what colors make purple

What Colors Make Purple? Color Guide for Drawing

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on color theory. The color purple, loved by many for its representation of royalty, power, whimsy, and playfulness, holds a particular challenge for artists striving to attain its perfect shade. Indeed, the voyage of creating hues of purple in artwork sets its foundation on a crucial theory in color mixing—red and blue make purple. But the journey is not as straightforward.

Not just any shades of red or blue will yield the ideal purple. The temperature of your colors plays a pivotal role. With an array of shades, from cool to warm variants, the color spectrum for purple provides an enriching palette for artists. Thus, the ideal purple is attainable in various artistic forms, making this guide imperative not only for those creating drawings, but also for those interested in the likes of purple color book art print.

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding how to make purple with paint begins with familiarizing oneself with color theory.
  • Not just any shades of red and blue create the perfect purple; the temperature of colors plays a pivotal role in achieving the desired hue.
  • Creating the perfect shade of purple needs careful selection and understanding of the right shades of red and blue.
  • The color spectrum for purple provides an array of shades from cool to warm tints, offering a rich palette.
  • The journey of learning what colors make purple is valuable not only for painters but also for artists interested in other forms like book art print.

The Fascinating History and Symbolism of Purple

The color purple carries significant symbolism that has been sewn into the fabric of our history. Associated with luxury, aristocracy, and exclusivity, its history dates back to a time when purple clothing was solely designated for rulers due to the exceedingly high costs of producing it.

This regal hue was derived from a scarce dye found in the Tyre region of the Mediterranean. As a result, purple’s connection to sophistication and authority has remained untouched for centuries, naturally forming a strong foundation in purple color psychology.

Embedding itself in color theory for artists, purple continues to inspire artists everywhere due to its versatile and majestic qualities. It remains a sought-after hue when creating artwork that evokes feelings of regality or profundity.

Understanding the Basics of Color Theory

In the world of art, creating captivating visuals goes beyond the mere selection and application of colors. It delves into the fundamentals of color theory for artists, a realm that allows artists to tap into a deeper understanding of colors and their intricate relationships. For those in pursuit of creating purple hues, grasping color theory forms the stepping stone to achieving nuanced and expressive purple shades in their artworks.

Defining Warm and Cool Colors

The color wheel serves an essential tool in color theory, presenting a spectrum of colors divided into warm and cool colors. Each color brings unique characteristics – warm colors often associated with energy and passion, and cool colors with calmness and serenity. Red holds a prominent place as one of the warm colors, while blue falls into the cool category. Therefore, the interplay of these two colors, innately contrasting in temperature, gives birth to a color as versatile and expressive as purple.

Color Mixing for Purple

The Role of Color Bias in Mixing Paints

Delving deeper into the color wheel introduces an essential concept in color theory – color bias. Within the domain of reds and blues, not all shades are created equal. Some reds may lean towards a warmer or cooler side, and the same applies to blues. This inherent ‘bias’ significantly impacts the outcome when color mixing for purple.

For instance, mixing a cool red like Alizarin Crimson or Quinacridone Magenta with a warm blue such as Ultramarine will yield a clean and vibrant purple. In contrast, selecting hues with opposing biases may result in a muddy and less-desired outcome. Therefore, understanding and leveraging color bias in paint selection is instrumental for artists in creating captivating and desirable purple hues.

Primary Colors: The Foundation of Purple

The enchanting allure of purple in artworks boils down to the art of color mixing for purple. At the heart of this process are the primary colors – blue and red. These two colors serve as the fundamental building blocks in the creation of various shades of purple. By understanding the core principles of color theory, artists can embark on the journey of crafting diverse purples to enhance their artwork.

color mixing for purple

Creating different purple shades essentially revolves around controlling the proportions of blue and red. The balancing act between these two primary colors greatly influences how light or dark, cool, or warm the resulting purple hue will become. This provides artists with a wide range of purple shades to choose from, offering endless possibilities for artistic interpretation and expression.

