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Mixing Colors 101: What Does Blue and Purple Make?

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Mixing Colors 101: What Does Blue and Purple Make?

Colors can be magical. Mixing two vibrant shades together can produce an entirely new hue that excites the eyes. Blue and purple make compelling blending partners. These cool jewel tones complement each other across the color wheel. But their exact blend depends on the particular shades of blue and purple used. Read on to learn more about what does blue and purple make and the resulting secondary colors they make.

What Does Blue and Purple Make? (Primary Blue Pigments)

Before mixing, it helps to understand the characteristics of blue pigments. Primary blues include:

  • Ultramarine – Vivid medium blue made from ground lapis lazuli stones. Used in Renaissance paintings.
  • Cobalt – Intense navy blue ink made by heating cobalt oxide ore. Used since the 1800s.
  • Phthalo – Modern synthetic blue dye used in inks and paints. Very saturated.
  • Prussian – Dark inky blue pigment was accidentally discovered in 1704. Contains ferrous ferrocyanide.
  • Indanthrone – Organic compound that produces a blue-violet shade. Used for office supplies and inks.
  • Egyptian – Calcium copper silicate that makes a bright blue-green tone. Used since Ancient Egyptian times.

The depth of the blue whether lighter, medium, or darker – influences the resulting blend. Darker shades mix to make deeper purples.

What Does Blue and Purple Make? (Primary Purple Pigments)

Likewise, many purple pigments exist. Primary purples include:

  • Manganese – Naturally occurring mineral used since the Stone Age for a light violet shade.
  • Han Purple – Synthetic barium copper silicate, invented in China circa 800-300 BC.
  • Tyrian – Reddish royal purple made from crushing sea snails found in Phoenicia.
  • Dioxazine – Modern violet synthetic pigment used in artist paints and plastics.
  • Mauve – Aniline dye derived from coal tar that ignited a craze in the Victorian era.
  • Mulberry – Vivid reddish purple made by combining organic lac dye with inorganic minerals.

Richer, darker purples create deeper blends. Lighter purples make softer lavender blends.

What Does Blue and Purple Make? (Mixing Blue and Purple Paints)

When blended together in paints or inks, blue and purple make:

  • Blue-violet – Mixing a medium blue with a light purple.
  • Violet – Blending a medium blue with a medium purple.
  • Purple-blue or indigo – Combining a medium purple with a midnight blue.
  • Mauve – Adding a hint of magenta-purple to any blue.
  • Plum – Mixing a deep purple with a hint of blue.

With acrylics, lean towards using more blue than purple to avoid making the blend too dark or muddy. Go even lighter with purple watercolors.

The result also depends on the natural transparency of the pigments. Opaque colors like phthalo or cobalt blue make brighter blends than transparent dioxazine purple.

What Does Blue and Purple Make? (Combining Blue and Purple Dyes)

When it comes to fabric dyes and food coloring, blue and purple mix to create:

  • Wisteria – Blending light blue with pale lilac dye.
  • Lilac – Mixing a “true blue” with a light violet.
  • Orchid – Adding medium purple to medium blue dye.
  • Eggplant – Combining a deep purple and deep blue dye together.

For pastel tints, use just a drop or two of the purple dye into mostly blue. Increase purple for richer royal hues.

What Does Blue and Purple Make? (Managing Muddy Brown Mixes)

If the blend skews brownish instead of vibrant violet, try these tweaks:

  • Add a few drops of white paint or dye to lighten the blend.
  • Incorporate a dot of bright red or pink paint/dye to boost purple tones.
  • Switch to cooler blues by avoiding yellow-biased shades like cyan.
  • Use transparent dyes instead of more opaque pigments.
  • Reduce the amount of purple – a little goes a long way when darkening blue.

Avoid over-mixing to retain color vibrancy. Always test a swatch before committing to painting or dyeing your full canvas or fabric.

What Does Blue and Purple Make? (Purple and Blue Color Theory)

On the color wheel, blue and purple are complementary colors located opposite each other. This means they complete each other. Blue contains no traces of red, while purple is a mix of blue and red. When combined, these cool primaries balance into harmonious blends. Mixing small amounts of complementary colors deepens both.

While vibrant on their own, pairing blue and purple creates dreamy, mystical secondary hues. Use these as accent colors in moderation for maximum impact. Lean into lush violet, mauve, and indigo tones in interior design, fashion, art, and beyond to energize yet soothe.

FAQ’s What Does Blue and Purple Make? 

  1. Do blue and purple make black when mixed?
    Answer: No, blending any colors together will not make black. Mixing blue and purple produces various shades of violet, purple-blue, mauve, or indigo depending on the pigments used.
  2. Why does mixing blue and purple sometimes make brown?
    Answer: Overmixing blue and purple paints, especially more opaque pigments, can skew brownish. Using a light touch preserves the vibrancy. Adding white or pink can also avoid a muddy blend.
  3. What does light blue and dark purple make?
    Answer: Combining a light blue with deep purple normally results in a plummy, reddish-purple secondary color. The lighter blue has less power to lighten the blend.
  4. What about mixing blue and purple frosting?
    Answer: You can blend gel food colors in frosting just like paints. Light blue and violet make lilac. Dark blue and purple make an eggplant shade.
  5. How do I mix blue and purple hair dye?
    Answer: In semi-permanent hair dye, even a touch of violet into a blue base produces dimension. For accurate mixing, blend a few drops of colors on a plate first before applying them to the hair.

In summary, blue and purple make mystical, moody hues spanning the spectrum from wisteria to mauve. Combine complementary pigments in the right ratios to create your perfect purple-blue.

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