What Colors Make Blue

The color blue is a fundamental color and one of the most common colors used by artists. Learning different shades of blue will enhance your ability to mix colors since it will immediately boost your color mixing skills. Due to the fact that blue is a primary color, you cannot create a “pure blue” by mixing different colors. It is important to note that there are many different shades of blue, including dark blue, light blue, muted blue, and warm blue.

With the art of color mixing, it is possible to create a variety of shades of blue. Find out what colors make blue in this article and exactly how to create different shades of blue. We can create different shades of blue by mixing different colors together. Let’s have a look.

Color Theory: Two Broad Concepts

broad concepts color theory

The color theory we use is the same for most of us to mix colors. The primary colors in this theory are three, the secondary hues are three, and there are a number of tertiary colors. We can only make different shades of blue by applying this foundational color theory. According to this color theory, blue cannot be made from other hues because it is one of the primary colors.

Color can also be conceptualized in another way. In the CMYK model of color, Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black (CMYK) describe the colors used by printers. This color theory model demonstrates that blue can be made by combining different proportions of these four colors.

Magenta + Cyan = Blue

blue color making formula

Cyan, magenta, and yellow are the primary pigment colors. Yellow absorbs blue, cyan absorbs red, and magenta absorbs green. Therefore, in order to achieve blue from pigments, red and green light colors need to be absorbed. This can be accomplished by combining magenta and cyan.

What Colors Make Light Blue

mixing chart for light blue

It is often necessary to mix different shades of lighter blues in many different situations. Below is a chart showing how you can use cobalt blue and ultramarine blue to mix lighter blue colors

You can see in my first two color mixtures, I used ultramarine blue and in the last two color mixtures, I used cobalt blue. Just mix blue with white to make it lighter. That way, it’ll get brighter.

If you mix cobalt blue and ultramarine blue with white, it looks really bright and saturated. Instead of a pure blue, I make it a little muted with a bit of orange. As you can see in the second and fourth lines, you get a light blue that’s muted when you mix orange with a lighter blue.

You’ll be able to notice ultramarine blue’s warmth and cobalt blue’s coolness more readily when the blue has been lightened with white.

What Colors Make Dark Blue

mixing chart of dark blue

There are only two options for lightening blue shades, while there are three for darkening them. There are a variety of dark muted blues to choose from, such as a warm dark blue and a cool dark blue.

You can use dioxazine purple as one of the best methods to darken blues. Dark purple tints create a very deep, rich blue when combined with ultramarine blue. Combining dioxazine purple with cobalt blue will likely make a muted dark blue since it contains red pigments.

Cobalt and ultramarine blue can be combined with burnt umber to produce dark blue shades. It contains a considerable amount of red pigment, and because of this, burnt umber provides a muted, nearly brown, dark blue shade. The best option for a very dark blue is burnt umber.

Dioxazine Purple

Dioxazine purple and ultramarine blue, as shown in the first line of the article, make excellent dark colors. It is true that dioxazine purple does make ultramarine blue darker, but it also accentuates the color and gives it a touch of purple.

Dioxazine purple/ Pthalo Green

There are ultramarine blues in combination with dioxazine purples and pthalo greens in the second line. Dark colors like phthalo green will darken a blue/purple mixture further while giving it a slight green tint.

Burnt Umber

Adding burnt umber to ultramarine blue not only creates a rich dark blue, but it also creates a lovely muted blue. Consequently, Burnt Umber is an excellent selection if you desire a dark blue which is not extremely saturated (bright).

Pthalo green and alizarin crimson

Adding pthalo green to alizarin crimson creates a beautiful black color. The mixing guide for black shows this also. In order to get a rich dark blue, you should mix phthalo green with alizarin crimson. A blue that is dark and interesting will result from this combination.

What Colors Make Blue Muted

muted blue color making chart

Using vibrant blue shades in your paintings is an excellent choice, but they are not suitable for every project. The world around us is filled with a tremendous variety of colors, which is why you will need to create some muted shades of blue in your paintings in order to create realistic depth and dimension. Things can seem garish without a bit of muted shade.

On the color wheel, this is the shade directly opposite the shade you chose. The complementary color for blue would be orange. In order to find your perfect blue shade, you’ll need to experiment with its unique orange complement.

Because cadmium orange is vibrant and extremely warm, it makes a good choice for toning down blue shades. A warm, dull, and dark shade of blue is created by mixing cadmium orange and ultramarine blue. It also makes cobalt blue less vibrant when mixed with cadmium orange. The other great option for muting blue shades is burnt umber. Essentially, burnt umber is just a darker orange color, so your blues will become much more profound and muted.

Orange + Ultramarine blue/ Cobalt blue

Look at the way cadmium orange and ultramarine blue are mixed together in the first line. Adding oranges and blues to blue reduces its brilliance and makes it appear ‘dull.’ To put it simply, mixing orange into blue reduced the blue’s brightness. When we mix complementary colors together, this is exactly what we get.

However, if you blend too much orange into your blue, the result will be a little bit green. If this happens, add more blue in order to balance out the orange.

Burnt umber + Ultramarine blue/ Cobalt blue

Blue can also be muted by mixing burnt umber with it. Personally, I much prefer blending oranges with blues, as this produces a much richer, muted blue. Alternatively, burned umber produces a bluer, brownish color. The fact is that you can definitely use a muted brownish blue in certain situations. Just keep this mixture in mind.

Finally, you may try combining phthalo green with alizarin crimson to create a dark blue shade. As a result, you will get similar effects to burnt umber when using these two additional colors.

Mixing Warm Shades of Blue

mixing chart for warm blue

Colors like blue are generally seen as cool. However, colors are related to temperature. Hence, blue colors can be mixed with warm colors.

Blues like ultramarine blue lean more toward purple than other blue colors, so it is already a warm blue. Sometimes, however, an even warmer blue might be needed.

In the first option, it is possible to achieve a purple-blue by mixing alizarin crimson together with blue. Since ultramarine leans toward purple, to begin with, the mixture of ultramarine and cobalt blue ends up much more purple in color.

Alternatively, burnt umber can be combined with blue – as we have already discussed. Furthermore, this combination can also be used to create a warm blue color.

Lastly, you may mix green with blue (cadmium green or another color of your choosing). Compared to using alizarin crimson or burnt umber, this mixture does not produce a very warm blue. Yet, it’s a good option when you’re not looking for a heat-heavy blue.

Frequently Asked Questions

How is the color blue made?

When humans started making blue pigments, they began viewing blue as a color. Chemistry was used to combine the rare lapis with calcium and limestone to produce other saturated blue pigments that were not as rare as lapis.

How do you make turquoise blue?

If you want a darker shade of turquoise, you can increase the ratio of blue to green. It is possible to achieve a range of bluish turquoise shades by varying the amount of white you use.

How do I make navy blue?

Mix a small amount of black or orange into pure blue to get a deep color of navy. You can tell if your paint is close to the desired shade of navy by looking at a sample of the color and swatching it on scrap paper.

Is aquamarine color blue or green?

Blue-colored stones tend to be more valuable if they are purer and more intense. Aquamarine usually has a color that is slightly greenish-blue.

Final Thoughts

If you want the same color, keep in mind that different materials have different formulas and ratios. For example, when working with acrylics, it may be necessary to use a different ratio of colors than when working with watercolors to achieve a specific shade of blue. This is because water-based paints can mix more easily than oil-based paints. You can create any shade or intensity of this primary color using magenta and cyan to create it from scratch. Thanks for reading what colors make blue. We hope you find it helpful.

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