Let’s dive deeper into understanding what colors make purple by exploring some basic color combinations:

Combination Description
Equal Parts of Blue and Red Produces a balanced, neutral purple
More Blue than Red Yields a cool, bluish-purple
More Red than Blue Creates a warm, reddish-purple

Through continuous experimentation and an appreciation of color science, artists can enjoy the creative journey of mixing different shades of purple according to their artistic vision. The result is an artwork full of depth, complexity, and emotion that resonates with viewers on a profound level.

The Impact of Paint Quality on Purple Hues

For artists aiming to unlock the true potential of color mixing for purple, a critical consideration is the quality of the paint. The influence of paint quality on the final purple hue in your artwork, including what colors make purple color book art print, cannot be underestimated.

When selecting the paint for your masterpiece, remember that high-quality paints often deliver a more vibrant, true-to-hue purple. They offer artists the possibility of achieving the desired intensity and brightness in their purple mixes which is vital for creating visually compelling artwork.

Quality Paint Purple Hues

On the other side of the spectrum, lower quality options may result in less saturated or duller purples. The purity of the pigments in your chosen paint plays a significant role in the final appearance of purple hues in your creation. A lower quality paint’s impure pigments may distort the anticipated color, resulting in a dull, washed-out, or inaccurate hue.

Moreover, the specific properties of the paint, including its opacity, consistency, and lightfastness, can greatly influence the mixed purple’s outcome.

The impact of paint quality on the resulting purple hue highlights the importance of choosing the right paint for one’s artistic endeavors.

Thus, whether you’re painting a beautiful landscape, designing a color book, or creating your own print art, prioritise the paint quality. Your artistic vision and craftsmanship deserve to shine through in every stroke, and the quality of your paint plays a big part in making sure that happens.

Exploring the Color Wheel: Red and Blue’s Relationship

The color wheel is a critical aid for any artist, serving as a guiding map to navigate the complex world of hues, shades, and tints. At the heart of the wheel, red and blue play leading roles, as their interplay yields the fascinating spectrum of purple shades.

Color wheel showing relationship between red and blue

In an endeavor to understand what colors make purple, it becomes paramount for artists to acquaint themselves with the intricacies of the color wheel. This intuitive tool outlines the variations in the spectra of reds and blues, each shifting towards different hues depending on their intensity or value.

The relationship and interplay between red and blue ultimately dictate the resulting shade of purple. As such, studying this intersection aids artists significantly in creating purple hues that align with their vision and artistic goals.

“Develop an understanding of color theory for artists is equivalent to acquiring the skeleton key to unlock intimate knowledge of every hue”.

Truly, only by mastering the intricacies of the color wheel can an artist gain proficiency in mixing colors and, consequently, create artwork that resonates both aesthetically and emotionally.

What Colors Make Purple: Color Mixing for Artists

Every artist embarks on a creative journey—part science, part intuition—to unlock the mysteries around what colors make purple. After all, purple painting techniques feature prominently not only in traditional art forms, but also in modern-day essentials like color book art prints.

Artist's color mixing palette

The Influence of Proportion in Purple Mixing

One of the main variables that influences your final result is the proportion of red and blue in the mix. This is because different shades of purple emerge depending on the intensity and ratio of these two colors. A higher concentration of blue leads to a cooler, deeper purple, while a dominance of red tends to produce a warmer, lighter purple.

How to Make Purple with Paint: A Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Mix equal parts of cool red and warm blue.
  2. Observe the resultant purple. It should ideally be a balanced shade—neither too warm nor too cool.
  3. Adjust the ratio: To achieve a warmer shade of purple, add more red. For a cooler tone, enhance the blue.
  4. If you are aiming for lighter shades, such as lavender, mix in some white.
  5. For darker, mystic shades like indigo, blend in some dark blue.

Embracing the science of color mixing, artists everywhere can incorporate a palette rich with shades of purple, creating visually stunning and emotionally compelling works of art.

Creating Purple Hues: A Guide for Beginners

When you’re beginning your journey into the world of color, learning how to make purple with paint can be a fun and rewarding endeavor. This exercise not only teaches you the basics of color mixing but also allows you to experiment with the shades and tones that can be achieved by combining primary colors.

