What Colors Make Magenta

What Colors Make Magenta? – How to Mix Magenta-Colored Paint

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What color is magenta? There are several variations to magenta’s description, but it has been classified as purplish-red or reddish-purple. You will find magenta in the pink and violet family. In this article, we will attempt to clarify the two colors you need to create magenta and will show you how to make magenta using acrylic paint.



Interesting Facts About Magenta

To begin with, where does the name magenta originate from? Firstly, in 1856 William Perkin invented synthetic aniline dye. This aniline dye was called mauveine. This discovery motivated other chemists to experiment with making more colors. The name magenta originates from the aniline dye, which was discovered and patented by Francois-Emmanuel Verguin, a French chemist, during the mid-19th century. The Renard brothers subsequently purchased the patent and began to manufacture the dye commercially. Initially, the dye was called fuchsine, or rosaline hydrochloride, before later being called magenta.

Early Aniline Production Process

The name magenta is directly taken from the Battle of Magenta, in honor of the Italian-French victory. The battle was fought between the Austrians and the French in 1859 outside of a Northern Italian town, called Magenta in Lombardy. After Verguin created magenta, two British chemists by the names of Chambers Nicolson and George Maule, created a color called roseine that was almost identical to magenta. A lot of artists started using color in their works after it was discovered, as can be seen in Portrait of Marie Lagadu (1890) by the artist Gaugain.

Magenta Paint in Tube

A lot of the synthetic pigments and dyes fade quite quickly, which is not a problem for commercial art. However, these forms of dyes and pigments are not great for fine art. At the beginning of the 20th Century, an organic compound called quinacridone was discovered to be better suited as a pigment thanks to its lightfast characteristics. Magenta is often made from this compound as well as an assortment of other shades of this color by adding different quantities of white paint.

Magenta Printer Ink Cartridge

Can magenta be found in nature? The simple answer is no, so where does magenta fit in? The color magenta does not register on the wavelength of light in the visible spectrum. The color is perceived by our brain, which processes the blending of red and blue light. Yet many flowers are the color magenta, particularly flowers indigenous to the sub-tropics and tropics. The gorgeous magenta flowers with their bright green leaves and stems produce high contrast. The vibrant contrast attracts insects and animals who are then able to assist in pollinating the flowers. Magenta as a color is associated with emotional peace and harmony, happiness, and appreciation.



What Two Colors Make Magenta?

The answer is not as simple as you would hope, as magenta can be thought of as both a secondary and a primary color in various color models. Let us clarify why. When discussing dyes or pigments, blue, red, as well as yellow, are thought of as primary colors. They are known as the RYB model and they are utilized to mix paints. Combining the colors create the second tier of colors, namely secondary colors, and further mixing of colors results in your intermediate colors, otherwise known as tertiary colors.

Additive and Subtractive Color Models

A lot of artists make use of the modern color model that places magenta instead of red, yellow, and cyan in the place of blue as the three primary colors. When combining blue and red paint, depending on which blue and red, you should achieve either a purple or violet color. What follows are relevant color models that are used by many daily.

Shades of Magenta on Palette


Subtractive Color Model

Colors produced by reflected light are shown on this model, this includes combining pigments and paint, for example, in printing. This color model makes use of yellow, cyan, and magenta. Chemical dyes or pigments create color by subtracting or absorbing certain wavelengths and reflecting others when the light shines on them. An example of which is cyan absorbs red, leaving blue and green to make cyan. Magenta absorbs green, leaving red and yellow, which produces magenta. The yellow, cyan, and magenta, as well as black (CMYK) models, are the go-to for printing, where these colors are utilized to form all the other colors including black. To create black, you would combine all three colors.


Additive Color Model

This color model is made up of blue, green, and red (RGB), and is utilized by some light sources like television or your computer screen. Through adding light, the color is created. If you were to combine all the colors, you will create white. To create cyan, you would combine red and blue, while green and red create yellow. So, what two colors make magenta? In this model by combining red and blue, you will create magenta, therefore magenta is a secondary color model. When referring to the color magenta, it generally has to do with RGB and CMYK color model systems.

CMYK and RGB Color Models

There are subtle variations between the magenta colors used for printing and on the web. Process magenta or printer’s magenta is the color used in printing. The color is not as vibrant and lively in comparison to the magenta that is shown on your computer screen. You are unable to produce the computer screen color of magenta onto paper. On paper, the color reads as fuchsia and is nowhere as vivid as it shows on the screen, but has the same hex code. A hex code is a code you can use to identify a color online, and each color illustrates the amount of color is required for printing or web projects.

Magenta ShadeMagenta Hex CodeCMYK Magenta Color CodeRGB Magenta Color CodeMagenta Color
Magenta#ff00ff0, 100, 0, 0255, 0, 255 



How Do You Make Magenta Paint?

We will now look at what color combinations will create magenta in terms of painting. There are a few different variations when looking at how to make magenta paint. When making paint colors, you may not achieve an exact magenta color, but you will be able to create something similar to it. what color is magenta? Some people view it as pinkish-purple.

Mixing Magenta Color

You can combine blue and red, but you will also have to include a small amount of white in the mixture to achieve a color closer to magenta. Varying quantities of paint color will also impact the outcome, adding additional blue will create a deeper violet. We recommend combing cobalt blue and cadmium red when creating magenta. If you were to use a darker red, you would need to add a little white to achieve a pinker color. You are also able to ass yellow which will soften the color further, and then add violet or blue to get even closer to magenta.

