What Colors Make Purple

Purple is associated with luxury, wealth, and power in color psychology. Furthermore, considering its history, purple is also associated with nobility and royalty. In combination with red, blue, purple indicates wisdom and knowledge, which is associated with calm and stability. 

The color purple is a wonderful, versatile color, long loved by royals around the world. Learning how to mix the perfect shade of purple can also be challenging due to the variety of purple shades. It’s easy to mix red and blue together to get purple, but finding the right shade of purple is not as easy. To create any shade of purple you wish, we cover all the things you need to know about what colors make purple in this article. To find out what colors make purple, keep reading.

What Two Colors Make Purple

Red + Blue = Purple

two colors make purple

Blue and red can be combined to make purple. Your mixture’s exact shade of purple will be determined by the amount of blue and red you add to it. When more red is added to purple, it will become redder, and when more blue is added, it will become bluer.

The primary colors in purple are blue and red, but several other colors can be added to create different shades. Your mixture of red and blue will be lighter if you add white, yellow, or gray. You can make your purple shade darker by adding black to your blue and red mixture.

Accordingly, purple can be described as any color whose hue lies between red and blue. Combining these two colors is one way to get purple, but there is a trick to getting the perfect shade. This is where color theory comes in! When you understand the science behind making purple, you will be able to make it yourself.

Shades of Purple: How to Make Them

The overall color of purple will be dark when mixed with Ultramarine Blue, but a lighter shade of purple will be created if it is mixed with Cobalt Blue. Alizarin Crimson mixed with purple is also more cooler in temperatures than Cadmium Red and blue combined. Purples may also be mixed with other types of reds besides those listed here, such as Quinacridone Red, Burnt Siena, or Vermillion.

Mixing Blue and Red

Blue and Red mixing chart

In order to make the color purple, there are many different forms of blue available, such as Pthalo Blue, Cerulean Blue, and Prussian Blue. If you don’t have any of these colors, you can still make the color purple. If you have blue and red, you can make purple out of them.

Dark Red + Dark Blue = Dark Purple

two colors made purple shade

Light Red + Light Blue = Light Purple

light purple making formula

Getting right to the point: mixing red and blue will produce purple, but it depends entirely on what hues or shades of red and blue you use or how much of each you use. Shortly, knowing what color to choose is crucial to getting the right color.

Dark Shades of Purple

Generally, purples are already darker colors, so they are great for making dark colors. Even though the color purple is a wonderful color, there are plenty of ways to make it even darker! Combining purple with other colors that are dark in value will make it darker in the color chart below.

Dark Shades Purple mixing chart

The combination of burnt umber and purple creates a mellow dark purple tone. Additionally, burnt umber is warmer than purple, so it makes the purple appear warmer. A dark black color is created by mixing Phthalo Green with Alizarin Crimson. Mixing this purple mix with this color mixture produces a very dark purple color. One of the darkest purples you can mix with is probably this one.

Provence Violet Bluish or any other lighter purple can also be used to mix dark shades of purple. You will end up with a much lighter shade of purple when using Provence Violet Bluish than you would with Dioxazine Purple. Despite this, it will still make a dark purple color you can see from the color chart.

Muted Shades of Purple

Muted colors are opposites of bright colors. In some cases, a bright shade of purple in a painting is not necessary. Muddled purple colors can also help a painting stand out. Remember, whenever you combine color with its complementary color, you can make muted colors.

Observing purple on a color wheel, its complementary color is yellow, as complementary colors are opposites. Mixing purple with yellow will result in a muted shade of purple. Through the different combinations of yellow and purple, one can achieve several muted shades of purple.

In order to achieve a muted shade of purple, you might use the following shades of purple and yellow:

Yellow Ochre + Dioxazine Purple = Muted purple

muted purple making formula

Different shades of yellow:

  • Yellow Ochre
  • Cadmium Yellow

Different shades of purple:

  • Provence Violet Bluish
  • Dioxazine Purple

The color combinations above are not the only ones you can choose from. Yellow and purple are available in other shades as well.

Light Shades of Purple

Purple is basically a dark color, which means that when mixed with other colors, such as burnt umber, Phthalo Green, and Alizarin Crimson, it can be achieved in a variety of shades of purple. However, what about lighter purple shades? Could we get them?

The answer is yes! Purple can be easily blended with a color that has a light value to make the light shades of purple.

White + Dioxazine Purple = Light Purple

light purple making formula

By first adding a white color to purple, you can produce a lighter shade.