Creating purple hues

The process of creating purple hues starts with the primary colors – red and blue. Mixing these two colors in different proportions results in a wide spectrum of purples, from cool shades that lean towards blue to warm purples that hint at red. As a beginner, it’s advisable to take time to experiment with different proportions to gain an understanding of how the ratios of red to blue affect the resulting purple hue.

Further adjustments can be made to the hue by introducing white or black into the mix. Adding white to the purple lightens the hue, creating a tint, while adding black will darken it, producing a shade. This variation can introduce further complexity to your purple, making it suitable for various artistic applications.

Mix Resulting Hue
Red + Blue Basic Purple
Red + Blue + More Red Warm Purple
Red + Blue + More Blue Cool Purple
Red + Blue + White Purple Tint
Red + Blue + Black Purple Shade

As you advance in your journey of color exploration, keep in mind that experimentation is key. The act of creating and adjusting shades introduces you to the vast possibilities of purple, equipping you with the basics needed to take your art to the next level. Remember, practice makes perfect. So, pick up your palette and start mixing!

Complementary Colors for Purple in Art

From still life paintings to graphic digital designs, the impact of purple often hinges on more than just the color itself. It is not just about the hue but understanding how it interplays with other colors to create powerful and engaging imagery. This is where complementary colors come into motion. Complementary colors stand on opposite sides of the color wheel, amplifying each other’s impact and creating harmonious contrast when placed side by side. For purple, its complementary color is yellow.

complementary colors for purple

When well-executed, the interaction between purple and yellow can breathe life into a piece of artwork, highlighting the nuances of each color in a way that stands apart yet blends perfectly. Such a pairing is a brilliant example of color duality – a riveting contrast and harmony at the same time. Whether you seek to make the purple stand out vividly against its complementary color or wish to soften its impact, this interplay is a powerful tool in the hands of an artist.

“The balance between purple and yellow, when finely tuned, can add a dynamic flair to your artwork that is both eye-catching and visually pleasing.”

Developing successful purple color schemes requires a fundamental understanding of color balance. Finding the perfect harmony between purple and yellow requires a delicate balancing act. Here are a few considerations:

  • Intensity of Colors: A bright purple would pair best with a vivid yellow, while a muted purple might look best with a softer yellow.
  • Placement: Be thoughtful about where and how much of each color you use. These decisions can dramatically impact your artwork’s overall effect.
  • Variations: Consider using a variety of shades, tints and tones within the same color family.

With these considerations in mind, let’s dive a little deeper into popular purple color schemes that leverage its complementary color for maximum impact:

Color Scheme Description
Purple and Yellow This direct complementary scheme creates a bright, vibrant contrast.
Purple and Gold A luxurious and often regal choice, this pairing offers a variation on the traditional purple-yellow combination.
Purple, Green and Yellow An analogous and complementary scheme that is harmonious and balanced.

By honing your ability to balance colors effectively, you can create engaging and dynamic purple color schemes that elevate the visual appeal of any artistic project, ensuring your work leaves an unforgettable impact.

Experimenting With Different Shades of Purple

One of the exciting aspects of artistry is the limitless opportunity for experimentation, especially when it comes to color. Purple, in all its glory, offers an expanse of shades from mysterious indigos to soothing lavenders. The process of creating these different shades and tints deepens our appreciation for this enigmatic color.

Mixing shades of purple

Mixing Shades of Purple for Depth

In fine art, getting the depth of color right is as crucial as nailing the subject. When it comes to mixing shades of purple, the key is in the interplay between various hues of reds and blues. For instance, a deep, dramatic purple can be achieved by combining a cool, dark blue like Prussian Blue with a rich, warm red such as Cadmium Red. Conversely, a light, cool purple may be the result of mixing a bright Cardinal Red with a soft Cerulean Blue.

Adding Tints and Shades to Purple

By introducing tints and shades, artists can further elevate their purple palette. Adding varying amounts of white to your mix can give you a range of beautiful tints, delivering light, pastel purples that are perfect for springtime pieces or children’s illustrations. In contrast, adding black can tilt the mix towards darker, more intense shades of purple. These somber hues can bring a sense of depth and complexity to complex, emotionally-charged works.

