What Colors Make Purple: The Best Guide

Welcome, fellow color enthusiasts! If you’ve found your way to this article of what colors make purple, it seems you’re curious about the beautiful world of color mixing, specifically how to create the mesmerizing shade of purple. Well, you’re in the right place! Together, we’ll learn how to mix colors to achieve the perfect purple, explore the science behind color mixing, and even discover some fun facts about purple throughout history. So, let’s dive in, shall we?

The Color Wheel: Understanding the Basics

Before we delve into the process of making the purple color, it’s essential to familiarize ourselves with the color wheel, the foundation of color theory. The color wheel consists of three primary colors: red, blue, and yellow. These primary colors cannot be created by mixing other colors together. However, when you combine primary colors, you get secondary colors: green (blue + yellow), orange (red + yellow), andβ€”you guessed itβ€”purple (red + blue).

So, in the simplest terms, mixing equal parts of red and blue will give you purple. But, as we’ll discover, there’s a whole world of possibilities when it comes to creating different shades and tones of purple.

Mixing Different Shades of Purple

Now that we know red and blue are the fundamental colors needed to make purple, let’s explore how to create various shades of this enchanting color. By adjusting the ratios of red and blue, you can produce a wide range of purples, from soft lavenders to deep, royal purples.


Lavender is a light, delicate shade of purple. To create this color, mix equal parts of red and blue, and then add a generous amount of white. The white lightens the mixture, resulting in the soft, airy hue of lavender.


Violet is a vibrant, rich shade of purple with a slightly bluish tone. To create violet, mix red and blue in a 1:2 ratio (one part red, two parts blue). Violet’s blue-leaning hue comes from the greater proportion of blue in the mix.


Plum is a deep, dark shade of purple with a hint of red. To create plum, mix red and blue in a 2:1 ratio (two parts red, one part blue). The extra red brings out the warm, sumptuous feel of this shade.


Orchid is a bright, pinkish-purple hue. To create orchid, mix equal parts red and blue, and then add a touch of white and a dash of pink. The white and pink additions give orchid its lively, spirited character.

The Role of Color Temperature

Color temperature is an essential aspect of color mixing that can significantly impact the final result. Warm colors, such as red, orange, and yellow, evoke feelings of warmth and energy, while cool colors, like blue, green, and purple, are associated with calmness and tranquility.

When mixing purple, consider the color temperature of your red and blue pigments. Using a warm red with a cool blue will create a more neutral, balanced purple, while combining a cool red with a warm blue will yield a hue that leans more towards violet or plum.

What Colors Make Purple? – Step by Step Guide

Now let’s take a look to the basic step by step guide about what colors make purple colors easily and effectively:

  1. Start with the primary colors: red and blue. These colors cannot be created by mixing other colors.
  2. Decide on the shade of purple you want to create. This will determine the amount of red and blue you need to mix together.
  3. Begin by adding a small amount of blue to your mixing palette.
  4. Add a small amount of red to the blue.
  5. Mix the two colors together using a palette knife, brush, or other tool until they are fully blended.
  6. Observe the resulting color. If it is too blue or too red, adjust the ratio of blue and red accordingly.
  7. Continue to add small amounts of red and blue until you achieve the desired shade of purple.
  8. For a lighter shade of purple, add a small amount of white to your mixture. For a darker shade, add a small amount of black.
  9. Experiment with different ratios of red and blue to create variations of purple. Remember, red will make the purple warmer, while blue will make it cooler.
  10. Have fun with your color mixing journey and don’t be afraid to explore different techniques and combinations to create the perfect purple shade for your project.

Fun Facts About Purple

As we wrap up our tutorial, let’s take a moment to appreciate some fascinating tidbits about the color purple:

  1. In ancient Rome, purple was a symbol of power, wealth, and prestige. The production of purple dye was an expensive, labor-intensive process, making it a luxury reserved for the elite.
  2. The phrase “born to the purple” refers to someone born into a high-ranking, noble family. The expression has its roots in Byzantine royalty, where the color purple was closely associated with the ruling class.
  3. Purple is the rarest color in nature. You’ll find it in a select few flowers, like lavender and orchids, as well as some fruits, like grapes and plums.


What colors do I need to mix to make purple?

To make purple, you can mix red and blue together. The exact shades of red and blue you use will determine the specific shade of purple you create.

Can I make purple with just one color?

No, you cannot make purple with just one color. Purple is a secondary color that is created by mixing two primary colors (red and blue) together.

Is it possible to make different shades of purple?

Yes, you can make different shades of purple by adjusting the amount of red and blue you mix together. Adding more red will create a warmer, more vibrant purple, while adding more blue will create a cooler, more muted purple.

Can I use any shades of red and blue to make purple?

It’s best to use primary colors (pure red and pure blue) to make purple, as using shades or variations of these colors can create a less vibrant or less accurate shade of purple.

What happens if I add white or black to my purple mixture?

Adding white to your purple mixture will create a lighter, more pastel shade of purple. Adding black will create a darker, more muted shade of purple.

Can I mix purple with other colors to create new shades?

Yes, you can mix purple with other colors to create new shades. For example, mixing purple with yellow will create a shade of green, while mixing purple with orange will create a shade of brown.


And there you have itβ€”a friendly guide to mixing the captivating color purple! Remember, the key to creating purple is combining red and blue, with endless possibilities for different shades and tones. Don’t be afraid to experiment and have fun with your color mixing journey, and before you know it, you’ll be an expert in creating the perfect purple. Happy mixing!

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