From a really young age, we have been taught that red and also blue make purple, just as yellow and blue mix to make green, and red and also yellow do orange. However, how plenty of times have actually you mixed a red and blue and the result is no purple or the is a yucky purple? You uncovered that red and blue don’t do purple.

You are watching: What color does blue and purple make


During my years of teaching color, I often hear painters complain about the an obstacle in mix a nice, clean and also bright purple. Lock then go out and also purchase pipe of purple paint and also still they space not completely satisfied. It’s frustrating.

As a creative who loves the color purple, i overcame this frustration countless years ago when i learned around the color predisposition that virtually every major tube of paint carries. In other words, i taught myself to check out the added color or ‘color bias’ that major tubes of paint carry. The an interpretation and explanation that color predisposition is reviewed in mine blog: Stop Using warm & Cool Colors!

Red and blue DO do purple. The an essential is utilizing a pipe of red and also a tube of blue the will develop that hue of violet you room wanting to usage in your painting.

Typical tubes of red are: permanent rose, magenta, thalo red, cadmium red, cadmium red light, alizarin crimson hue, quinacridone magenta, naphthol red medium, pyrrole crimson, scarlet, pyrrole, red, vermillion, etc. (This is no an exhaustive list.)

Typical pipe of blue are: phthalo blue (red and also green shades), cerulean blue, cobalt blue, Prussian blue, ultramarine blue, permanent blue, Antwerp blue, turquoise, manganese, etc. (This is not an exhaustive list.)

That is a the majority of tubes that red and also blue no issue which medium you room working in. …And the repaint manufacturers store creating much more for us!

Note: In acrylics, watercolor and also oils, the surname of red and also blue tubes might vary. But the variety of reds and blues is vast in each medium.


Which red and blue indigenous the above makes a lovely purple? It deserve to be overwhelming trying come choose. (Each swatch of color in the above chart is from various tubes of repaint representing several brands.)

Red and Blue Don’t do Purple …Why?

Why? because artists shot to usage tubes of red and blue that contain yellow! We understand that yellow is the color complement of purple and also when castle are combined they de-saturate each other. In other words, as soon as you mix a tiny yellow with purple it i do not care dull or looses the saturation. The shade chart listed below shows the mixture that an outcome from mixing various yellows and purples. You have the right to see how the combination creates one of two people a brown or gray/black.


The other variable that renders mixing violet difficult, is that countless painters use a typical or typical palette the colors that does not allow them to do purple. Many shade palettes are comprised of the following colors: cadmium red, alizarin crimson, cadmium yellow tool (or new gamboge or Indian yellow), hansa yellow light (or cadmium pale or lemon yellow) and ultramarine blue, cobalt blue and curelean blue. Then they include optional planet colors in addition to white (acrylics and oil painters) and also black (or neutral tint) to fill the end your shade palette that paint.

Red and blue don’t make purple v a color palette such as the one outlined above. To mix a clean purple, girlfriend must have a tube of red that carries a strong color prejudice of blue and also does not carry any kind of yellow. Because that example, the cadmium reds bring a color bias of yellow. For this reason they will certainly never mix a bright violet no matter which blue you use. Right here I have actually mixed cadmium red with ultramarine blue. The result is a purple-black or gray.


Alizarin crimson, a popular color, tote a color bias of blue but it is a dull or de-saturated red. Girlfriend can achieve a mixture the is rather purple using alizarin crimson, but it will never be a clean and also bright purple. This is one of the factors I do not choose alizarin (permanent or otherwise) as explained in my blog: Could friend Toss her Alizarin Crimson?

You deserve to see from the color mixture and swatch below, the alizarin and ultramarine execute not do a glowing purple. I added a small white in ~ the bottom of the swatch so that you have the right to see that it does do a grey-purple.


When ns was working in watercolors, my mystery to mixing purple was having permanent climbed on mine palette. I like that color for countless other reasons. Hence, it was my favorite blue-red. Right now my blue-red pipe of paint, no matter my medium, are: permanent rose, quinacridone magenta or main magenta. Below I blended permanent rose and also ultramarine blue to gain a nice purple.



As you have actually been reading this article, you have actually noticed that the blue i am utilizing is ultramarine blue. Why? since it is a blue that has actually a color predisposition of red. Over there is no yellow or eco-friendly in it. For fun, shot mixing a cadmium red through phthalo or Prussian blue and also see what happens. It definitely won’t be a purple since each that those blues and also the red have yellow in them. When again, red and blue don’t make purple.

Now for a little of a twist. If you room up for experimenting, try your permanent rose (your pretty clean blue-red) with one of your green-blues, such together cerulean blue and see what happens. I have detailed an instance below.


How do you choose this purple? It’s contempt grey however it tho carries a purple hue. Over there is a small bit of white included at the bottom of the swatch. Ns encourage girlfriend to develop a chart playing v your reds and also blues.

See more: Working With Definition Of Midpoint In Geometry Proof And Formula

Let me understand which red and also blue mixture you have experimented with and also which girlfriend prefer. Reap the exploration process!

If you found this article helpful, you re welcome share it utilizing the buttons below. Let’s spread the word about the mysteries of shade mixing.