What Color Do Green and Black Make When Mixed?

Green color explosion on black background

Black and green are often associated with villains in cartoons because they seem mysterious when used together. They contrast each other well since green is vibrant while black is dark.

So, what happens if you combine these two unique colors? Will they give you a mesmerizing result, or will it be anticlimactic? Let’s find out!

What Color Do Green and Black Make in Paints?

If you mix green and black together, you’ll get dark green. Whenever black is added to a color, it creates a shade of that color. Shades usually look darker than the original color. The more black you add, the darker the shade will appear.

Understanding the RYB Color Model

Illustrative RYB color wheel diagram

Most people are familiar with the RYB color model because it’s taught in early art classes when kids learn to paint. It’s a form of subtractive mixing. So, when colors are combined, wavelengths get removed to create a new color. While this color model is most commonly used for paint, it can be used for any physical art medium.

As the acronym implies, the primary colors in RYB are red, yellow, and blue. If you mix two primary colors together, you’ll get a secondary color, such as green, purple, or orange. All three primary colors mixed together make brown.

You might notice that black and white don’t appear on the RYB diagram, but they still exist in this color model. They’re mostly used to make other colors look lighter or darker.

Making Green Lighter or Darker

Green has a wide variety of versions, so you might need to make it lighter or darker to help it fit perfectly into your design. Here are some tips for adjusting how green looks. You can use these methods for any green, including regular green and the dark version that green and black create.

Colored paper in different tints and shades of green

Mixing Tints

Tints are created when white is combined with a color. As a result, the color usually looks lighter and paler. Creating a tint of dark green may create a murky mixture since the black in dark green will clash with white. So, it’ll be easiest to mix white with regular green instead.

Mixing Shades

As mentioned earlier, shades are created when black is mixed with a color. Black and green already create a shade of green, but if you want to make it even darker, just add more black paint. Black paint can easily overpower lighter colors though, so only add a little bit at a time when mixing with it.

Dark Green Color Meaning

Green has a wide range of meanings, but dark green has some unique symbolism of its own. Darker shades of green are often associated with ambition, greed, and jealousy. Of course, the meaning can vary based on the context.

Dark green could also share some meanings with regular green, which is a symbol of harmony, growth, and health. It can revitalize, relax, and encourage. Some positive attributes of green are hope, generosity, and luck, while some negative ones are judgment, materialism, and envy.

Can You Create Green and Black Paint?

Green and black paint splotches

If you run out of one paint color, it can be a hassle to get more. However, if you run out of green or black paint, you may be able to create more using the other paints you have.

Green is an easy color to create because it’s a secondary color in RYB. So, you can get more green paint by combining blue and yellow. Using extra yellow will give you a lighter, more vibrant green, but extra blue will give you a deeper green.

Black is a little more complicated to make, but it’s not impossible. You may be able to make black by mixing red, yellow, and blue, even though those colors usually make brown. Using deeper versions of the colors, such as ultramarine blue or crimson red, may result in black instead of brown. Another method is to try mixing blue and brown. However, mixing black requires a lot of trial and error, so for best results, you should just buy more.

What Color Do Green and Black Make in Lights?

Most color combinations can also be combined in lights to create a unique result. However, green and black lights can’t be mixed because lights can’t be the color black. You’ll notice that black doesn’t exist in the visible spectrum and the RGB color model, which is the model used for mixing lights and digital displays.

Yet, you might have heard that there’s a type of light called a “black light.” Those lights are ultraviolet lights that shine a purple hue, so they’re not black at all. Even though lights can’t project the color black, our eyes can still see plenty of black objects, even on screens. So, why is that?

Why Can Lights Not Be the Color Black?

Light bulb on black background

If you examine the RGB color model, you’ll notice that adding colors together makes them lighter, not darker. The primary colors are red, green, and blue while the secondary colors are cyan, magenta, and yellow. When all primary colors are combined, they make white instead of brown or black.

The reason black doesn’t exist in RGB or the visible spectrum is because black light doesn’t exist naturally. Black is known as the “absence of detectable light.” Normally, you can create different colored lights by mixing red, green, and blue at different brightnesses. Yet, the only way to make black is by turning all three colors to 0% brightness, which is the equivalent of turning off the lights.

So, you might be wondering why we can see black objects lit up on our computer screens. That’s because darker colors like brown, black, and gray exist due to context, not wavelengths. Our eyes interpret the wavelengths of colors while our brains provide context based on the colors and lights around the object. With our eyes and brains working together, we can see colors that aren’t on the visible spectrum, which is why we can see the color black even though black lights don’t exist.

How Do Our Eyes Perceive Colors?

Visible spectrum with rainbow colored wavelengths

Your eyes work with your brain to help you see colors. Yet, the eyes still do a lot on their own. On the visible spectrum, there are wavelengths of varying sizes. Each type corresponds with a color of the rainbow. Violet has the shortest, most frequent wavelengths while red has the longest, most stretched-out wavelengths.

When light shines on an object, some of those wavelengths are absorbed while others reflect off it. The wavelengths that bounce off an item are the ones we see that color as. So, if we look at a ripe banana, all the wavelengths will be absorbed into it except the ones representing yellow, which will reflect toward us. Thus, the banana looks yellow to our eyes.

Inside our eyes, we have “photosensors” called cones and rods. Both cells help us interpret colors based on wavelengths, but cones function best in bright lights while rods work better in dim lights. Together, those cells in our eyes can help us see the colorful world around us.

Does Black Exist in the CMYK Color Model?

The CMYK color model is a form of subtractive mixing used for printer ink. Its primary and secondary colors are the opposite of RGB because the primary colors are cyan, magenta, and yellow. Then, the secondary colors are red, green, and blue. It might seem similar to RGB, but it often has different results when mixing colors.

Black does exist in CMYK. In fact, it’s one of the main colors in the color model. The “K” in CMYK stands for “key color,” which is black. That’s why black usually comes with the three primary colors when you buy printer ink. When you mix cyan, magenta, and yellow together, you get black.

If you mix green and black in CMYK, you’ll get dark green like you would in RYB. That’s because both color models are forms of subtractive mixing, so they often have similar results.

Designing with Green and Black

Black and green interior room design

Green and black designs aren’t common, especially for rooms. That’s because together, they may give off a sinister or mysterious vibe. It makes them intriguing but only suitable for certain situations. However, adding a third color to the design may change the mood.

Some colors that go well with green and black are white, blue, purple, brown, or gray. You can also try adding shades and tints of green, especially if you’re creating a nature design.

If you use green and black separately, you may have more options. Black is a neutral color that goes well with most hues, especially vibrant colors like pink, blue, or purple. It also pairs well with other neutral colors like white, brown, or gray. Green goes best when used with yellow, pink, white, or blue.

Black Is a Tricky Color to Mix With

Black is a powerful color, so it needs to be used carefully in designs. Mixing with black is difficult because it easily overpowers other colors in subtractive mixing. Yet, it can’t be mixed with lights at all because lights can’t be the color black.

Even so, black is an important color to learn about and mix with. The more color combinations you experiment with, the easier it will be to create a mesmerizing design. So, don’t be afraid to mix colors together, no matter how unusual the combination might seem.