Perfecting Your Magenta: A Complete Guide for Artists

You’ve heard that Viva Magenta is Pantone’s color of the year for 2023. And undoubtedly, you want to use this hot color in your art and design work to ride the wave. But what colors make Viva Magenta? Read on to find out everything you need to know about this color and how to mix it yourself. 

What is Viva Magenta?

Viva Magenta color hex code:#BB2649

Viva Magenta is a vibrant magenta shade. It’s getting a lot of buzz since the Pantone Color Institute chose it for their Color of the Year 2023 award. This color is gorgeous, rich, and vivid, so it’s not hard to see why. 

So, where does the name Viva Magenta come from? Some say the word ‘viva’ comes from its use in South America, Spain, and Italy, among other places. It serves as a cheer to show excitement or support. 

And this color is full of life and vigor, so the name makes sense. Viva Magenta is a rich, fully saturated pink with strong red undertones. It’s energetic, lively, and sure to brighten any space. 

Unlike some magenta shades, it’s earthy and natural. It takes its inspiration from the organic red cochineal dye that comes from small beetles. So, while it comes from the red family, it’s not too bold or flashy. It works well with muted tones and natural color palettes with greens, yellows, and soft pinks.

What Colors Make Viva Magenta?

Viva Magenta is making waves and is going to be a hot trend in 2023. You can jump on the bandwagon and use this color in your artwork or graphic design.  It’s sure to stand out against pale, muted tones and pastel shades. 

Using Viva Magenta in Your Paintings

If you want to use Viva Magenta in your paintings, you’ll need to know how to mix it. So, what colors make Viva Magenta?

Knowing how to make Viva Magenta will save you a lot of hassle. You’ll be able to create the exact shade to use in your artwork and paintings. So, here’s what you need to know. 

Making Viva Magenta looks complicated, and you’ll need a few different colors. But the good news is that you don’t need to have the exact same colors each time. So long as you have the colors listed below, you can make Viva Magenta. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try different shades to see what works best. 

Once you’ve got the right colors, the process is very simple – just mix them all together! Then, you’ll soon have your very own Viva Magenta paint for your artwork (or even for interior design). 

Here are the colors you’ll need:

White – Titanium White is a good choice

A warm yellow shade like Yellow Ochre

A dark blue like Phthalo Blue Red 

A rich red shade like Crimson or Cadmium Red Deep

A bright pink shade like Rose Permanent

A brighter red shade like Cadmium Red Genuine or even Orange/Red

A lighter pink shade

Start with a good amount of your chosen shade of white. You’ll need quite a lot to start as you’ll use deep shades of red and blue. So, the white will counterbalance the dark shades and ensure you get the correct magenta color. 

Next, add a squirt of your yellow ochre paint and a small amount of your blue paint. Continue to add your colors until you have them all ready. The next color is your shade of red – use around the same amount as you did for yellow. 

Then, you’ll need to add your bright pink paint color. Use slightly more of this shade than you did for yellow and red. Once you’ve done this, add the same amount of your lighter shade of pink.

Finally, add your lighter, brighter shade of red. You’ll need a significant amount of this color – more than the others combined. You may need to experiment with the exact shades and amounts you use, as the result can vary. It’s best to play around with the formula until you get a magenta shade you’re happy with. 

Once you’ve added all your colors, it’s time to mix! Use a brush or stick to mix your paint color thoroughly until all the colors are even. Then, you can examine the color and decide if it needs any adjustment. You might want to add a bit more pink if it’s too reddish. But if it’s too light, you could add a little more blue paint. Continue adjusting the color until you get the perfect Viva Magenta shade! 

Using Viva Magenta in Digital Artwork

If you want to use Viva Magenta in digital artwork, you have less of a challenge. All you need to know is the hex code for this color. Then, you can use this color as much as you like in any of your digital art or graphic design work. 

The hex code for Viva Magenta is #BB2649. But if you’re looking for a web-safe color, use #CC333 instead. The PMS number for Viva Magenta is 18-1750 TCX, but you won’t find it in the web colors list (yet). 

The RGB equivalent for Viva Magenta is 187, 38, 73. The approximate CMYK values are 0%, 80%, 61%, 27%. These values might not be exact, but they’re the closest you’ll get to Viva Magenta. 

What Colors Go With Viva Magenta?

Now, you know all about Viva Magenta, including what colors make this vibrant shade. But what colors should you use with Viva Magenta? 

If you want to use it in fashion, interior design, or art, you’ll need to know what goes with viva magenta. And perhaps even more importantly, which colors clash with this pink-red shade?

The complementary color for Viva Magenta is Mountain Meadow. This fresh green shade is also known as the opposite color as it’s directly across on the color wheel. So, these two colors have a strong contrast and are eye-catching when used together. The hex code for Mountain Meadow is #26BB98. 

But you can also use Viva Magenta with similar colors – often called an analogous color palette. In this way, you take the closest colors from either side of Viva Magenta on the color wheel. These are Royal Fuchsia and Dark Pastel Red. When you use these colors together, you’ll create a warm, attractive color palette. It feels rich, cozy, and luxurious. 

Generally, Viva Magenta looks incredible when used with other warm colors. It’s a versatile shade, so you have a lot of freedom in how you use it. For example, it works well with darker reds and purples as well as bright shades of pink. 

But you can also create earthy color palettes with sage greens or deep forest greens. Or you could pair teal or navy blue with viva magenta for a strong look with plenty of contrast.

The Wrap Up

Viva Magenta is a color that’s sure to make an impression in 2023. It’s eye-catching and dramatic without being garish. So, this color is a winner for 2023. You can use it in artwork, branding, or interior design to spice up any space. 

And as you’ve seen, Viva Magenta is a versatile shade with plenty of potentials. So, you can create unique looks using this on-trend color. Especially now, you know which colors to mix to make this exact shade. 

Let me know what you think of Viva Magenta in the comments below. Do you agree with Pantone’s decision for their Color of the Year 2023? 

Follow Proactive Creative on Pinterest for more color inspiration, ideas, tips, and reviews. 


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

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