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color CodeRGB Color CodeColor
Deep Violet#33006650, 100, 0, 6051, 0, 102 
Maroon#8000000, 100, 100, 50128, 0, 0 

To achieve a more accurate magenta color, we recommend using magenta pigment paint then creating two colors. You should be able to purchase this paint from your local art or craft store which is called Quinacridone Magenta.

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color CodeRGB Color CodeColor
Quinacridone Magenta#9a114f0, 89, 49, 40154, 17, 79 

Making Magenta Paint Color


How to Make Magenta Paint Darker

There are several ways to darken magenta, the most obvious option is to add black. However, you could also try using dark green as another option to create a more vivid color. This is thanks to green sitting on the opposite end of the color wheel and therefore is magenta’s complementary color. When combining paint, we recommend using small quantities of paint as it will then be easier to add paint as opposed to taking it out.

Darken Magenta with Green


How to Make Magenta Paint Lighter

The best way to lighten magenta is to simply add white. In adding white the shade of magenta will appear pinker. Similar to when darkening magenta, we suggest you use small quantities of paint, as again it is easier to add paint as opposed to taking it away.



How to Create Paint Mediums With Magenta Pigment

You may be wondering how to make magenta paint from scratch? You can visit your local arts and crafts store and buy magenta powder pigment and use that to create the paint. This is possible with all paint mediums including watercolors paints, acrylics, and oil paints.

Magenta Pigment for Mixing Paint


Oil Paints

It is a relatively simple process to make oil paints. take some of the magenta pigment and combine it with an oil medium such as linseed oil. You will then be able to use this paint the same way as all your other oil paints. Other mediums can be used, each comes with its properties and characteristics. However, linseed oil is the best option particularly if you are a beginner, thanks to it being so simple to use.

Mix Linseed Oil with Magenta Pigment

If you only require a small volume of magenta, then it might be a better idea to just buy an existing paint tube. Pigment power to create larger quantities of magenta might be cheaper, but it is all dependent on what you need to do.

Magenta Oil Paint


Acrylic Paints

It is also fairly easy to create your acrylic paint; even a beginner can do it. You will once again need some magenta pigment powder and must combine it with a clear gesso acrylic. Combine the ingredients well until you achieve the desired color. you can also add some white gesso, but if you are looking to achieve a more vibrant color then rather stick to clear gesso, as the white base will cause it to be opaquer. If you are using the white gesso you will end up using more pigment powder to achieve the color you require, and it will take longer to do so.

Mixing Paint from Pigments

Creating a paint color using pigment powder is so easy to do, but it is time-consuming, which is why the majority of artists prefer to just buy the ready-made magenta color paint. Some artists may choose to rather use a color that is close to magenta as an alternative, instead of wasting money on a paint color that they do not use that often.

How to Make Magenta Shades


Watercolor Paints

While a beginner can mix their paint colors, we recommend having a little bit of experience with painting and mixing colors in a variety of mediums. When creating magenta watercolor paint, you can combine gum Arabic with magenta paint powder. However, when creating this paint, you will need to use it on the same day or at the very latest, the next day. If it is kept longer, it becomes hard to work with. If it has started to become difficult to work with you can try adding a little water to rehydrate it, but that could potentially lighten the color too much, and you end up with a color you didn’t want. The perfect option is once again to rather just use the ready-made magenta watercolor paint. It will work out a lot cheaper to use the ready-made paint, and simpler to do.


What Colors Can You Substitute for Magenta?

We can recommend using rose and violet in place of magenta. These colors are also available in a variety of hues, so it all depends on the shade or hue you require. We recommend trying permanent rose and opera rose as an alternative option to magenta. Permanent rose is a dark, richer shade, while opera rose is a lighter, gentle shade. The go-to violet color is quinacridone violet, it is a relatively dark shade that can be used to achieve a color similar to magenta.



We hope this article has helped provide the answer to some of the questions such as what colors make magenta. As you can see, the answer is complicated, and you will need to consider every aspect and will need an understanding of color theory.



Frequently Asked Questions


How Do You Make Magenta?

While it will not give you perfect magenta, the easiest way to make magenta is to mix blue and red, with a ratio of 1:1. We suggest combing cobalt blue and cadmium red when creating magenta. If you were to use a darker red you will need to add a small amount of white to balance it out.


Is Magenta a Color?

Magenta does not possess a unique wavelength that is visible in the spectrum of light. Our brain processes magenta as red and blue combined.


What Colors Make Magenta?

Depending on which color model you are looking at, on one color model magenta is a primary color, while on the other one it is considered a secondary color. in the RGB model (red, green, and blue), magenta is considered a secondary color and it can be created by combining blue and red.


What Colors Work Well With Magenta?

When one thinks of magenta it evokes feelings of balance and harmony. To make the color pop we recommend pairing it with green, as green is its complementary color. Magenta will also look stunning when paired with bright blues, other shades of pink, and even shades of yellow.


What Color Is Magenta?

There are many different descriptions of magenta, that vary from person to person, as we all view colors slightly differently. Certain people say magenta is pinkish-purple, or reddish-purple, while others feel magenta is purplish-red.

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