For example, you can create a nice light shade of purple when mixing white with Provence Violet Bluish (a shade of purple). A light purple color can also be obtained by mixing white with Dioxazine Purple. You can also create a light shade of purple by combining yellow with purple, which is another way to make it. It is possible to achieve a lighter shade of purple by mixing Cadmium Lemon Yellow with Provence Violet Bluish and Dioxazine Purple.

Cooler Shades of Purple

You can create purples that are cool in value in addition to muted, dark, and light shades of purple. When mixing colors, it is imperative to take the value and temperature of the colors into consideration. You can make purple cooler by mixing blue with it. The color purple will become cooler if you mix Ultramarine Blue with Cobalt Blue and Dioxazine Purple with Provence Violet Bluish.

Combinations of colors would be:

Cobalt Blue + Provence Violet Bluish

Cooler Shades of Purple making formula

Cobalt Blue + Dioxazine Purple

two colors make purple cooler shades

Ultramarine Blue + Provence Violet Bluish

two colors make purple cooler shades

Ultramarine Blue + Dioxazine Purple

Cooler Shades of Purple making formula

Warm Shades of Purple

Having discussed the above, it is now apparent that you can get a cooler purple shade when blue is combined with purple. In order to achieve a warm purple color, what colors can be used? Warmer purple color can be achieved when mixing the red and purple colors.

Warm purple color is usually created by using two shades of red. Alizarin Crimson and Cadmium Red are examples. They are both shades of red containing a purple component.

Combinations of colors would be:

Cadmium Red + Dioxazine Purple

Warm Shades of Purple making formula

Cadmium Red + Provence Violet Bluish

two colors make purple warm shades

Alizarin Crimson + Dioxazine Purple

two colors make purple warm shades

Alizarin Crimson + Provence Violet Bluish

Warm Shades of Purple making formula

A warm shade of purple can be made by combining all these colors.

Purple Color Mixing Chart

Color Mixing Chart of Purple

To figure out what can be done with the colors you already have, you need to play around with them. You can mix different paint colors to get different shades of purple. There are slight variations in the formulas of each manufacturer’s paints, so depending on the brand you use you may get slightly different results.

Mixing Purple Earth Tones

color Mixing chart of Purple Earth Tones

In addition to mixing purples with yellow, earth tones can also produce lovely shades of purple, which can provide a more muted alternative. Blue and Burnt Sienna can be mixed together to create purple in the color chart above. However, combining only blue and Burnt Siena will not produce a strong enough purple. Therefore, it is recommended that you mix in a little bit of Cadmium Red or Alizarin Crimson to achieve the desired color.

Historical reference

The purple tone has always symbolized mystery, mysticism. Its history has royal “roots” – in Byzantium, the color was considered imperial; in England, purple clothes were only allowed to be worn by royalty, members of their families. Catholic bishops still use the purple robe, and in the Middle Ages, the shade was the main one in decorating cathedrals. An easy way to get purple there is the simplest method to produce a purple tone. To do this, you need to take in equal proportions red and blue watercolor or acrylic paint, gouache, and mix them. It is necessary to mix the dyes thoroughly so that there are no streaks. The depth and brightness of the resulting paint will depend on the tones of the original colors, the accuracy of calculating the proportions. Sometimes the artist turns purple – it is very similar to purple but has a more pronounced red glow.

When painting pictures, situations often arise where the desired shade ends or is missing from the palette. Because of this, novice artists have a question about getting a purple color when mixing paints with gouache, watercolors, and others. At first glance, this is easy to do; look at the combination table and mix 2 other colors. But in the process, questions often arise, for which it is necessary to study the issue deeper.

What Tools do you need?

To work, you will need the following tools:

  • Palette. Preferably white, as the colored surface can distort the shades. Models made of plastic or similar materials are best suited.
  • The basic paint set is red, blue, yellow, green, white, and black.
  • Brushes.
  • A glass or small jar of water. The fluid must be changed periodically to prevent the brushes from clogging.
  • Draft canvas. On it, you can check how well the smear will fit.

If you don’t have a palette, you can replace it with a glass, plate, bowl, mixing bowl, or any other glass or plastic container.

All tools must be clean and free from traces of previously used paints.

Similarities and differences with purple

For many, purple and lilac are the same colors; both purple and lilac are traditionally considered cold, making them “close relatives.” Their relationship is also because they are the colors of the third group (III order); that is, they are obtained by mixing three or more colors.

