How to Make Peach Colors

Peach is a range of tones of hues and there is no exact definition of what color peach actually is due to this reason. It can range from warmer orange tones to cooler shades on the pink end of the spectrum. 

If you’re new to painting in any medium you may have bought a lovely set of introductory colors, and the great news is; you can probably make a number of lush peach tones using these once you apply a little color mixing theory. 

The great news is that basic color mixing works for virtually every type of painting medium, watercolors, acrylics or even colored pencils will all give similar results if using compatible colors in good amounts. 

As a beginner artist we do not recommend you spend a lot of money on specific shades if you can mix these, instead by learning how to use a basic palate to create almost any color, you can spend your cash on important supplies such as paper, canvas, brushes and easels that will make your painting journey a lot more fun.

In this article, we will start by giving you a basic formula for making peach colors. Then we will show you how to achieve more specific peach hues by selecting the right yellows and reds to replicate certain hues. 

Peach colors are inspired by the fruit, and as can be seen above these can range from a muted yellow, to an almost blush pink and all potential orang/pink hues in between

Peach Basic 

To make a generic peach color without giving any consideration to undertones or specific hues, you need a red, a yellow and possibly a white depending on which medium you are using. Here we will go over the most common mediums; 

Acrylic, Gouache and Oils

Acrylics tend to be a favorite starting medium for panting. It is incredibly forgiving, as you can go back and fix mistakes and paint light on dark, the entry cost is relatively cheap, and drying times are fast which means you can make a lot of progress in one sitting. 

Recently however there has been a significant increase in popularity in gouache paint as illustration techniques have become more popular and many people are trying pattern making and digitizing art. Gouache also has the benefit of being opaque while still being light bodied compared to acrylic so quite handy for painting with on paper. 

If you are a brave soul, you may have chosen oils as your first painting medium, while oil paints offer a great amount of versatility they are also notoriously difficult mostly due to the slow drying times and numerous effects and techniques available 

Regardless of the choice of painting medium however, here is the basic peach prescription;

  1. Start with a dollop of white paint and two very small dollops of red and yellow at a distance 
  2. Use a palette knife (you can use a brush but we think brushes are precious so palate knife or a piece of plastic can work here) and grab a small amount of the red 
  3. Mix the red and white 
  4. You might be happy with the shade produced and can stop here, or you may wish it to be redder or have a little yellow in (makes it more orangy) 
  5. Add a small amount of yellow to the mixture and mix it fully again if you think your mixture needs more red, yellow or white add this now and adjust based on what you see 

If you are using Gouache then you won’t be needing a palette knife, but a palette with wells, might serve you well as you can make the texture of your paint more like thick ink – a consistency liked by many gouache artists.

Watercolor

Watercolor is a beautiful medium that can be used in such varied and contrasting ways that it is quite hard to fathom! However, if you are looking for a peach chances are you are painting a still life of fruit or flowers. While we can’t confirm a perfect hue match with the method below, it’ll get you started and you can read the rest of the article for more details. 

  1. In watercolor painting white is rarely (never really used traditionally) 
  2. Instead, watercolor painting relies on applying thin layers of paint and allowing some of the white of the paper to shine through to provide luminosity 
  3. With that in mind create a mixture of yellow and red and keep it relatively thin 
  4. Keep in mind that red will most often easily overpower the yellow so if you want a more orange peach color you may want to have a light hand with the red and add it gradually to your mixture 
  5. Start painting in thin transparent layers and add more layers as you require 
  6. Wait for each layer to dry completely before adding more paint

Coloring Pencils 

Coloring pencils are an all-time favorite dry medium, who hasn’t colored with Crayola, right? 

With the resurgence of coloring books for adults and an increased interest in coloring, these fantastic tools can be your best ally. The good news is you don’t need every shade as you can mix coloring pencils to produce a vast number of hues. 

For making a peach color using coloring pencil; 

  1. Fill in the area you want to make peach with a thin layer of red (be very light handed)
  2. Check the resulting colour, if the peach hue you want is more orange, add a thin layer of yellow 
  3. Keep working in very thin leyers and you should reach your desired hue
  4. You can add white, or burnish with white to get an opaquer coverage 

Working with coloring pencils is very time consuming but also extremely rewarding. For some artist coloring pencils are their main medium to pains highly complicated subjects so don’t underestimate this amazing medium. 

So, What’s This Chat About Hues?

Well done for making it this far, this is where it gets interesting. Color mixing is fun!

First let’s look at some peach colors:

A picture containing logo  Description automatically generated
On the top row we see a set of peach hues that are more orange, these are warm hues. On the bottom row we see cool hues of peach

Different base shades of base color, or primary color give different combinations when mixed. If you are using a RBY primary triad (red, blue, yellow), then more often than not you will be given two of each primary color in an introductory paint set. This is because primary colors also come in warm and cool hues. (on occasion you can find a hue in the middle, and this is especially true for yellows). Let’s just work with the assumption that all paints will have either a cool or a warm undertone. 

If you’re using a CYM primary triad then your red will be a cool undertone by default and your yellow will be a medium. 

Shape  Description automatically generated
On the left-hand side we have colors that are considered warm, top, Hansa Yellow Medium, and bottom Cadmium Red. On the right-hand side we have cool primary colors with Lemon yellow at the top and alizarin crimson and magenta on the bottom. 

Warm primary colors when mixed together will produce bright warm peach hues as demonstrated in the picture above, while cool colors will mix the cooler pinker hues. Note that the cool hues we demonstrated above still have some yellow in them. 

Occasionally you might want a more muted peach color, as nature is rarely just constantly very bright. Our recommendation for more muted hues; 

  1. Mix the opposite primaries e.g. a warm yellow with a cool red and vice versa and see if this brings you closer to your desired clour 
  2. Try using an earth color such as Yellow Ochre in place of a bright yellow, this should significantly mute down the hue 
  3. Add the smallest dollop of blue (this is risky) it should really be nearly microscopic to a warm tone; this should mute it somewhat. 

Conclusion 

While we can’t go over all of color theory in a short tutorial like this, we hope that this can get you started with your painting project and start giving you some insight into color mixing. 

We hope you have a peachy day and to see you again soon for another (hopefully) interesting read.