what colors make purple

What Colors Make Purple? – Dive Into the World of Purple Color

There are only two stations in life; either you are royalty, or you are not! Being royal means that from birth, you have been shrouded in the purple color while the rest of us have had to learn what color makes purple and all the different shades of purple that are part of life’s joy. This article will look at how to make purple, ranging from a dark purple color to light purple. We are guessing that because you have sought out this article, you are indeed not of royal descent, so all that is left to say is, let’s get started. The color purple is far vaster than many of us realize, with countless beautiful rich hues and shades. So, what are the different shades of purple, what colors make purple, and what are the various shades of dark purple colors, light-purple colors, and blue-purple colors? Let’s look at the world of different shades of purple!



The History of the Purple Color

Because of the belief that the purple color was beneficial to healing, it was used extensively by the famous masters of painting in the renaissance era. Even Leonardo da Vinci would meditate in rooms surrounded by purple color.

Da Vinci was often seen wearing the strangest color combination of clothes. He loved the color pink, and from a rose red gown to dark purple stockings and pink satin caps, these are just a few of the colors that belonged inside his closet. Luckily enough, when it came to his paintings, he had a much more refined eye. One of Da Vinci’s more famous paintings, titled The Madonna of the Carnation, is an oil painting completed in 1480 and is permanently on show at the Alte Pinakothek Gallery in Germany. The painting is also known as Madonna with Vase or Madonna with Child. The mountain scenery that Da Vinci depicts in the background shows the sky fading with purple and gold hues.

The purple color is first believed to have appeared in paintings in the Neolithic era when the artists in France used manganese and hematite powder sticks to paint on the walls of caves. This color and the art in these caves can be dated back to 16,000 BC.

Different shades of purple were popular among the pre-Raphaelite painters in The United Kingdom, and to get the purple color, they mixed cobalt blue colors with madder. A painter by the name of Gustav Klimt liked the purple color so much that he used all imaginable shades of purple color to create his romantic art pieces. Klimt was an Austrian painter and was noted for his sketches and oil paintings depicting the female body. His works are labeled as eroticism. Since 1998, the record price paid for one of Klimt’s artworks was $87, 000, which was for the Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II.

Adele Bloch-Bauer II (1912) by Gustav Klimt; Gustav Klimt, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

King George VI poses in his official portrait displaying the prominent purple colors for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. Sir Gerald Kelly painted his portrait, Portrait of King George VI in 1958 and completed many other famous paintings, many of which have been sold as prints and can be seen worldwide in many homes.



A Closer Look at the Purple Color

No matter what shade you are referring to when you say purple, be it the dark purple color, blue-purple, or maybe even the deep purple color, you are, in essence, speaking of the royal color. This color dates back to ancient history when royalty and wealth were put on display by Cyrus the Great, the founder and King of the First Persian Empire, who wore a purple tunic in his royal uniform. Since then, the purple color has been associated with all royal families worldwide.


Different Shades of Purple

Today, 99 different shades of purple are available to choose from, so the world truly becomes your oyster if you are lucky enough to be looking at all things purple to incorporate into your house or workspace. Let’s learn more about some of the different shades of purple and list a few of the more popular purple colors seen today.

different shades of purple


English Violet

English violet is a dark purple color found on the color wheel. It is an extremely dark color and is made up of a blue and purple hue. It is the medium-dark color of the magenta color family. There are many variations of the deep purple color across the world. The English violet name comes from a beautiful flower that is found in both Asia and Europe.

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
English Violet#563C5C7, 35, 0, 6486, 60, 92



One of the most beautiful shades of purple is considered to be the heliotrope magenta color, which is a little cooler than some of the more popular purple colors. The purple hue in the heliotrope purple has a blue undertone, but it carries a pinkish-purple tint. Heliotrope is a flower in various white and pale lavender colors. The first time the word heliotrope was used as a color was in 1882, and the English named it.

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Heliotrope#DF73FF13, 55, 0, 087.5, 45.1, 100


bright purple


Languid Lavender

The languid lavender color is another color stemming from the violet family. It is a soft purple color with a slightly blue undertone, which makes it almost a blue-purple color. When mixing magenta and blue, you will arrive at the languid lavender color.

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Languid Lavender#D6CADD3, 9, 0, 13214, 202, 221



The color lavender is named after the lavender plant, which is a soft, light purple color with pale pink and purple undertones. The lavender plant is related to feelings of calm. The color is described as refined and full of grace.

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Lavender#E6E6FA8, 8, 0, 2230, 230, 250


purple color


Lavender Twilight

The lavender twilight color is a soft pale purple with mauve and magenta undertones. If you consider incorporating this color in a bedroom, it would be the perfect color to paint the walls as it pairs up beautifully with dark rich brown shades.