Both are “born” from red and blue dyes, but the violet eggplant is brighter because more red is in it. Wisteria, on the contrary, is a “child” of blue, like any of the lilac tones. All shades of plum or violet can easily fall into the group of warm tones if the influence of red is increased.

If you add a blue color scheme to the clarified pale lilac color, we get the following ruler:

Having caught the difference between colors, you can start decorating the room.

The use of lilac in design

The walls and ceilings in the rooms, painted in the colors of fragrant spring bunches, give the room a light dusting of fabulousness. Even in the smallest room, it becomes light and joyful! The main thing is to maintain a balance: do not paint everything in a single lavender or purple – the variety of the palette allows you to show your maximum imagination.

A great option – one wall is accented with a powerful plum or piercing eggplant, and the ceiling is the most delicate pale lilac. In this “layout” of the walls, lavender is suitable, mixed with a warm, almost white creamy or creamy color scheme. So we will not lose harmony, and we will make the room visually more voluminous and more interesting.

Pure snow-white color combined with any shade of weak amethyst or the most delicate wisteria is a great choice! White balances any emotions, and lilac colors are the very same spiritual harmony. Having chosen the appropriate option, we begin the experiment on mixing paints.

All the tricks on how to get purple color when mixing paints

Every person has ever thought about how a particular color is obtained from an artist. A lot of shades are accepted by a colorist.

Consider the process of getting purple: the main colors are red, blue, and yellow. It is when they are mixed that a wide variety of tones and shades are obtained.

It is necessary to mention black and white. They don’t come out of the mix, so it’s worth assuming that artists use these five base tones in their work.

What colors do you need to mix?

To obtain a purple color, it is enough to mix red and blue. Moreover, the shade of color will directly depend on the following factors:

  • Saturation of original colors
  • Their number and ratio.
  • When mixed, a basic violet tone is obtained.

We get the color

To get different shades of purple, you need to mix the red paint with the blue. In this case, you should avoid yellow, and all shades contain it; otherwise, the result will be a dirty brownish or gray undertone. When mixing, you should pay attention to the saturation and purity of red and blue – the characteristics of the final color depend on them.

If the set of paints already has pure purple, then it is better to use it to create shades.

The resulting colors will be more saturated and less pale than those created by mixing red and blue.

Plain purple

purple color shade

The standard violet color is obtained by mixing blue and red in a 2: 1 ratio. Then different shades are created from this base, adding black, white, pink, blue, and other tones.

Light purple

purple color shade

The easiest way to get a light purple tone is by adding white to the base. White is gradually mixed with the main color until the desired result is achieved, periodically checking the result on the palette. The maximum ratio of white to the base is 1: 5; otherwise, the base color may be lost.

If you need to lighten the tone slightly, you can dilute the purple paint with water. This helps to keep it fuller and more natural. It should be borne in mind that you can only mix light colors on a white palette since a wooden or painted surface distorts them.

You can get unusual shades of light purple (thistle, lilac, wisteria) by mixing blue and pink. The first color is taken as a basis; then, the second is gradually introduced. Colder shades of pink give pale tones of light purple, while warmer shades add brightness.

A pleasant light amethyst color will come out if you add a little red to the resulting lilac color. By adding blue, you can achieve bright berry undertones.

Dark violet

dark violet color

A darkened purple hue is obtained by mixing dark blue and bright red. The first color “absorbs” the warmth and richness of the second, resulting in a dull eggplant. It can be made a little brighter by increasing the proportion of red, but this will not completely change the situation.

An unusual version of deep purple is obtained by mixing red with black. At the same time, the second is added quite carefully, in small droplets; otherwise, the tone will become dirty.

A brighter deep purple comes from a mixture of red, indigo, and lilac. Saturation and tonality depend on the proportion of colors; they can be selected at your discretion.

Palette purple

Palette purple color shade chart

The purple palette has many shades, each of which is used in painting or decoration. To get the desired tone by mixing paints, you need to correct. Here rules:

  • White will help to lighten the tone and shift it towards pastels. Watercolors and similar paints can also be diluted with a bit of water. But it is important not to overdo it with liquid; otherwise, you can ruin the paper or get unpleasant watery stains on the canvas.
  • Adding black will help darken the purple, but it must be injected carefully, or the mixture will completely fade and clog into a dark gray. The use of dark indigo will help to avoid this.
  • You can get subtle lavender hues by adding gray to purple.
  • A small amount of warm pink is added to add juiciness to the color. By changing the proportions and concentration, you can get grape, amethyst, and other shades.
  • By re-mixing purple with red, you can get dark tones such as wine, berry, eggplant.
  • Adding blue or indigo will help darken the purple a little. The result is a cool but rich shade suitable for painting night landscapes.
  • For a vibrant plum, take a deep purple and dilute it with pure red.
  • When added to violet, a bit of blue can be shifted towards blue without additional darkening. The resulting color is lightened with whitewash if delicate lilac-bluish halftones are needed.
  • When correcting purple, it is essential to keep your brushes and work surface clean.
  • The smallest particles of other paint can ruin the entire work, clogging the paint with brown or gray specks. To avoid this, tools must be washed thoroughly after each use.

