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What Colors Make Purple & How to Mix Them Like a Pro

What Colors Make Purple & How to Mix Them Like a Pro

Do you want to know what colors make purple? Are you excited to get different shades of purple by mixing colors like a pro? 

Purple is an important color to mix because it can be used to make many colors. Did you know you can make brown from purple?

Mixing the right colors to get the perfect shade of purple doesn’t have to be a difficult task. You can get the shade of purple you want in a matter of minutes. 

Let’s dive into what colors make purple and how to mix them like a pro!

what colors make purple

What Two Colors Make Purple?

So now you have come to know the importance of purple color in paintings, let’s get to know what colors make purple. As defined earlier that purple is a secondary color, so a secondary color is made by the combination of two primary colors. Hence, when red and blue are mixed together, purple is created. 

But what about if you want to get different shades of purple?

If you add different shades of red and blue color, you can use different shades of purple. For example, if you mix a basic shade of blue with the Alizarin Crimson (shade of red), you will get a light shade of purple. A light purple shade can also be created if you mix a basic shade of red with Cobalt Blue. To get a dark purple color, red is mixed with ultramarine blue. 

Hence, different shades of blue (including Ultramarine Blue, Prussian Blue, Cerulean Blue, and Pthalo Blue) and different shades of red (including Alizarin Crimson, Vermillion, Quinacridone, and Burnt Sienna) make a purple color. 

Trust me; the color combinations are endless!

Note: if you do not have different shades of red and blue, you can use the basic red and blue shades!

How to Make a Purple Paint?

Let me tell you about my experience. Like you have heard that mixing red and blue makes purple, but when I started mixing the red and blue paints, I got a shade that maybe I can call purple or a shade that is not even close to purple. 

So, now you must be thinking that red and blue cannot make purple. Well, I am happy that you asked!

red and blue make purple
red and blue make purple
what colors make purple
dark shade of red and dark shade of blue make a dark purple
what colors make purple
light shade of red and light shade of blue make a light purple

Let’s get straight to the point: you can get a purple color by mixing red and blue, but it totally depends on which shade or hue of red and blue you are using or what the quantity of two colors is. In short, we can say that it is important to know what color to choose to get what color.

How to Get a Muted Shade of Purple?

The opposite of bright colors are muted colors. At times, in paintings, you do not need a bright shade of purple. Muted shades of purple color can also make a painting stand out. So, what colors make purple (muted shades)? Remember, muted colors can be made by the combination of color and its complementary color. As complementary colors are opposite to each other in a color wheel, so when you observe purple in a color wheel, its complementary color will become yellow. So, a muted shade of purple can be achieved by mixing purple with yellow!

Again, several muted shades of purple can be achieved by the different combinations of yellow and purple. For example, the different shades of purple and yellow that you can use to get the muted shade of purple are:

what colors make purple
Yellow Ochre and Dioxazine Purple make a muted purple

Different shades of yellow:

  • Cadmium Yellow
  • Yellow Ochre

Different shades of purple:

  • Dioxazine Purple
  • Provence Violet Bluish

Note: You are not limited to the color combinations mentioned above. You can use other shades of purple and yellow!

Making Dark Shades of Purple

Apart from a muted shade of purple, you can also get dark shades of purple. The colors that are dark in value when mixed together make the darker shades of purple. For example, by mixing dioxazine purple with burnt umber, you can get a nice dark shade of purple. As burnt umber is warmer than the dioxazine purple, that is why a dark shade of purple is created. 

There is another darker shade of purple that you can get by mixing Phthalo Green with Alizarin Crimson. The combination of these two colors makes a black color, which is then mixed with the Provence Violet Bluish shade of purple to get the darkest purple shade!

Making Light Shades of Purple

Purple is basically a dark color, so when it is mixed with other colors, including burnt umber, Phthalo Green, or Alizarin Crimson, dark shades of purple can easily be achieved. But what about the lighter shades of purple? Is it possible to get them? Yes, it is! You can easily make the light shades of purple: by mixing purple with a color that is light in value!

white and dioxazine purple make light purple
mix white with dioxazine purple to get light purple

The first way to get a lighter shade of purple is by adding White color in purple. For example, if you mix white with Provence Violet Bluish (shade of purple), a nice light shade of purple is created. Similarly, mixing white with the Dioxazine Purple also generates a light purple shade.

There is another way to make a light shade of purple, and that is by adding yellow in purple. Light shades of purple can be achieved by the combination of Cadmium Lemon Yellow with Dioxazine Purple, Provence Violet Bluish.

Getting a Cooler Shade of Purple

Is it possible to create purple that is cooler in value? Apart from making muted, dark, and light shades of purple, it is possible to create purple that is cooler in value. Value and temperature of color are some of the most important aspects that should never be ignored while mixing the colors. In the case of purple, the value of purple can be made cooler if you mix blue in purple!

Mixing the two shades of blue (Ultramarine Blue and Cobalt Blue) with the two shades of purple (Dioxazine Purple and Provence Violet Bluish) can make purple cooler. These color combinations would be:

cobalt blue and provence violet bluish make cool purple

Cobalt Blue + Provence Violet Bluish

cobalt blue and dioxazine purple make cool purple

Cobalt Blue + Dioxazine Purple

ultramarine blue and provence violent bluish make cool purple

Ultramarine Blue + Provence Violet Bluish

ultramarine blue and dioxazine purple make cool purple

Ultramarine Blue + Dioxazine Purple

What Colors Make a Warm Shade of Purple?

So, now it is evident from the above discussion that when blue is added to purple, you can get a cooler shade of purple. But what about the warmer shade? Which colors can be used to get a warm purple color? The answer is simple: If you mix the red color with purple, you can get a purple color that is warmer in value.

Usually, two shades of red are used to create a warm purple color. These include Cadmium Red and Alizarin Crimson. Both these shades of red are mixed with two shades of purple. The color combinations would be:

cadmium red and dioxazine purple make warm purple

Cadmium Red + Dioxazine Purple

cadmium red and provence violet bluish make warm purple

Cadmium Red + Provence Violet Bluish

alizarin crimson and dioxazine purple make warm purple

Alizarin Crimson + Dioxazine Purple

alizarin crimson and provence violet bluish make warm purple

Alizarin Crimson + Provence Violet Bluish

All these color combinations are used to make a warm shade of purple!

Conclusion

So, now I hope that you have come to know what colors make purple. There are many ways in which you can get a purple color. The basic shade of purple (secondary color) can be achieved if you combine two primary colors (red and blue). Moreover, there are other ways as well by which you can get different shades of purple: light, dark, muted, cool, and warm shades. 

If you want to get lighter and darker shades of purple, you can easily make them. For darker shades, use the colors that are dark in value; for example, by the combination of burnt umber with dioxazine purple, you can get a dark shade of purple. Similar is the case with lighter shades. A light shade of purple can be made by adding white or yellow in purple. Apart from bright colors, you can also make purple less vibrant. This can be achieved by mixing purple with a color that has a neutralizing effect, and hence a muted shade of purple is created.

So, did you enjoy this guide on what colors make purple? If you have tried any of the above combinations, do tell me in the comments section which color combinations work best for your artwork. Happy Painting with Purple!

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