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Lavender Twilight#8A496B0, 47, 22, 46138, 73, 107



The lilac color has a pale violet tone. The color can best be described as a dark shade of mauve or even as a pale light blue. There are many variations of the lilac color, ranging from pale lilac to deep lilac and rich lilac.

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Lilac#C8A2C832, 30, 37220, 208, 255



The magnolia color gets its name from the flower called Genus magnolia. The plant has more than one color when it blooms, ranging from a light cream color to a light purple color, and the actual name magnolia will be referred to as different colors in various countries around the world.

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Magnolia#F8F4FF3, 4, 0, 0248, 244, 255


Periwinkle Blue

The newest shade of purple is called periwinkle blue, a dynamic blue hue with beautiful violet-red undertones. Blending these two colors creates the energy from the blue and excitement from the red colors. It is considered to be a pale tint of purple or a light purple color. The English named this color in 1922.

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Periwinkle#CCCCFF20, 20, 0, 0204, 204, 255


Royal Purple

Another name for royal purple is Tyrian purple. It has a blue tone to the color and can be considered almost blue-purple. The first recording of this shade was in 1661. The royal purple color was adapted as a color by Crayola Crayons in 1990.

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Royal Purple#7851A929, 52, 0, 34120, 81, 169


dark purple color



The wisteria color is a very light violet, and the shade is one of the purple colors you will find when grouping purple flowers, such as lilac and lavender. Wisteria is a climbing plant that is well-known and loved in Japan.

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Wisteria#C9A0DC9, 27, 0, 14201, 160, 220



When we look at the violet color, we see the color of light at the short wavelength part of the color spectrum, which lies between blue and ultraviolet, an invisible color. Sir Isaac Newton labeled this specific color in 1672.

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Violet#EE82EE0, 0.45, 0, 0.07238, 130, 238


what two colors make purple



How to Make Purple Color

The question of what color makes purple is asked often, yet the answer is quite simple, and the process is relatively easy. Making purple is almost an effortless exercise, and the most challenging part of answering the question of what color makes purple is deciding precisely what shade of purple you would like to land up with. By mixing red and blue colors, you will notice that the color starts changing to dark purple. Don’t add too much blue when you start the mixing process, as it could take a while to get to the deep purple color you are striving for. Slowly add a little blue paint and mix, and then depending on the purple color you want, you should continue to add blue until you are satisfied with the purple hue created.


Mixing Acrylic Paint to Make Purple Colors

With acrylic paints, you can make the purple color by mixing two of the primary colors, namely red and blue. Start with the red and incorporate some blue into it, and you will immediately see that the purple color will start forming. If you want a light purple color, you can add a bit of white or even pink to the mix. If you are looking for a rich, deep purple, or dark purple color, add some black or dark brown to the mix. Making your purple color with acrylic paints is an experiment; it requires adding specific colors to red and blue.

light purple


Mixing Watercolor Paints to Make Purple Colors

Mixing blue and red together will create a purple color. Combining primary and secondary colors are just an experiment. Even though the red and blue will make purple, if you mix other colors into the mix, such as yellow or white, you will find you have a light purple color, and if you add a dark gray or black to the mix, you will find that you have a dark purple color. When trying to get a vibrant bright purple color with watercolor paints, your best bet is to mix an excellent red color with a warm blue color, resulting in a bright purple color. If you want a more muddy-looking purple color, mix a little yellow with red, blue, or even a little brown.

how to make purple



Interesting Facts About the Purple Color

Did you know someone who loves the color purple is called a purpleologist? This is a person who loves anything to do with the color purple. These people will invariably wear purple every day, and the interior of these homes will be decorated with shades ranging from blue-purple to dark purple. Here are some more interesting facts about this beautiful color.


Purple in History

  • A person named William Henry Perkin, an eighteen-year-old student, created the purple color in 1856. He was experimenting with a few substances and tried to produce quinine, which would have been used to treat malaria but instead created the first ever recorded dye of the purple color.
  • The color purple was considered a color worn only by the rich. It was a rare color and the dye used to make the purple color was costly. It was so expensive that only the rulers of the land, such as kings and noblemen, could afford purple fabrics. The purple dye was first discovered in the Phoenician City of Tyre, which we know today as Lebanon. From the 16th century, this color was worn only by the highest-ranking royal members of different countries.
  • In England, Queen Elizabeth I introduced into law that only the close relatives of the royal family were allowed to wear the purple color. As such, no purple-colored fabrics were not sold to the public. There were many documented dates when Queen Elizabeth II wore the purple color. She took her first walk on the Great Wall of China in the early 1980s and was dressed in different shades of purple for this royal visit.
  • In the Bible, the purple color represents both royalty and wealth. The purple dye was very difficult to come by. Purple colors were made from the blood of sea snails, resulting in the color’s reputation of extravagance and grandeur.
  • The Purple Heart medal is considered the highest awarded medal in armies worldwide, is presented to soldiers during the war. Wounded soldiers were presented with the Purple Heart medal to show bravery and honor. George Washington established the purple distinction in the year 1782.