Features of working with different types of paints

When mixing tones, you need to take identical paints in quality and texture; otherwise, the result will be blurry and of poor quality. Therefore, it is desirable to use tubes from the same set: they are most suitable for each other. Other nuances of mixing depend on the type of paint, its thickness, oiliness, wateriness, saturation, and other parameters.

1. Oil paint

color mixing for oil painting

Oil paints are the most difficult to mix because of their viscous consistency and characteristic texture. This can be done in three ways:

  • Mechanical or physical. The desired colors are mixed in a particular container using a toned base for correction. The result is a new shade. It is necessary to mechanically combine paints carefully, avoiding even the slightest homogeneous spots and untreated areas. This is the only way to get a clean, even tone.
  • Overlay. It is performed directly on the canvas. An additional thin, translucent layer is applied on top of the leading tone. As a result, there is an illusion of mixing colors, which allows you to get new shades in the picture. The technique is quite difficult to use and requires knowledge of glazing; therefore, it is rarely used by beginners.
  • Optical mixing. Strokes of different colors are placed to each other as close as possible and placed at a particular angle, which allows you to achieve the illusion of merging. This technique will enable you to get an even tone but requires skill in drawing.

Most often, oil paints are mixed mechanically. The remaining 2 are used in the drawing process by experienced artists.

2. Acrylic paint

paints tube for acrylic painting

Acrylic paints are easier to mix than oil paints. The main tone is applied to the palette, after which an additional one is introduced into it in small portions until the desired result is achieved. Then the color is corrected with black and white. Since the exact proportions of acrylic are difficult to calculate, you need to combine the shades gradually, periodically testing the result.

Acrylic tends to change color when it dries slightly; therefore, before applying a new shade, it is advisable to make a control smear on the canvas and wait until it dries. This will help avoid mistakes when painting the picture.

3. Gouache paint

color mixing for Gouache paint

Gouache should not be mixed on paper or corrected by diluting with water. New tones are obtained by combining two colors on a white plastic palette in a special plastic or glass container. First, the main color is applied to the surface – blue or blue, then pink or red is mixed until the desired result is obtained. The resulting tone is lightened with whitewash or darkened with a small black (can be replaced with dark green).

When working with gouache, purple paint can be mixed with black and white at the same time if you want to get a dull, muted tone. You can add a little yellow to the mixture of red and blue to create a vibrant magenta.

4. Watercolor paint

color box for Watercolor paint

Watercolors are mixed on a palette or paper. In the second case, you can make test strokes on a draft or merge while drawing. The paint is well diluted with water, so light shades are most often obtained by adding liquid. Dark or vibrant variations of purple are achieved by adding red, black, pink, dark blue, and other colors.

When mixing watercolors, you can only use pure paints that are not stained with streaks or blotches. Otherwise, the purple will come out dull or turn gray or brownish. Watercolor also quickly deteriorates, absorbing other colors, so it is advisable to correct shades with a minimum amount of impurities.

Purple color in the interior of different rooms

We will tell you how the purple shade will look in different rooms. Let’s talk about the kitchen, nursery, living room, and bedroom.


room decor by purple color

This shade is perfect for a place where food is prepared and sitting at a cozy table. Many are convinced that purple is unacceptable for the kitchen, but it will look stylish if you choose the right color combination.

Especially piquant looks like plum and eggplant shades on tiles and kitchen sets. Facades in soft purple tones give freshness in combination with other delicate colors.

Living room

purple color drawing room

The main goal in decorating a living room is to make a good impression on its inhabitants and guests. The living room should be done in calm purple colors; sometimes, saturated elements of this shade are acceptable.

Violet will look beneficial in vases, sofas and armchairs, lighting fixtures, pillows, and other decorative elements.

It is recommended to use silver and gold colors for finishing. The use of violet colors for finishing the ceiling will give the room a special chic and luxury.


bedroom of purple color

This shade allows you to relax, which is why it is often used to decorate a bedroom.

