, and that’s why we are here today, to learn how to make orange paint. In this article, we’re going to do a few tricks with a color that we all know and love… good ol’ orange. With the right mixtures, you can make it do a lot of things that are both interesting and quite useful. We’ll show you how to make it pop, how to make it dull, and more.

Get your paints ready and a notebook to right down your experimental mixes, because you are about to play with 7 shades of orange!

Botanical orange is good-looking and fun

If you want to make a nice, botanical orange for your flowers and your veggies then you should mix together the following:

  • Lemon Yellow
  • Cadmium Yellow or Red

Like the best mixes, you are going to want to play with the amounts until you get just the right color for your carrots, Zinnias, Marigolds, and other orange botanicals that you want to stick out from your garden scene. This can also produce some amazing close-up oranges for a close-up view of an orchid, should you be so inclined, so play with it until you find the right Botanical orange and you should be good to go!

This orange is great for things like:

  • Poppies
  • Strawflowers
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Gerberas
  • Rain-drenched Daisies
  • Pumpkins
  • Red peppers
  • Squashes

Realistic fires need the right kind of orange, too

Capturing the essence of a fire can be tricky. While the hottest fires burn blue, the ones that we are most familiar with have a nice mix or reds, yellows, and oranges that take a bit of practice to really capture. If you want to paint a fire that’s good enough to almost feel the heat from, then you will want to make a 2 to 1 mix of the following:

  • Cadmium Red
  • Cadmium Yellow

This will give you what you need for a number of different fires, including campfire, torches, forest fires, or even theological-themed fires if you are feeling in a bit of a renaissance painter mood. If your fire is dying out, that’s not a problem either. Try mixing in just a touch of Burnt Umber and you can make that fire into much more manageable embers.

Play with this mix a bit and see what comes of it. It’s sure to add a little heat to your scene or your study.

Painting jewelry that’s so gold… it’s kinda orangepainting gold jewelry orange

As every artist knows, there are a lot of unsuspected colors that work together to make a realistic depiction of things that we see every day. Gold is a great example of this. When the sun hits it just right,

“a tiny taste of orange that you are going to have to add”

there is a tiny taste of orange that you are going to have to add to those coins or jewelry bits if you want your gold to look like… well, gold.

For more realistic gold in your art, mix up the following:

  • White
  • Cadmium Yellow Light
  • Burnt Sienna

The Burnt Sienna is going to be the ‘control’ factor when it comes to how much glitter you’ve got in your gold. Adding additional amounts, even slight ones, can darken up your gold to reflect the dusk in a scene or the dampened shine of gold in a darkened room.

Play with it until you get the brightness level that you like!

Copper jewelry orange is useful too

Not everyone can afford fancy painted gold, but copper also has some hints of orange that you can capture if you feel like painting some copper jewelry, coins, statues, and more! If you want to add some copper highlights or items into your work then you will want to mix up the following:

  • Cadmium Yellow
  • Cadmium Red
  • Burnt Sienna

With copper you’ll want to pay close attention to your Cadmium Yellow and your Burnt Sienna. The Sienna will make your copper darker and a pro tip for making it stick out is to blend a straight white over this (but learn to mix it before you try to make it pop, unless you are feeling adventurous today). Changing the amounts of Cadmium Yellow, by contrast, will make your copper look much softer and bright.

Once you get this down, I recommend playing with some light and dark greens and blues, so that you can age your copper with a proper patina! Better than just learning how to make orange paint eh?!

Dull ‘construction cone’ orange

Not all oranges have to pop and a somber, dull orange can stick out like a neon sign if it’s placed around the right colors and objects in your scene. If you want to knock your orange down a notch and make it a bit humbler then you are going to need to give it a dab of color that has a blue bias.

A color bias simply means that a color gets close to a neighboring pigment on your color-wheel. Every color has a bias so to mix a dull orange, we’re going to mix a cold red with a warm and fuzzy yellow. For example, you might mix the following:

  • Yellow Ochre
  • Alizarin Crimson

Fiddle around with your yellows and reds to get the right hues but you should really keep the amounts quite small. You don’t want to make it too bright or too dark, simply dull, and it will take a little experimentation but that’s part of fun, is it not?

The secret to painting red hair is the right amount of orange

orange for painting red hairPainting red hair is another challenge if you don’t know the right color combination. Those copper locks look deceptively simple, until you try them, and then you might find yourself saying a nasty thing or two. Thankfully, we’ve got some mixes that you can play with so that you can capture the look on your canvas. To mix up a little red hair try putting the following colors together:

  • Burnt Sienna
  • Burnt Umber
  • Cadmium Red
  • White

Adding a little yellow can get you more of a ‘strawberry blonde’ look and you should really be careful with the white. Add it in droplets, bit by bit, as too much is going to get you more of a Punk-rock pink if you aren’t careful.

Mixing up a vibrant orange that pops off the canvas

Remember how we need a blue bias to make dull orange? Well, making a vivid orange requires that we do exactly the opposite. We want to put together hues that don’t have any blue. To this effect, try mixing the following acrylic colors:

  • Cadmium Red
  • Cadmium Yellow

Now, we should state that you can purchase a tube of this already if you like, as it is simply marketed as Cadmium Orange. Personally, I like to mix up my own colors. Once you’ve got a wide enough range of primaries then you’ve got the artistic equivalent of a ‘mad scientist’s lab’ and you can whip up all kinds of things.

It’s more fun that way, I think, but if you want to simply purchase a vivid orange then get the Cadmium Orange from your favorite vendor and you’ll have it ready when you need it.

Some quick tips to make the most of your new and expressive oranges

While you are experimenting, there are a few tips that can help you to get the most out of your new, experimental orange hues. Keep the following things in mind for maximum experimental fun:

  • Find a measurement terminology and stick with it. If you write something like ‘add a dot’ or ‘add a dab of this’ you’ll regret it later when your color just seems to be lacking something subtle.
  • Adding dull or light blues nearby can really pop out your orange color. Turquoise color, for instance, really makes orange shine.
  • Don’t mix black with your orange, rather go with purples or blues if you want to darken things up a bit instead. Black tends to be overkill and can take a lot from your color, so keep it out of your oranges.


In closing

Well, there you have it, you came to learn how to make orange paint and now have 7 new shades of orange that you can play with and tweak to perfection. Be sure to keep your notebook nearby as you do your mixing, because it’s easy to forget some of those perfect mixes if you aren’t careful and if you don’t write them down, that’s exactly what will happen. Take it from me, you don’t want to spend all Saturday or Sunday trying to recreate a favorite color!

So, mix and play with those hues, make them your own, and save them for posterity. Have fun with your new oranges!


how to make orange paint


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