How to Make the Color Black

Use your colors to mix your own black.
Use your colors to mix your own black. (Image: paint pallet image by Christopher Hall from

When looking to make the color black, you must start with the base primary colors. There are three different color scales by today’s standards. The true primary color scale is blue, yellow and red. The additive system works with red, green, and blue. The subtractive system is cyan, magenta and yellow. The subtractive system is the closest to what we all know as primary, the blue, yellow, red scale.

Things You'll Need

  • Whether it is in paint, crayons, or any other mixable color substance:
  • Cyan (light blue)
  • Magenta (purplish red)
  • Yellow
  • Paper or can or jar
  • Something to mix with

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Prepare the container or paper by laying it on a sturdy, flat surface.

Pull out the colors you are starting with. Whether it be crayons or tubes of paint, get all the tops ready and able to work with, as you start the mix.

Pour or squirt the paint into the cup or onto the palette you are working with. If you are mixing with crayons, choose your first color and rub it on the paper.

Add an equal amount of the next color in the cup or onto the paper. Mix them together well.

Add the final color, also in an equal amount. Make certain to mix the substance thoroughly and you will have achieved the color black.

Tips & Warnings

  • There are other combinations that will make black, usually when utilizing two parts of one color and one part of another. The color you are using two parts of, should be a combination of other colors. An example would be combining magenta and yellow which makes true red. Then when you mix red with cyan it makes black.
  • If you are working with paint, make sure you are working with a container that can handle the chemicals you are putting in it. For example, Styrofoam does not tend to hold up well under oil-based paints.


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