How to Make Purple Paint
Mixing purple paint can seem virtually impossible. We were all taught that purple = red + blue, but mixing paints can often result in a disappointing purple-gray or dark maroon hue instead. Read on to learn the trick to mixing perfect purples and violets.
Make Purple Paint with Magenta and Blue or Cyan
Obtain magenta paint.The reason mixing red and blue paint doesn't give you the bright purple you would like is that red paint absorbs both green and blue light. Since blue paint absorbs both red and green light, and your eye only senses color in terms of red, green, and blue (the reason we have three primary colors in the first place), that leaves very little red or blue light for your eye to sense, and your brain, which interprets the combinations of colors your eye senses, sees a so-called-purple that is almost black. Magenta paint on the other hand, since it only absorbs green light, allows plenty of both blue and red light to reach your eye. Combine it with a small amount of blue paint (absorbs both green and red light), or cyan paint (absorbs only red light), and your brain will receive a strong signal from the blue-sensing nerves, a weaker signal from the red-sensing nerves, and will see . . . bright purple!
- Magenta is one of the "subtractive" primary colors used by graphic designers and printers; the others are yellow and cyan. Look for paint that has the pigment PR122 or PV19 in it, but no PB (blue) or PW (white).
- If you're buying craft or poster paint, you can compare the color to the magenta in your computer's printer ink. Just print a sample to take shopping with you.
- Because magenta is a primary color, it cannot be made by mixing other colors. Mixing magenta and yellow in various proportions makes a whole range of reds and oranges. Mixing magenta and cyan in different proportions makes a whole range of blues and purples.
Mix the magenta paint with whatever bright blue or turquoise you already own.Any cyan or blue should work fine, as long as it isn't dull or greenish. Start with a very small amount of blue, then add more till you obtain the hue you want.
Make Purple Paint with True Red and Blue
Determine whether your red and blue paint is "true." The reason that mixing red and blue paints doesn't always end up giving you the purple paint you desire is that every paint is composed of many different colors, not just one. A tube of red paint might have oranges and yellows as well, and a tube of blue paint could have red and yellow pigments. When you mix reds and blues that aren't "true," you end up with a brownish, off-purple result.
- Look for red paint that doesn't have yellow or orange undertones, since when these colors are mixed with blue they create the color brown.
- Look for blue paint without any yellow or green undertones.
- If you aren't sure whether your paint is true, test it out. Pour a little onto a palette and mix it with some white. What undertones do you see? The white helps bring out the true nature of the paint's pigments. The red should come out looking pink, not peach; the blue should look sky-blue rather than sea green.
Mix true blue and red.Pour equal amounts of red and blue paint onto a palette and use a brush to mix them together to create a rich purple hue.
- For a purple color that leans more toward violet, add extra blue paint.
- Add extra red paint if you want a purple with warmer, pinker undertones.
Customize Purple Paint
Add white paint.Whether you mixed your purple paint by using red and blue or magenta and cyan, adding white will make it lighter and brighter. Add just a little paint at first, then gradually mix in more to achieve the hue you want. Adding as much white paint as purple will create a pastel color.
Add black paint.Adding black paint to purple will deepen the color to a rich, dark purple. Add a little at a time to prevent accidentally going too dark; it's hard to pull back with black paint.
Mix in both black and white.This will create a grayish lavender color, as dark or light as you like.
Add more magenta to move towards a pinker purple.Add more blue or cyan to push your purple toward violet.
QuestionWhat do I add to light green to make it purple?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerAdding red and maybe blue might give you a purplish brown, but you cannot use green to make purple.Thanks!
QuestionWhat should be mixed together to make lavender grey?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerLavender grey has a larger proportion of blue than most purples. Use very small and equal doses of red and blue to start, then add white to get to the lightness you want. It might look a little pink, so add a very tiny amount of blue to make it a cooler tone (some authentic greys even require a hint of black).Thanks!
QuestionIf I want to get pastel purple, should I mix in more blue or red?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerFor a pastel purple, you should use a combination of blue, red, and white. White is how you get lighter versions of colors. The proportions of the colors are up to you. Just add and mix until you get the shade you like.Thanks!
QuestionI don't have red, blue or magenta paints. What else could I use?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou need to buy more paint. You need red and blue to make purple.Thanks!
QuestionI have a dark lavender and need a vibrant purple. What color can I mix with it to achieve this effect?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerMagenta is the best choice to make it more vibrant.Thanks!
QuestionWhat about if I don't have true blue and red?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou can try using a warm blue and a cool red. You can also try mixing blue and pink. Avoid using any cool or greenish blues, or orangey-reds, or you will get a murky purple instead. If you cannot find any blues or reds, then you will need to buy them. Blue and red are both primary colors and cannot be mixed.Thanks!
QuestionHow to make purple with only the colors yellow, red, green, and black?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou can't. You need some blue. Either buy blue paint and mix it with the red, or just buy purple paint.Thanks!
QuestionWhat color can I add to purple to make maroon?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerA little bit of red should work with a touch of brown.Thanks!
QuestionCan I make purple by using cobalt blue and scarlet red?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, you can.Thanks!
QuestionHow can I make bright purple?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerUse Method 1. It is explained under the first step why this is the best method for making bright purple. Add a little cyan or blue to the magenta at a time until you are satisfied with the color. If you don't have magenta paint, you'll have to settle for a less bright purple.Thanks!
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To make purple paint using red and blue, start by testing your red and blue paints to make sure they’re “true” red and blue, with no undertones of other colors. Simply mix each individual color with a little bit of white paint to see what color they produce. The red paint should become a light pink, not peach, and the blue should become sky blue, rather than teal. If your paints are true blue and red, pour equal amounts of each color onto a palette and use a paintbrush to mix them together thoroughly.
- Be careful how much paint you add so you get the exact color you want. You can always go back and add more, but you can't go back and add less.
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