It is recommended to combine with other colors so that the room is not too dark. The purple palette can be difficult to read, but only if misused.

The shade allows you to make the bedroom sentimental and enchanting, giving it a romantic atmosphere.

The palette is perfect for dreamers and creatives looking for inspiration.

Lavender and lilac, purple, and lilac are great for upholstering furniture; you should also prefer a chandelier in this color, curtains, and other items.

To make the room luxurious, use purple gem colors and combine them with other noble shades in the interior.

A delicate violet range is perfect for a women’s bedroom, which will add a touch of sentimentality and relaxation.

Children’s room

childs room

The color purple is recommended for the development of creativity in babies. The violet room will look especially great in combination with pink or green. Similar interior decoration is suitable for girls and boys.

For teenagers, it is worth giving preference to rich tones, but not sugary, but unobtrusive, soft.

Guys will also like this color scheme, and the main thing is that purple is combined with more masculine shades.

Also, the shade will harmonize perfectly with silver and orange. You can prefer curtains, furniture items, bed linen, and other items in such a palette.

Unusual, mysterious, delightful, and sophisticated, it can all be attributed to purple. The shade makes it possible to create different images in the interior, to emphasize almost any style for the room. A room with a purple hue allows the room to breathe youth and freshness, be gentle, austere, and elegant. Everything will depend on the skillful combination of shades and color palette combinations.

What are the different shades of purple called?

In total, there are about 200 varieties of purple (196 in the Panton palette). Each of them has been given a name – this is done for the convenience of orienting artists, designers, and specialists for whom an understanding of colors is essential. The most common shades:

Color Name HEX RGB
Purple #800080 128,0,128
Eggplant #430541 67,5,65
Indigo #4B0082 75,0,130
Violet #EE82EE 238,130,238
Lavender #967BB6 150,123,182
Amethyst #9966CC 153, 102, 204
Thistle #D8BFD8 216,191,216
Pearl #EAE0C8 234,224,200
Fuchsia #FF00FF 255, 0, 255
Royal Purple #7851A9 120,81,169
Orchid #DA70D6 218,112,214
Grape #6F2DA8 111,45,168
Thundercloud #68819A 104,129,154
Fig #532D3B 83,45,59
Plum #9C51B6 156,81,182
Blackberry #43182F 67, 24, 47
Cranberry #9E003A 158,0,58
Iris #5A4FCF 90,79,207
Smoky Purple #DACED9 218,206,217
Beetroot #CB4273 203,66,115
Phlox #DF00FF 223,0,255
Heather #A6AAC7 166, 170,199
Sparkling Grapes #773376 119,51,118

More exotic shades of purple can be found in the catalogs. Each of them is assigned a number in the CMYK format (Cyan – cyan, Magenta – magenta, Yellow – yellow, Key color – black), indicating the severity of specific tones. For simplicity, all shades are also given a simple name. Among them, you can find rather unusual colors, such as “icy lavender,” “purple snow,” or “nostalgic rose.”

Human Exposure to Purple

 There is such a science – chromotherapy has an effect of different colors on the human condition. So purple has a very beneficial effect on almost all organs and senses.

  • Promotes a more rapid production of priceless hormones of joy – endorphins
  • Rejuvenates
  • It has a calming effect on insomnia and migraines
  • It has a tonic effect on the pituitary gland and eyes
  • Boosts immunity

But you need to use this color wisely, without overloading your space with it. In excess, purple can lead to melancholy.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do red and blue make purple?

When talking about pigments, which are substances that can be combined together, being red and blue together will make purple. Green light is absorbed by magenta, blue light by yellow, and red light by cyan. Purple or violet can be made by mixing blue and red pigments together.

How Do You Mix a Vibrant Purple?

Purple shades with a vibrant, pure hue are probably the easiest to mix yourself. Red and blue paints in equal amounts are all you need. Add white or darker pigments, such as burnt umber, to lighten or darken this shade. It will be easier for you to mix any shade of purple if you understand color theory and color bias.

What Color is the Complement of Purple?

On a color wheel, the complementary color sits opposite the primary color. Yellow is the complementary color of purple. A painting made up of yellow and purple appears brighter and bolder when combined.

Final Words

Creating beautiful artwork requires the use of all colors. Due to its historical significance, purple possesses a unique place in the world of artistic creation, and without it,  a painted picture would be incomplete. Purple comes in many variations, all of which enhance and complement one another. The possibilities are endless when it comes to mixing colors. Start painting and let your imagination run wild. Thanks for reading what colors make purple.

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