How to Make Black Paint: A Complete Guide

Black paint is a staple in the artist’s toolbox. It can be used to create many different effects, depending on the medium you want to use it with.

How do I make black paint? This is a question that many people ask when they are trying to find the perfect color for their project. The answer is surprisingly easy: mix any other colors together!

There are plenty of ways to mix paints and as long as you have the right combinations, you can create nearly any color imaginable. In this article, we will discuss how to mix different colors of paint so that you can learn how to mix paint to make black with ease.

A Study of the Color Black

Before we get into the different techniques for mixing colors, it’s helpful to know a little bit about black paint.

Black is a very common color, found everywhere from dark woods like ebony (which gets its name from the dense black wood it comes from) to mundane objects such as marker pens or felt-tip pens. It’s also an important color because of how many other hues can be mixed with it; by starting off with black paint you can mix your own versions of reds, greens, blues, and more!

Black pigments can come from many sources but most commonly they are derived from tar or waxes such as carbon black or lampblack which contain mostly hydrocarbons.

The way these particles work makes them especially good pigment choices because they have strong absorption qualities without being too transparent. This makes them ideal for adding depth and richness to the colors used in artwork.

Why Is Black Not Considered to Be a Color?

Black is not actually a color in itself; it is an absence of light that causes certain wavelengths of visible light to be absorbed instead. This means that if you shine white light (which contains all visible frequencies) at something and there are no reflected particles in this wavelength, then what you will see when looking at this object is its complementary color: black.

Why Artists Like to Make Their Own Black Paint

With so many options for pre-made black paint, why would you want to create your own? There are plenty of reasons that having a homemade version is beneficial.

  1. First, there’s the cost factor: making black yourself can save you money because it means not having to pay someone else for something that takes little skill or effort on your part. If you’re able to buy some tubes and add them together then this will be even more affordable!
  2. Another reason is quality; while pre-mixed paints may work well enough at first glance, they often lack depth and richness in their tones compared to what can be achieved when mixing by hand. This becomes especially noticeable after aging and weathering effects have been applied which further darken these colors. Even if you don’t plan on aging your artwork, the richness of color that can be achieved by mixing paints yourself is enough to make it worthwhile!
  3. One final reason for making black paint at home is customization; there are some colors that cannot be made simply by adding together various pigments, but this doesn’t mean they aren’t worth having anyway. If all you want is a different shade or opacity of black (such as in cases where you might need gray instead) then creating this effect will take no effort whatsoever beyond buying tubes and combining them together!

You might also be interested in our article about How to Blend Acrylic Paint.

How to Make Black Color Without Black Paint?

The best way to make black paint is by mixing the primary colors together.

In this case, that means red, blue, and yellow which can then be mixed into a dark tone of gray or brown depending on how much each color was used in comparison with the others.

When these three pigments are combined evenly you will produce rich tones of pure black whereas any one pigment alone will create a shade somewhere between its own hue and a deep version of itself (such as when making green paint from emerald green rather than grass green). This process works for all hues so feel free to mix whatever shades suit your project!

How to Make Different Shades of Black

If you want a black paint color that has more of a blue tone then use ultramarine or indigo as the primary pigment. This will produce a good shade for painting shadows on top of your artwork which is great for creating depth in space scenes!

A redder approach can be used to create brighter tones by mixing crimson, carmine, alizarin crimson, rose madder, or permanent rose.

You might also consider using burnt umber instead if you prefer the way it mixes compared to its pinkish counterpart from above.

How to Make Black Paint with Other Colors

The best way to create rich, pure black from secondary colors would definitely be to add all three pigments together at once rather than mixing them separately since doing so allows the artist much greater control over how dark they want their final tone while also allowing plenty of options in terms of hue without being limited by using just one or two specific colors.

Option 1: Mixing Quinacridone Magenta and Phthalo Green

If you have phthalo green and quinacridone magenta then these two pigments mixed together will produce a deep black paint. This is one of the most versatile mixes as it can be used for either warm or cool tones depending on how much of each color was added.

Option 2: Mixing Burnt Umber, Phthalo Blue, and Naphthol Crimson

Another option for creating rich, pure black paint from secondary colors would be to mix burnt umber, phthalo blue and naphthol crimson because this combination works well across all hues so no matter what your artwork entails there’s certain to be a good match between them.

Option 3: Mixing Ultramarine Blue and Cadmium Red Light

If you have a cadmium red light hue then mixing this pigment with ultramarine blue will produce a deep black that is slightly warmer than phthalo green or quinacridone magenta but still has plenty of saturation to make it versatile across all compositions! This mix can be made lighter by adding more white paint if needed.

Option 4: Mixing Alizarin Crimson, Phthalo Blue, and Yellow Oxide

If you have an alizarin crimson hue then mixing it with phthalo blue and yellow oxide will create wonderful dark tones that are slightly cooler than the previous example. This pigment combination works well for creating fresh, modern black colors in artworks which is why it’s such a beloved choice among many contemporary artists!

Option 5: Mixing Phthalo Blue and Cadmium Red Deep

If you have only phthalo blue then mixing with cadmium red deep hue will be the easiest way to create a rich black color. This combination is slightly cooler than using ultramarine and cadmium red light so it might not work as well for scenes where shadows are needed but still has plenty of saturation!

How to Make Black Paint Darker

If you need your black hue even more saturated then adding in some burnt umber or ultramarine will help darken it up. If this still isn’t enough then consider using alizarin crimson instead which has stronger red undertones than its lighter counterpart from above making for an even richer final product when mixed with either blue dominant pigment.

How to Use Manufactured Black Paint

If you’re looking to save time then don’t hesitate to buy some black paint instead. There are plenty of brands available at just about any art supply store and they will work great for almost anything! Just make sure that the brand’s name includes one or more of the pigments listed above (for example ultramarine, alizarin crimson, etc.) in order to get a color similar to what can be created by mixing yourself.

These manufactured paints come in tubes which makes them easier than ever before for beginners. For fine details consider buying gel medium rather than traditional tube paint because this type is thicker and will stay in place better.

How White Can Be Used in Black Paint Recipes

In order to keep light reflected off surfaces looking natural in your artwork, you may wish to include some white in the black paint recipe. Adding this pigment will help retain a certain level of luminosity even when painting shadows or darker tones so that it isn’t too overwhelming and there are no areas where light doesn’t seem to bounce back at all!


Combining all of these colors together can produce even more variations so feel free to experiment as much as needed until you find exactly what you’re looking for! Not only does this process help save money by using up your paint pigments but also helps reduce waste because most tubes of paint contain way more product than any single artwork would ever require.

The less leftovers we let go to waste the better so mixing together to produce black paint whenever necessary is a great way to cut down on household waste and make sure that nothing goes unused!

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