How To Make Hot Pink With Paint: A Color Experiment (Paint Recipes Included!)

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I’ve been feeling kinda blah lately so in this article I’m going to show you how to make hot pink with paint.

Nothing makes a painter feel more energetic than playing with bright colors, am I right? If you’ve been feelin’ the blues, this post is gonna put that pep back in your step!

By the end of this article, you’ll know how to mix up your own hot pink paint, what colors look best with it, how to use your new favorite color, and everything in between.

Basically, you can achieve hot pink with paint by slowly adding zinc white (also known as mixing white or transparent white) to red that has a blue undertone. Zinc white is a transparent white that can lighten other paint colors without making them too pale. Titanium white is very opaque so it can easily overtake the vibrancy of your other paint colors, and when it comes to hot pink, pale is not what we’re going for!

Okay, enough chit-chat, let’s get into the nitty-gritty!

Best Reds To Use To Make Hot Pink Paint

The most important thing is to start with the right red but how do you choose which red acrylic paint to use?

No question, you’ll want a cool red with a blue undertone and, fortunately, there are many to choose from!

To get you started, here are a few cool toned reds you might consider:

These aren’t the only reds that will work and if you don’t have any of these on the list, no worries! Even if you’re using craft paint, you just need to look for a cherry red.

A tip I once got from my mother (this had to do with makeup and fashion) was to hold something gold and something silver up against the red. Did the silver pop and look extra shiny or was it the gold?

Whichever of the two looked extra sparkly would tell you what the undertone was. If it was the gold that caught your eye, most likely, the red was warm. However, if the silver shimmered and sparkled your red was probably cool. Give it a try and see if you can tell the difference.

Here’s the thing about undertones, it’s always going to depend on what other paint colors you’re comparing it to. For instance, Alizarin Crimson can be seen as a cool-toned red but when compared to Rose Madder it has more of a warm brown undertone to it.

So, when you’re trying to choose the paint based on the undertone, just gather up all of your paint colors in the same hue and line them up. Then, start eliminating the warmest until you’re down to the coolest shade you own. It’s not an exact science but it works for our purposes as artists.

Mixing Up Hot Pink With Paint: The Experiment

Experiment Disclaimer: I am not a scientist so I don’t have access to equipment to measure precisely. However, I have tried to do the best I can so you have a decent idea of what shade you’ll end up with if you use my recipes. Also, your colors may vary from mine if you use a different brand of paint than I did. Keep in mind, colors may also vary due to your device’s screen.

The very first experiment I’m going to tackle is making hot pink with cool-toned paint colors.

I’m going to be using four different reds that I have on hand and that are more blue-red than the other red paint I own.

For a starting point, I’m going to use Pebeo’s Rose Azo as the goal color since that’s the closest to a hot pink that I have in my collection. Let’s dive in!

A large blob of hot pink paint that will be used as the control color for the how to make hot pink with paint experiments. The color is Rose Azo from Pebeo.
Our hot pink control color – Rose Azo by Pebeo

Paint Colors Used

The Experiment Details

This experiment aims to see if reds with a bluish undertone can make a hot pink that matches or at least comes close to our base hot pink color (Rose Azo by Pebeo).

I plan to start with 2 parts of the red and then continue to add zinc white until I’m satisfied with the color

If you aren’t familiar with the term “parts” it just means that however large of a dollop of paint you use for one color, you’ll want to use the same amount for your other colors.

For example, if you use one pea-sized amount of red and one pea-sized amount of zinc white you’ll have a 1:1 ratio (one part to one part). If you have two dollops of red paint to one dollop of zinc white, you have a 2:1 ratio (two parts to one part). Make sense?

Feel free to jot down all of the color recipes you like!

Four paint mixing recipes with images to show how to make hot pink with cool-toned reds. Recipes include: 2 parts Rose Madder to 9 parts Zinc White, 2 Alizarin Crimson to 3 Zinc White, 2 Cad Red Deep to 3 Zinc White, and 2 Quinacridone Magenta to 3 Zinc White.

Interesting Take-Aways

  • Rose Madder is definitely more pigmented than the other paint colors since it took more Zinc White than the others
  • Without a doubt, the closest to our base hot pink would be the mix made with Rose Madder
  • Quinacridone Magenta is a close second but it’s a bit too cool so it has a more purple feel to it
  • Cadmium Red Deep Hue comes pretty darn close as well but it’s a bit warmer than our reference hot pink
  • Alizarin Crimson has a brown tone to it so it doesn’t make a vibrant pink

Making Hot Pink With Warm Red Paint: Is It Possible?

In this part of the experiment, I’m going to attempt to make hot pink with paint colors that are on the warmer side.

The plan is to start with a couple of warm reds, add zinc white to tint without making it pale, and finish by adding a tiny bit of a blue or violet.

When I say “adding a tiny bit of blue or violet”, I’m going to use the longest bristles on an angle brush to pick up some of the color and add it in very slowly so it doesn’t overtake the pink mixture.

Materials Used

The Experiment Details

The goal is to answer the question of whether or not it’s possible to make a bright hot pink when all you have are warm reds.

I’m going to start with two parts of each red, add zinc white until I reach a saturation level that is equal to, or close to, hot pink, and then add either blue or purple to cool the mixture down.

My theory is that it won’t be easy or even possible but it’s always worth experimenting with your paints because you may discover a new favorite blend!