Monitoring the quantities of black or white added allows artists to control the darkness or lightness of their purples accurately. It’s all about delicate balance and mindful adjustments. With persistent practice and a passion for exploration, anyone can become adept at creating their unique collection of purples.

Purple Color Schemes: Enhancing Your Artwork

In the world of art, the impact of color is profound, and when it comes to purple color schemes, the effect is particularly striking. This rich, versatile color evokes a variety of moods, atmospheres, and themes, making it a powerful tool in the artist’s palette.

From the serenity of lavender fields to the regality of royal scenes, the use of purple resonates in the viewer’s mind. In contrast with other hues, purple holds a unique place due to its ability to emanate both calming and dynamic sensations.

Purple color schemes in artwork

Understanding color theory for artists is crucial to effectively leveraging any color, including purple. Exploring different shades and tints of purple in combination with other colors can significantly enhance the impact and depth of artwork.

Finding the right purple color schemes might seem daunting at first, but with a basic understanding of color theory and a little experimentation, the possibilities are practically endless.

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” – Edgar Degas

Here’s a simple guideline that can be of great help:

  1. Start with a base shade of purple and figure out whether you want it to be more towards the warm or cool end of the spectrum.
  2. Experiment with mixing purple with its complementary color, yellow, or with neutrals to see the effect.
  3. Try out different shades and tints of purple – you might be surprised at the range of moods and atmospheres you can achieve.

One of the great things about purple is that it can look amazing in any artwork, be it an abstract painting, a realistic landscape or even a minimalist design.

Color Scheme Description
Monochromatic An artwork that uses different shades, tones, and tints of purple.
Complementary An artwork where purple is paired with yellow, its complementary color.
Split-Complementary An artwork where purple is paired with yellow plus the two colors adjacent to yellow on the color wheel.
Triadic An artwork that uses purple as well as the two colors equally spaced from purple on the color wheel.
Tetradic An artwork that uses two pairs of complementary colors, one of which is purple.

With these tactics in mind, artists can begin developing the means to effectively incorporate purple into their artwork. No matter the project, the exploration of purple color schemes can only lead to growth and evolution as an artist.

Purple Color Psychology in Art and Design

Delve into the complex and fascinating world of purple color psychology. A color as rich and versatile as purple can serve as a powerful tool in both art and design, and understanding its psychological connotations can profoundly impact the interaction between a viewer and a piece of work. The return on this investment of knowledge can be invaluable, aiding in the creation of art that truly resonates with an audience.

Purple color psychology

Purple, for centuries, has been associated with sentiments of creativity, mystery, and luxury. Rooted in its historical significance, these powerful associations persist today, subtly influencing our reactions and emotions. Thus, mastering color theory for artists and understanding the psychology behind it is more than a luxury—it’s a necessity for those striving to bring a provocative, captivating sophistication to their creations.

“When applied with intention in artwork or design projects, purple has the power to convey a sense of sophisticated elegance or to imbue a piece with a sense of the extraordinary.”

Below, we explore some common associations of the color purple, touching on their applicability across different platforms of artistic expression:

Purple’s Association Applicability in Art and Design
Creativity Use purple to stimulate imagination and inspire innovation in design.
Luxury Apply darker shades of purple to evoke a sense of opulence and high-end appeal.
Mysticism Utilize purple to convey the mysterious, the mystical, and the spiritual.

As an artist or designer, understanding these psychological aspects of color can drive the emotional connection between your work and the viewer, creating a potent and memorable experience. Explore the mystifying world of purple and make a profound, intriguing statement with your creations.

Advanced Techniques: Mixing Custom Purple Colors

For those artists ready to dive deeper into the world of color, advanced techniques in mixing shades of purple will open doors to immense possibilities. Unlike the rudimentary understanding of mixing primary colors, generating custom purple hues requires a much more nuanced approach. Now, the reader must think about intricate factors such as the undertone of their pigments, saturation balance, and even the impact of lighting and context.

mixing shades of purple

Did you know the same shade of purple can look significantly different under warm daylight, as opposed to cool LED lights? It’s true. The context matters.

