Get to Know your Colors: Pink

Hi everyone! Happy Friday! So while we’re actually finished all of the main color families, I wanted to do an extra post on pink because it has many psychology implications that are unique to itself.  So let’s dive one more time into color psychology and visit pink!

The Color Pink

Pink is a tint of red – it results from adding a touch of white into red to lighten the hue and reduce the vibrancy to an extent.  As such, it contains a little bit of both color traits: the passion of red softened by the purity of white.  When red gets to be a little overbearing, pink is the more “vanilla” version. Instead of the primal lust of red, pink is a much more tender, loving color.

color psychology pink

Color Wheel Location

Pink is not located on a traditional color wheel, but if you have one that shows tints, you can find it above red in it’s various tinted strengths.  Pink can range from a vibrant hot pink to a very soft, almost dull, pastel-white pink.

Mixing Pink

This is where things get interesting.  The kind of pink you get depends on the kind of red you start with. Alizarin Crimson creates a very pretty dusty rose-type of pink, still containing the richness of the color but much lighter. Cadmium Red, however, hardly creates a pink at all due to it’s intense orange bias, so it ends up looking more like a peachy color than a pink one.

To get a true pink, a red with a blue bias is best – orange-biased reds have too much yellow in them, which becomes very apparent when you start altering the tint. Quinocridone Red makes a super vibrant pink colour, it’s almost shocking the vivid pink that forms when a little bit of Titanium White is mixed into it.  we expect the color to become more chalky, but the pink that results is almost more vibrant than the red that it started from!

Of course, another way to get a nice pink is to turn to the magentas – Quinacridone Magenta, considered by the CMYK palette to be a true primary instead of red, produces a very vibrant pink when mixed with white.  This pink is different from the red version, however, in that it has a slight purple tone to it.  It’s almost like the resulting pink has such a strong blue bias that it skips blue and goes right into making purple on it’s own!

The Psychology of Pink

Pink has the gentleness of white with the passion of red.  It’s a sign of hope, reassuring our emotions, calming our fears, and makes us feel safe and sound.  It’s a very non-threatening color, and gets people in touch with the nurturing side of themselves. Pink symbolizes good health and prosperity (have you heard of the phrase “being in the pink” and seeing things through “rose-colored glasses”)?

pink color psychology

Why do red roses symbolize love and pink only admiration? Pink is the color of true love, red is more of a lust/sex/infatuation color

Pink represents unconditional love, romance, compassion, and feminine energy.  Be careful using too much, however, as pink can fall into the realm of naivety, and too much can make a room or a painting start to look juvenile (unless you’re painting art for a nursery!).

The key to using pink is to balance it with a darker color.  Light airy pink is grounded when used along elegant navy blues, greys, or blacks to give it some sophistication.  Then you’re left with a soothing and caring, yet grown-up, color combination.

I hope this series has been helpful to you! Let me know what you thought of it, and what’s your favorite color??

Thanks for reading, and till next time, keep creating!

-Ashley <3


  1. Anonymous says

    Boy do you right well. So good I just ordered Quinacridone Magenta from Mr. Blick. Hope you continue articles to do with painting. How do figure out which way a color is biased? I know you gave video on bias but is it on the tube of paint?

    • Ashley says

      haha, enjoy your new paint! Thanks for your comment! :) The colour bias isn’t on the tube of paint, sometimes the paint tube will have an indicator of which way the colour is located (for example, a yellow might have an indicator on a slider showing it’s closer to YG than Y, which means the colour leans towards a yellow-green than a true primary yellow), but that’s about it. The best way to find the bias is to take a bit of the paint from the tube and mix it with Titanium White, this separates the undertone (the true colour and it’s bias) from the masstone (the colour out of the tube in general, like “blue”) and you can usually see if your “blue” now looks more of a purple-blue (so it has a red bias/purple bias) or a greeny-blue (so it has a green bias/yellow undertone).

      If you know that a particular colour is for sure biased in one direction, having it mixed with white sitting beside the colour you’re trying to figure out can really help too. And other than that it just comes down to using the paint, seeing how it mixes with other colours, and that will let you know the bias of the paint. As you get used to working with colours, you eventually start being able to “see” the biases much better too (getting that “artist’s eye”) so it gets easier the more you do it. Hope this helps!! Happy painting!

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