Some warm reds you may have are:

  • Cadmium Red Light (which is more of an orange so you definitely wouldn’t use it to make hot pink)
  • Cadmium Red Medium Hue
  • Naphthol Red
  • Brilliant Red
  • Red Oxide
Assorted paint swatches made by mixing Zinc White with Arteza Premium Brilliant Red and adding a tiny bit of either Prussian Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Blue, or Violet.
A titch is equal to a small amount of paint picked up with the longest bristles on an angle brush
Paint swatches made with Cadmium Red Medium Hue mixed up with Zinc White, and a small amount of either Prussian Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Cobalt Blue, or Violet paint.
NOTE: All blues and violet are added in a very small amount by using the longest bristles on an angle brush (also known as a titch in my world, haha)

Interesting Observations

  • None of these color combinations made hot pink
  • Brilliant Red and Cadmium Red Medium Hue are very close in color
  • Brilliant Red is way more pigmented than Cadmium Red Medium Hue (you can tell by how much white I needed to add)
  • Cadmium Red Medium Hue was easily over-powered by the small amounts of blue paint colors added (you can tell by how much more red I had to add)
  • The resulting paint colors from this experiment would make an excellent addition to sunsets!

Adding Silver To Hot Pink Acrylic Paint

In my research, I’ve seen people wanting to know how to make hot pink brighter. The answer mentioned is that adding silver metallic paint to hot pink will make it even more vibrant but the only catch is that it needs to be a bright silver.

I assume that “bright silver” refers to the silver being closer to chrome and not dull like pewter.

Luckily, I have the perfect silver paint for the job because it’s a true silver and there’s nothing dull about it.

Acrylic Paints Used

  • Rose Madder (Arteza Premium)
  • Zinc White (Golden Heavy Body Professional)
  • Silver (Arteza Premium)

The Experiment Details

I have my doubts that adding silver paint to hot pink is going to do much of anything but I could be wrong. That’s exactly why this experiment is happening.

Will adding silver to hot pink paint make it more vibrant or will the sheen from the silver get lost in the mix?

A side-by-side comparison of Rose Madder, Zinc White, and Silver mixed together and the control hot pink paint color.

The Results

  • Mixing silver into hot pink didn’t make the color more vibrant
  • It did add a glossy sheen to the mixture but I wouldn’t call it a metallic
  • Save that glorious silver paint for other projects

More Q&As About Hot Pink Paint

To really get to know as much as possible about hot pink as a color, here are a few questions I’ve been asked and I thought I’d share my own experiences and insights for everyone to see.

Q: What’s the Difference Between Hot Pink and Neon Pink?

I see people getting confused over hot pink and neon pink all the time so let me try to clear this up. Knowing how to make hot pink with paint won’t get you anywhere close to neon pink.

Hot pink is a vibrant pink that lands somewhere between dark pink and light pink and neon pink is a super bright pink that’s lighter than hot pink but also a lot brighter.

Neon pink is one of those colors that should probably be purchased straight out of the tube.

Q: Is Fuchsia and Hot Pink the Same Color?

This one’s a bit more difficult to answer because the differences are more subtle. That said, Fuchsia and Hot Pink aren’t technically the same color.

Fuchsia leans more toward purple than hot pink but, let’s be honest, unless you’re someone who works with color mixing day in and day out, calling Fuchsia “hot pink” isn’t going to matter much.

Q: What Other Paint Colors Go Well With Hot Pink?

Hot pink is a vibrant pink so if you want it to really stand out in your paintings, the following colors will give you that “KAPOW” pop you’re going for:

  • lime green
  • bright turquoise
  • rich teal

Take a look at this gorgeous floral-inspired color palette that features hot pink, oranges, and scarlets. It’s breathtaking and one of my favorite color combos!

To find even more inspiration, visit the Color Palette website and dig through their curated bright pink color palettes.

Ideas For Using Hot Pink Paint In Your Art Work

Now that you know how to make hot pink with paint, you’ve got to put that glorious color to the test!

I thought it would be helpful to give you a few ideas to try out so you can really get to know your new paint color and what it can do.

Perfect Things To Paint With Hot Pink Paint

Hot pink paint is always going to look right at home when used in floral painting and even sunsets.

Some Ideas:

  • desert sunset
  • peony flower
  • gerbera daisy
  • ocean sunset
  • roses

Best YouTube Channel To Follow For Using Hot Pink Paint

If you’re a lover of bright colors, and I’m assuming you are since you’ve probably been searching for how to make hot pink with paint, you need to make a bee-line straight to Joni Young Art’s YouTube channel.

Joni is a fantastic teacher and uses neon paints a lot. If you take a look at her video tutorials, she does a lot of fantasy landscapes but she also does florals, people, and even fun seasonal paintings.

Now I know what you’re thinking, didn’t she just say that hot pink and neon pink weren’t the same thing? And, you’re absolutely right. They aren’t the same color but since hot pink is so vibrant, it makes a great substitute for neon pink even though it isn’t a perfect dupe.

An Easy Painting Tutorial To Try Out Your New Hot Pink Color

If you want to start off slowly before jumping into anything too complicated, I’ve got a super easy tulip painting tutorial that features hot pink paint.

The tulips are impressionistic so there isn’t a whole lot of blending involved and I’ve even included a free traceable that you can download so you don’t have to try to draw it freehand.

A painting of three hot pink tulips on a white-washed wooden background.

Final Thoughts On Making Hot Pink Paint

And there you have it! You now know how to make hot pink with paint for all of your future pink-loving paintings.

You have a list of paints to try, which of the red paint colors is the best, and which reds to avoid. You also have a few great paint mixing recipes to add to your “recipe book” and you know what to expect if you try to add silver to your hot pink paint color.

So, if you’ve been avoiding painting tutorials that feature neon pink you no longer have to! Although hot pink isn’t neon, it’s a beautifully vibrant color that you can use to replace neon pink if you’re on a budget and can’t afford more tubes of paint. Nothing’s gonna stop you now!

If you’ve found this article helpful, remember to share it with your fellow painting pals.

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