The Purple Color

  • Did you know that every color on the color wheel represents an emotion? For example, red stands for anger, green is disgust, white means purity, and the color purple means fear. If you are drawn to purple, you may be afraid of the future or what lies ahead. Another interesting fact is that purple is the most visible color in the rainbow. It symbolizes strength, power, wealth, and of course, royalty.
  • The supernatural is often associated with the purple color. The technical way to describe purple is the wavelength of violet is 400 nanometers, which makes it the strongest of all other colors combined. It is deemed to have magical energy and, to this day, is associated with the spiritual world and magic.


Purple in Nature

  • Did you know that the black dahlia is actually a purple flower? When it blooms, it takes on the hue of an intense purple color to a vibrant, dark maroon color. It is often mistaken as black but is, in fact, a dark purple color.
  • In nature, the color purple can be seen in grapes and eggplants. The purple pigment can also be seen in the roots and stems of various vegetables and flowers. Flowers such as the orchid, iris, and violet also strongly feature the purple color.

purple in nature


Purple in Culture

  • In Mexican culture, the purple color has always been produced by using the blood of snails. Strangely enough, it is still produced the same way today to make traditional fabrics. Just as in other countries, the purple color represents royalty and wealth, which is no different for the Mexicans.
  • In Africa, the purple color is directly related to femininity. It is a color representing a strong and beautiful woman as she passes from childhood to womanhood. Because purple is deemed to have mystical powers, so it is popular in Africa and associated with spirituality and the higher spirit world.
  • In Chinese culture, the purple color symbolizes immortality, and in the modern day, it is considered the color of love and romance. You will often find this color in the homes of the Chinese, where it is used to attract affection.
  • In 2010, for the first time, the LGBT+ community introduced a new color into their branding, and purple was added. The purple color represents different genders or the attraction to two or more genders, of which the definition is bisexual.


Final Facts About Purple

  • When it comes to packaging, more specifically, the packaging of makeup products, purple colors are used extensively worldwide. It is essential that packaging attract shoppers, and because so many people are attracted to the warm colors of purple that are the reason why lipsticks, eye shadow, and perfumes may carry different shades of purple in branding and packaging colors.
  • A well-known movie called The Color Purple (1985) has become almost a cult movie. It tells the story of a young lady who grows up and overcomes oppression and abuse, and with self-realization, she can find her independence and fulfillment in life. This cult movie also concentrates on gender equality which is still a huge talking point today. American author Alice Walker wrote the book. In 1983, Walker won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

deep purple color


Purple is seen as a woman’s color, and a study indicated that men did not favor it. Today in the 21st century, more men are starting to wear purple colors without carrying the title of King or Prince. When worn, purple turns heads and makes a statement. It is a cheerful color. It encourages creativity and makes it a versatile color for all genders and all ages. Now that we are clued up about the different shades of purple, isn’t it fitting to also say that you don’t have to be of royal descent to like this color? Still, instead, you now have the tools to experiment more with this luxurious rich color and perhaps even invent a few different shades of purple to add to the repertoire of the beautiful purple world. Whatever your dreams are, be it to rule a nation, become a king, or instead to blend in with what we know as a normal society, we wish you a happy purple journey in the future.


Take a look at our “what makes purple” webstory here!



Frequently Asked Questions


What Color Makes Purple?

The question of what color makes purple can be answered without a fuss. It is a question asked by newcomers to the paint world very often. The answer is simply to mix red and blue together and instantly get to the color purple. Depending on the shade of purple you want, add white to make a light purple or black to make a dark purple. If you wish to have a blue-purple, add a little more of the blue color into the mix.


What Two Colors Make Purple?

The answer to the question of what two colors make purple is quick and easy. Red and blue make purple. It doesn’t get any easier than that. Of course, if you want a lighter shade of purple, include white in the mix, and if you want it darker, add a black or brown color to the combination.


What Is the Psychology of the Color Purple?

In psychology, if you are attracted to the purple color, you exude wisdom and power. You are intensely spiritual and consider yourself to be of noble descent. Be careful of using purple too much, though, because it could cause you to seem overconfident and arrogant and even make you feel frustrated with life. The purple colors are favored by the unique individual who is usually very artistic. If you are drawn to the color purple, it is thought that you could be a good judge of character and perhaps even a visionary.