What Colors Make Purple?

What Colors Make Purple?

Red + Blue = Purple

The shade of purple you get depends a lot on the type of blue and red you're using. Purple has long been a favorite color of the royal families due to its plethora of shades and its regal associations around the world. When it comes to purple shades, there is a lot of variation.

A Brief History of Purple

Throughout humanity's history, color has been an essential part of the human experience, beginning with the first humans who ground berries into pigments. As a result, color is much more than just a specific set of frequencies in the light spectrum.

When it comes to colors, we believe that knowing the history behind purple will help you to incorporate it into your works of art. Purple has long been a favorite of royalty due to its scarcity and high cost as a pigment.


Tyrian Purple Origins

It wasn't until the Neolithic era that the color purple first emerged. Hematite and manganese powdered sticks were used to create Neolithic art at several sites. Dye made from hundreds of hundreds of tiny snails is known as Tyrian purple.

In Ancient Greece, only the most affluent could afford to wear purple robes because the process of creating this dye was extremely time-consuming and expensive. Thus, throughout the Mediterranean, Tyrian purple became the color of choice for priests, nobles, kings, and magistrates. 

In the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, purple was a popular color.

Cardinals and other church officials wore Tyrian purple robes for many years. Pope Paul II proclaimed in 1464 that the cardinals should wear scarlet robes because the Byzantine dye was no longer accessible. There was no purple dye used to dye the new robes of the lesser representatives of the Christian church.

It was instead composed of a mixture of indigo and red kermes dyes to create the purple robes. During the Renaissance, the color purple had become increasingly popular in religious paintings. The Virgin Mary is often depicted in violet or purple robes.


So, What Is the Meaning of Purple?

Purple is associated with luxury, wealth, and power in color psychology. The color purple, as you might expect, symbolizes royalty and nobility. The combination of red and blue is said to convey wisdom and knowledge because of the blue's stability and calmness.

Purple is made up of what two colors?

On the surface, it appears that combining red and blue pigments to create purple is as simple as mixing them. It's not that simple, of course, as with everything in life. Even before we open the paint cans, we need to ask ourselves a few questions.

Achieving a Richer Purple Shade

To achieve a deeper, richer purple, simply add a little more red to the mix. Your purple would become dull if you don't use the same red that you have used to make your reference purple, and this red needs to be cooler.

Add a small amount of red to your purple shade and work your way up to the desired saturation level until you are satisfied with the color.

Making Cooler Purple Colors

You can cool down your purple color by simply adding more blue. If you decide to use this method, the most important consideration is which blue to use. Use the same blue that you used to create the original purple color whenever possible. If you don't use a warm blue, your purple shade will turn out muddy. Adding a little bit of blue to your purple at a time is also a great practice.

An insignificant amount of paint can produce dramatic results, and adding too much blue too quickly may necessitate the addition of additional red until the desired shade is achieved.

How to Make Light Purple Tints?

In order to capture the effects of light or depth, you must have purple highlight shades or tints. Due to the fact that purples are usually quite dark in their natural state, you'll probably want to lighten them quite frequently. To create light purple colors, you can experiment with a variety of techniques.

Making light purple in the most common and easiest way is to add white to your purple color. As one of the most significant advantages of using white to create light purple tints, your hue will not be altered. Adding white to pure purple will result in a lighter shade.

Adding a dash of light yellow is another great way to achieve light purple hues. Your purple will appear brighter if you add a color with a lower value to it. We already know that yellow can be used to tone down a vibrant purple color. For a subtle purple tint, light yellow is the ideal color.

How to Make Dark Purple Shades

The color purple is quite dark, so adding a little more darkness is not difficult. Make sure your paintings have depth and dimension by using dark purple shades. Depending on the nature of the mixture and the light values, you may need many more shades of dark purple. A palette of light and dark shades of your primary purple shade is always a good idea. It's also possible to create dark purple hues in several different ways.


Aren't Violet and Purple the Same Color?

No, violet and purple are often mistaken for one another. However, purple and violet are two distinct hues of the same color family. Purple is a darker shade of purple, while violet is a lighter shade of purple. While violet is a color associated with one wavelength of light, purple is a color associated with a mixture of wavelengths. Violet is a spectral color, which means that it can be seen across the spectrum.

Violet, like blue and red, is also made from a single wavelength of visible light, this time between 380 and 450 nanometers in wavelength. There are no wavelengths of purple. An object's reflected spectral color red and blue wavelengths combine to form purple, which our eyes can see.

Purple and violet are placed next to each other on the painter's color wheel among red and blue. Purple, on the other hand, is nearer to red than violet is to blue on the color wheel.

How Do You Get a Vibrant Purple?

To get this a vibrant purple, you'll need the same amount of blue and red paint. White can be added to lighten the color, and burnt umber can be used to darken it. Knowing color theory and subjectivity will go a long way toward assisting in the creation of various purple hues.


Purple is a color that can be created by combining a variety of different shades of the same color. A simple way to make purple is to combine blue and red in a basic color scheme. Alternatively, you can create a variety of purple hues by blending various colors.

You have to explore to figure out what works for you, regardless of which method you use. This is a useful ability to have when blending different types of paint, markers, or even nail polishes. The possibilities for using color mixing are virtually limitless!


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