Basic Color Mixing with Yellow

Learn how to do basic color mixing to achieve the look you want.

Expand your knowledge and understanding of color mixing to help your eye to see color better.

Yellow and green paint mixed


Basic Color Mixing Made Simple

Over the next few posts we will do basic color mixing to see what their appearance looks like when mixed with other basic colors. Our focus in this post is Yellow. What are some of it’s hues when Green, Red, Violet and Blue are added.

Palette of colors; blue, violet, red, green and yellow

  • Yellow with Green

    Green is a secondary color made from it’s primaries Yellow and Blue. Therefore the range from this basic color mixing will be yellow greens, pretty strait forward. Simply a matter of taking yellow, add small amounts of green to it in careful increments to get the range you want to see until it is mostly the green color you are working with. White can be added to any of these hues of color if you wanted to pale out or lighten the color. The more white is added the less saturated the color will be. The chart below is a sample of hues that can range between yellow to green.


    Yellow to Green color chart.

  • Yellow to Red

    Red is a primary color as is Yellow. Basic color mixing of primaries will give a broader range of hues than the above mixtures, Orange being the secondary color between them. Continue adding small increments of red to the yellow and watch it move to orange the on the mostly red.

    Yellow to red color chart.

  • Yellow with Violet

    Violet is the secondary color made from a red, blue combination. On the color wheel, it is at the opposite side of yellow making it the complement to yellow. This means these colors work well together for designs of all trades. Fabrics, printed materials, interior designs, fine art painting, etc. Complementary colors gray or tone down each other’s intensity when mixed together. The hues can vary depending on the use of red or blue violet. In the video I’m using Red Violet which makes the basic color mixing result in warmer tones. Check out some of the possible hues from this basic color mixing.

    Yellow to violet color chart

  • Yellow to Blue

    Blue is the other primary color as Red and Yellow. This also allows for that broader range of hues. Even though we did the yellow to green mix, it was not necessary to do so because the Yellow with Blue mixture gives us Green. Of course the temperature of the Blue will determine the nature of the hues being warm or cool. Such as Ultramarine or Cobalt are cool Blues, whereas Thalo or Azure are warm.

    There is present confusion on this matter unfortunately. Just consider colors on a spectrum, Red is the warmest, Violet is the coolest. Simply determine where the blue fall on that spectrum. Blues closest to Green are warmer and those closest to Violet are cooler. Don’t let the color wheel confuse you. Think spectrum.

    Color Spectrum

    Back to Yellow mixed with Blue, there can be an amazing range of hue between the warms and cools. The color chart is truly a small sample.Yellow to blue color chart.

The Heart of the Mixing Matter

Bottom line is this, learning basic color mixing is in the doing. The best way to get it down is to pick random colors you want to match (color chips from paint) any color, put it next to your palette and try to match it. Have a white paper or board to put your mix on to see how close you are. Look at the value (light or darkness) of the color and get as close to it as possible. Also consider the temperature (warm or cool) of the color, then shaft the mix toward that temperature. Soon your eye will learn to see the red, yellow, green or blue tones in the mix you are wanting and know which direction of color to add.

Next post, I’ll focus on Red. Happy mixing!