What Is the Opposite of Red?

The opposite of red on the color wheel is green. While green is red’s standard opposite color, the exact opposite depends on the color model you’re using. The primary color models in color theory are RGB, CMYK, and RYB.

What Is the Opposite of Red?

The Opposite of Red in Various Color Models

Color models represent how mediums like digital screens or print materials display colors. Each color model has its criteria for defining colors. The most popular color models are RGB, CMYK, and RYB.

RGB Color Model and Its Opposite Color to Red

The RGB color model is standard in digital displays. It creates colors by mixing red (R), green (G), and blue (B) light in different intensities. The opposite or complementary color to red in this model is cyan.

Cyan, a combination of green and blue, sits directly opposite red on the color wheel. Mixing red and cyan at full intensity creates a neutral gray. The blend relies on RGB’s additive color mixing techniques.

The table below illustrates the RGB values for red and its complementary, cyan:

ColorRed (R)Green (G)Blue (B)

CMYK Color Model and Its Opposite Color to Red

Designers and artists use the CMYK color model for printing. The color model mixes varying proportions of cyan (C), magenta (M), yellow (Y), and black (K) inks.

Black (K) ink enhances contrast and creates richer blacks. In the CMYK model, the opposite color to red is a blend of cyan and yellow. The combination creates a shade of dark gray or greenish-gray.

The table below shows CMYK values for full red and its complementary color:

ColorCyan (C)Magenta (M)Yellow (Y)Black (K)

RYB Color Model and Its Opposite Color to Red

The RYB model, or the artistic color model, is often used in traditional art. It consists of the primary colors red (R), yellow (Y), and blue (B). The model’s opposite color to red is green.

Here’s a table demonstrating the RYB values for full red and its opposite color:

ColorRed (R)Yellow (Y)Blue (B)

Red’s Complementary Colors

The RGB value represents red by its maximum value, while green and blue are set to zero. Mixing red with different intensities of green and blue creates secondary and tertiary colors.

In contrast, the CMYK model represents red as a blend of cyan and magenta. Yellow and black are also useful primary colors in other color-mixing needs. The CMYK model uses the subtractive technique. Hence, it absorbs light rather than emitting it.

Here’s a table detailing the resulting colors for each mixing model:

Color ModelPrimary ColorsSecondary ColorsTertiary ColorsRed’s PositionRed’s Complementary Color
RGBRed, Green, BlueYellow, Cyan, MagentaRed-Orange, Red-PurplePrimaryCyan
CMYKCyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black--PrimaryCyan

It’s worth noting that the RYB model isn’t as accurate as RGB or CMYK models. The RGB and CMYK models are more precise in color mixing and reproduction. They provide an accurate representation of colors in digital displays and printing.

Opposites to Different Red Hues

Cyan: Opposite of Crimson

Crimson is an intense shade of red that exudes vibrancy and drama. Its opposite color, cyan, is a blue-green hue that radiates a refreshing, cool element.

ColorHex ValueRGB ValueCMYK Value (%)
Crimson#DC143C220, 20, 600, 91, 73, 14
Cyan#00FFFF0, 255, 255100, 0, 0, 0

Aqua or Teal: Opposite of Scarlet

Scarlet is a bold red tone with an allure of commanding attention. Its opposite colors, aqua or teal, bring a tranquil vibe into a design.

ColorHex ValueRGB ValueCMYK Value (%)
Scarlet#FF2400255, 36, 00, 86, 100, 0
Aqua/Teal#0080800, 128, 128100, 0, 0, 50

Emerald Green: Opposite of Ruby

Ruby is a deep and luxurious shade of red. Its opposite color, emerald green, evokes a sense of fresh energy and calmness.

ColorHex ValueRGB ValueCMYK Value (%)
Ruby#E0115F224, 17, 950, 92, 58, 12
Emerald Green#50C87880, 200, 12060, 0, 40, 22