  • Different Pigments: Various reds and blues present unique undertones. What happens when you mix a cool blue with a warm red, versus a warm blue with a cool red? The resulting purples will bring forward a whole new spectrum of hues.
  • Understanding Saturation: Saturation refers to the intensity of the color. A fully saturated hue has no black, white, or gray present. As artists manipulate saturation levels, they can yield a range of purples from soft and pastel to vibrant and bold.
  • Considering Lighting and Context: Color perception can be dramatically influenced by changes in lighting and environment. As such, artists must consider these variables when mixing their custom purples.

To put these advanced techniques into practice, let’s look at an example of mixing custom purples. Observe the results when mixing varying ratios of Ultramarine Blue (a warm blue) with Alizarin Crimson (a cool red). This experiment yields a myriad of unique purples, each with distinct tonal qualities.

Purple Variants Ultramarine Blue (Parts) Alizarin Crimson (Parts)
Deep Purple 3 1
Classic Purple 2 1
Rich Plum 1 1
Muted Mauve 1 2

“The joy of color mixing lies in the exploration, the process of discovery. It is a journey without a final destination, an ongoing pursuit of the perfect purple.” – An Anonymous Artist

By harnessing advanced techniques, artists elevate their practice, creating unique purple hues that are as specific and unique as their artistic vision. The result? Piece of art that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also resonate emotionally, leaving lasting impacts on their viewers.


In wrapping up this exploration of color, it is apparent that the integration of color theory and practical techniques is crucial to understanding what colors make purple in the realm of artistry and drawing. The amalgamation of red and blue, the fundamental building blocks in the creation of purple, offer an expansive array of purple shades that artists can experiment and express their creativity with.

Diving deep into color theory for artists, we discovered the importance of color bias, the value of experimenting with proportions, and the significant role of paint quality upon the resulting hues. We’ve seen how the right balance between cool reds and warm blues can produce the perfect purple, a skill that artists can master to breathe life into their artwork.

In the journey of creating purple hues, artists are not only armed with technical knowledge but also introduced to the rich symbolism and psychological impact of purple. From its historical ties to royalty and luxury to the modern interpretations of creativity and mysticism, purple, in all its shades, holds a powerful sway in the world of art and design.

This comprehensive guide strives to empower artists to experiment and explore with purple hues in their artwork. With the knowledge and techniques at hand, artists are equipped to create work that captivates viewers and resonates on more profound, meaningful levels.


What primary colors make purple?

The primary colors red and blue mixed together make purple. The shade of purple will depend on the specific hues of red and blue, their proportion, and whether warm or cool colors are used.

What is the importance of color theory for artists?

Color theory provides artists critical insights into how colors interact, influence each other, and impact the viewer’s perception and emotions. It aids in choosing color palettes and maintain color harmony in artworks.

What is the history and symbolism of purple?

Purple has a rich history, dating back to ancient royal courts that reserved this color for rulers due to its unique and expensive dye. Symbolically, it represents power, luxury, creativity, and mysticism.

How does the quality of paint affect the purple hues?

Paint quality significantly impacts the purple hue outcome. Higher quality paints with purer pigments tend to produce more vibrant, true-to-hue purples, while lower-quality paints may yield less saturated or muted purples.

What’s the role of the color wheel in understanding the creation of purple?

The color wheel is an excellent visual tool for understanding the relationship between different colors. It displays how primary colors like red and blue combine to form secondary colors such as purple, and guides in tweaking those proportions for different purple shades.

How do you make purple with paint?

To make purple with paint, start by mixing equal amounts of blue and red. Then, adjust the proportions to achieve the desired hue. Adding more red will result in a warmer purple, while adding more blue will create a cooler shade.

What are complementary colors for purple?

Complementary colors are on the opposite side of the color wheel. For purple, its complementary color is yellow. This combination creates a striking contrast that can help accentuate the purple hues in an artwork.

What are some advanced techniques for mixing custom purple colors?

Advanced techniques for mixing custom purple colors involve exploring different pigments and their undertones, regulating the saturation, and considering factors such as light and context to create purples that resonate with artistic vision and requirements.

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