Gilded Artistry: Perfecting Gold Paint in Your Art

Gold is associated with wealth and status. Yet, the metal is expensive and difficult to source in its purest form. However, the color is routinely shown off in nature for free, from stunning sunsets to warm hues in autumn leaves.

But we’ve yet to figure out how to bottle sunlight. Nor does crushing leaves provide the desired pigments. So what colors make gold? 

Gold is naturally a yellow color with hints of red. Two colors that make gold are yellow and brown. Thus, mixing yellow, orange, and brown is a popular way of achieving gold. Additions of blue can give gold a cooler tone. Red is where gold achieves its warmth. 

Buying various shades of gold is pricey. Also, they are rarely the shade you desire, so you still need to mix colors to get the required hue. Thus, discovering which combinations create the golds you prefer is worth the time and effort.

In the end, you save money and achieve better results. It also allows your art to have a broader range of versatility and depth. 

How To Make Gold Color 

what colors make gold

Gold in nature is a variation of yellow and oranges. Yellow creates brightness, while red adds warmth. Cooler tones are achieved with blues, but the heavier you add it, the muddier it will become.

Browns, black, and white are proper when mixing paints to create gold. 

What Two Colors Make Gold? 

Brown ochre combined with school bus yellow will make gold. Use more yellow if you want vibrant gold. Use more brown if you desire muted gold.

This should be done slowly, gradually adding the brown to yellow. Too much brown, and the gold will become muddy. 

What Colors Mix To Make Gold? 

The colors selected to mix gold will create a warm or cool tone.

Warm gold tones are obtained using a few of the following in various combinations:

  • Burnt Sienna
  • Cadmium red
  • White
  • Ultramarine
  • Cadmium yellow

Cooler gold tones are achieved using a few of the following in various combinations:

  • Burnt Umber
  • Ultramarine
  • White
  • Phthalo Blue

What Colors Make Golden Yellow? 


Golden yellows are often achieved with a mix of yellow, orange, and brown. 

What Colors Make Metallic Gold? 


Metallic gold is achieved by using gold sparkles or glitter found at hobby and craft shops. These sparkles are combined with your preferred gold hue. The sparkles reflect the light and the pigments, producing a sheen. 

How To Make Gold With Acrylic Paint?

how do you make the color gold

Gold can be achieved with many acrylic paint combinations. 

1 – Gold From Black, White & Yellow Paint

Mix your black and white paint until you’ve achieved gray. Once you have gray, slowly mix it into yellow until you have reached your desired gold hue. 

2 – Gold From Black, Red & Yellow Paint

Take black and red paint and mix it until you have maroon. Then, gradually add maroon to the yellow until you have your desired shade of gold. 

3 – Gold From Red, Blue, Yellow & White Paint

Combine red, blue, and yellow until you have brown. Gradually add in white until you have gold. 

4 – Gold From Yellow, Red & Blue Paint

Combine the yellow and blue until there is green. Next, add red until the green turns brown. Lastly, start adding more yellow in until you have gold. 

5 – Gold From Orange, Yellow & Brown Paint

Take the brown and gradually add to the orange until you have a terracotta. Then add yellow into the terracotta until you’ve made gold. 

How To Make Gold With Watercolor Paint?

what colors mix to make gold

Watercolor paints can be used to make gold by combining yellows, oranges, reds, and light browns. Additions of gray or blue will provide depth. 


Below are some popular questions surrounding the color gold. 

Can You Make Rose Gold?

You can make rose gold by adding some pink to your preferred gold shade. Mix the gold up first, then gradually add pink until you have achieved your desired hue. 
When using pain, you can also create rose gold by mixing silver, red, and gold.

How Do I Fix Gold With Too Much Orange?

You can tone down the orange in your gold by mixing in tiny amounts of black. Then, add it slowly, in minuscule amounts. 

How Do I Lighten My Gold Color?

It is tempting to add white to lighten your shade of gold. However, this method will deprive your gold of its vibrancy. Thus, try lightening it with yellow. This will keep the vibrancy while diluting the heavier tones. 

How Do I Darken My Gold Color?

Adding a bit more brown will darken your gold color. If you want to darken it while adding warmth, add some orange

Is Gold A Real Color?

Gold is essentially yellow. The metal contains a unique color due to the speed of its electrons absorbing blue light and reflecting its opposite color, which is a yellow to an orangish hue that we call gold. 

Why Does Gold Oil Paint Look Wrong On Canvas?

It is frustrating to mix the perfect gold color only to watch it look wrong once applied to the canvas. The problem is due to the color of the canvas. The white surface is coming through the paint, ruining your perfect shade.
Try to add a neutral underglaze or background first to stop this from happening. Once that has dried, then apply your gold paint. 

How Do I Remember How To Make That Shade Of Gold?

Many artists have wailed after achieving their perfect shade of gold, only never to obtain it again. Stopping to write every attempt down is clumsy and awkward.
Thus, try filing yourself as you mix the colors. Once you have your perfect shade, re-watch that footage and then write down what you did to achieve such a perfect hue. 

What Color Of Gold Is Real Gold?

Real gold is a bright, shiny yellow with a reddish tinge. Most gold we see is an alloy. Pure gold is rarely used due to being so soft. Thus, the different shade of gold depends on the alloys used, such as silver, copper, zinc, and palladium.
For example, rose golds have higher amounts of copper than yellow golds. In contrast, white gold has no copper.

What Colors Make Gold Food Coloring? 

You can mix yellow, green, and red to achieve a color close to gold. Sometimes combining yellow and orange will provide the desired result, especially when added to white frosting. 

What Colors Make Gold Icing? 

When making frosting, add the food coloring slowly. For example, add a bit of yellow first, then add half as much orange. For example, four drops of yellow to two of orange; or with gel, use 1/4 yellow to 1/8 orange. Then keep adding touches until you get the desired hue. 

what colors do you mix to make gold


Learning to mix your own gold colors takes time and much experimentation. However, it will save you money and allow you to make the shades of gold your art truly requires.

Adding colors slowly, in small amounts, will limit frustration and undesirable results. Enjoy experimenting with all the possible shades of gold. 

Follow Proactive Creative on Pinterest for more arty tips, reviews, and tutorials! 


Outmane is the founder of Proactive Creative. He is an artist/designer.

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