What Color Do Pink and Black Make When Mixed?

Pink color explosion on black background

Pink and black are two drastically different colors. One is dark and overpowering, while the other is vibrant and delicate. So, the two contrast each other well in designs.

Can you mix pink and black together? If you do, what color will they create in each color model? Let’s find out!

What Color Do Pink and Black Make in Paints?

When a color is mixed with black, it creates a shade, which is usually a darker version of that color. So, black and pink mixed together makes dark pink, which can sometimes look like a type of purple.

The more black you add to pink, the darker the result will be. Experimenting with different amounts of pink and black may give you some majestic colors to use in your designs.

Understanding the RYB Color Model

Color wheel with primary, secondary, and tertiary colors

The RYB color model might sound familiar because it’s what most kids learn in early art classes. It’s a form of subtractive mixing, which means when colors are combined, wavelengths are removed. It’s used for all kinds of physical art mediums, such as paints and pastels.

In this color model, the primary colors are red, yellow, and blue. Combinations of those colors can create secondary colors like green, orange, and purple. Then, if you mix all three primary colors together, they usually make some type of brown.

You might notice that black and white do not appear on the RYB diagram, but they’re still part of the color model. They’re most commonly used for making other colors lighter or darker.

Making Colors Lighter or Darker

There are lots of types of pink out there. Some are pale and delicate, while others are deep and mysterious. Even though it’s a fascinating color, the dark pink that black and pink create might not be what you’re looking for. So, here’s how to adjust that color by making it lighter or darker.

Mixing Tints

Tints are defined as any color mixed with white, which makes the color look lighter. Since pink and black’s mixture is very dark, it’ll take a lot of white to create a significant change. However, the black and white may clash when white is mixed with dark pink, which could create a tone of pink. A tone is when gray is added to a color, making it less vibrant.

Mixing Shades

A shade occurs when a color is mixed with black, making it darker. Yet, dark pink is already a shade of black. So, you probably won’t need to make the mixture much darker, but if you do, add a bit more black. Only use black paint sparingly because a little can go a long way.

Dark Pink Color Meaning

Dark pink watercolor paint

Pink is a color associated with romance, compassion, and playfulness. However, dark pink often depicts more mature emotions. Shades of pink can mean things like love, maturity, intuition, and femininity. Dark pink is graceful and beautiful, meaning it evokes more serious feelings than light shades of pink might.

Since the result of mixing pink and black can sometimes look like a type of purple, that can affect the meaning slightly. A color that looks more purple could mean romance, nostalgia, mystery, or imagination. It all depends on how the color looks after you mix black and pink.

Can You Create Pink and Black Paint?

When you’re painting, you might run out of certain colors along the way. Yet, if you don’t have more black and pink, you might not need to run to the store. Both those colors can be made with other paint colors.

Pink is very easy to make because it’s a tint of red. So, just mix white and red to get pink. The more white you add, the lighter the pink will appear.

Making black is more complicated, but there are several ways you can try. A common way to get it is to mix the three primary colors: red, yellow, and blue. However, those three colors together usually make brown, but if you choose deeper versions of them, such as ultramarine blue or crimson red, you’re more likely to get black instead. If you mix blue and brown, you might also get black.

Creating black paint that looks perfect can be hard to do, so you might be better off buying more instead.

What Color Do Pink and Black Make in Lights?

Pink lights on black background

There’s no way to mix black and pink in lights because lights cannot be the color black. The color black doesn’t appear on the visible spectrum or in RGB, which is the additive color model used for mixing colored lights. In RGB, the primary colors are red, green, and blue. When all three are combined, they make white light. Mixing lights makes colors lighter instead of darker, so you can’t create black that way.

This might be confusing since there’s a type of light called a “black light.” Yet, that term refers to an ultraviolet light that looks purple. Thus, it’s not the color black when lit up. So, how can we see the color black if it doesn’t exist in lights?

Why Can Lights Not Be Black?

There are lots of objects that appear black when we look at them, so the color black obviously exists. Yet, you may notice that you’ve never seen a light that projects the color black. That’s because black is often referred to as the “absence of detectable light,” which is why it can’t exist in lights.

When it comes to mixing lights, all the colors can be created by combining red, green, and blue at different brightnesses. However, the only way to create black in RGB is by turning the brightness on all three colors to 0%. That’s the same as turning the lights off.

So, lights cannot be black, but our eyes can still see black objects. That’s because some colors, especially darker ones like gray, brown, and black, exist due to context, not wavelengths. Our eyes can see the colors on the visible light spectrum, but they also rely on our brains to help us interpret those colors. That’s why we can see such a wide range of colors beyond the colors of the rainbow.

How Do Our Eyes Perceive Colors?

Illustration of light wavelengths reflecting off a colored umbrella

Even though our brains are essential for interpreting all the colors, our eyes still do a lot on their own. When light shines on an object, some wavelengths are absorbed while others are reflected. Each type of wavelength represents a different color on the visible light spectrum.

On the spectrum, red is on one end with long, stretched-out wavelengths. Then, violet is on the other with short, frequent wavelengths. All the colors in between them have wavelengths that fall in between those two lengths. So, if we look at a ripe banana, all wavelengths will be absorbed into it except the ones that represent yellow. The yellow wavelengths will reflect back at us, making the banana appear yellow to our eyes.

Our eyes have cells called “photosensors” to help us perceive the wavelengths reflecting toward us. Cone cells are used to help us interpret colors in bright lights, while rod cells can see colors best in dim lighting. Together, those cells can help us see colors at all times of the day.

Does Black Exist in the CMYK Color Model?

CMYK is a form of subtractive mixing that’s used for printer ink. Its primary and secondary colors are the opposite of RGB, so cyan, magenta, and yellow are primary colors, while red, green, and blue are secondary colors. However, the two color models aren’t as similar as they seem. Black exists in CMYK even though it doesn’t in RGB.

Black is actually one of the main colors in CMYK. While the letters C, M, and Y stand for the primary colors, black stands for “key color.” The key color is black, which is why you’ll usually see packs of printer ink come with black in addition to the primary colors. You can get black in CMYK by mixing an equal amount of cyan, magenta, and yellow.

CMYK and RYB are both subtractive color models, so they often have similar results for color mixing. If you mix black and pink in CMYK, you’ll get dark pink just like you would with paints.

Designing with Black and Pink

Black and pink flower design

Black and pink are two very different colors, but they can create a glamorous and mesmerizing design. Using several shades and tints of pink with black is a great way to make the design more interesting. Adding other colors to the design might help too.

For example, white, purple, gray, red, or blue are some colors that can go well with a black and pink design. Adding vibrant colors like purple and blue can make the design more uplifting, while neutral colors like white and gray may offer a more mature tone.

Pink and black go well with different colors if used separately. Black goes well with most colors, including neutral colors like brown or white and fun colors like rose, navy, or green. Pink looks best when paired with blue, green, yellow, purple, or brown.

Black Is a Tricky Color to Mix With

Black isn’t always the easiest color to mix with. In painting, it can easily overpower lighter colors, while in lights, it doesn’t exist at all. Yet, it’s still an important color for many designs due to its powerful and sophisticated symbolism.

Not all color combinations will create a beautiful new color. Yet, mixing with a variety of colors is a great way to understand color theory. So, don’t be afraid to test out new color mixtures. You never know what unique results you might end up with.