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Does green and pink make purple?

Does green and pink make purple?

The simple answer is no, combining green and pink pigments does not make purple. However, the interaction between different colors of light is more complex. When it comes to mixing light instead of pigments, green and pink can combine to create a purplish tone under certain circumstances.

The Basics of Mixing Pigments

When working with paints, dyes, or other pigments, mixing colors follows a simple subtractive color model. This means that each pigment subtracts certain wavelengths of light and reflects others back to our eyes. Our brain interprets these reflected wavelengths as different colors.

For example, green pigment absorbs all wavelengths of light except green, which it reflects. Pink pigment absorbs all wavelengths except a mix of red and blue light, which gives us the pink color. When these two pigments are mixed together, both the green and pink wavelengths are reflected back, so we see a muddied, desaturated color, but not purple.

To make purple with pigments, you need to mix a blue pigment with a red pigment, because purple sits between blue and red on the visible color spectrum. Mixing complementary colors like green and pink will never make purple.

Mixing Colored Light

When working with light instead of pigments, the color mixing rules change. We use an additive color model, where different wavelengths of light are added together to create new colors.

The primary colors of light are red, green, and blue (RGB). Mixing two of these colored lights will create the secondary colors cyan (green + blue), magenta (red + blue) and yellow (red + green).

In theory, mixing the secondary colors together should create white light. However, depending on the exact wavelengths, mixing magenta and green light can produce a light purplish tone. This tone lies between magenta and green on the color spectrum.

Why Green and Pink Don’t Make Purple

So why don’t green and pink light mix to make purple? Remember that pink is not one of the primary colors of light. Pink is created by mixing red and blue light.

When we mix green and pink light, we are mixing wavelengths from all three primary colors – red, green, and blue. The combination of all three results in a light whitish tone, not purple.

To summarize:

  • Green pigment + Pink pigment = Muddy brown
  • Green light + Pink light = Whitish tone

The following color mixing wheel illustrates these concepts:

Pigment Color Mixing Light Color Mixing

Subtractive model:

Mixing complements makes brown/gray.

Pigment color mixing wheel

Additive model:

Mixing complements makes white.

Light color mixing wheel

Other Ways to Make Purple

While combining green and pink pigments or light won’t make purple, here are some color combinations that will:

  • Red + Blue (pigment or light)
  • Magenta + Blue (light)
  • Magenta + Cyan (light)
  • Red-violet + Blue-violet (pigment)

The table below summarizes how to make purple from different color pairs:

Color 1 Color 2 Mixing Medium Makes Purple?
Red Blue Pigment/Light Yes
Magenta Blue Light Yes
Magenta Cyan Light Yes
Red-violet Blue-violet Pigment Yes
Green Pink Pigment/Light No

Properties of Mixing Green and Pink

Even though green and pink won’t make purple, mixing the two colors still has some interesting visual effects. Here’s a summary of what happens:

  • Pigments: Creates a low-saturation brownish tone. Muddies both colors.
  • Paint: Darkens the green substantially. Pink has very low tinting strength so not much impact.
  • Dyes: Dyes allow more saturation than paint. Mixing yields a dark yellow-brown with mild saturation.
  • Light: Combining wavelengths makes a light whitish tone with very subtle hints of magenta.
  • On screen: LED and LCD screens mix colors additively. Result is similar to mixing colored light.

In general, the green color has a much stronger impact than the pink when mixing the two. The pink washes out easily.

Psychology of the Colors

Green and pink are considered psychologically opposite colors. Green evokes nature, growth, renewal, and environment. Pink represents nurture, warmth, femininity, and kindness. Mixing these opposites results in a natural balance and harmony.

Some feel the muted brownish tones create a vintage, antique look. The color combo is retro and stylish without being brash or flashy.

Others find green and pink jarring when placed side-by-side in large amounts. But when mixed subtly, the blend can be pleasantly soothing and luminous.

Uses of Mixed Green and Pink

Here are some ways green and pink are blended in design and photography:

  • Neutral backgrounds – A taupe/beige mix of green and pink makes a warm neutral backdrop.
  • Vintage effect – The muted tones lend a nostalgic, old-fashioned feel.
  • Retro style – Blending the colors creates a trendy 1970s retro aesthetic.
  • Softness – As pastels, the mix conveys warmth, gentleness, and romance.
  • Watercolor – Green and pink watercolors bleed together beautifully.
  • Flora and fauna – Blending occurs naturally in nature, like on flowers, plants, rocks, animals.

Overall, green and pink work best when merged subtly through gradients, textures, and nature. Large amounts of pure green and pink can appear garish and overwhelming. But a touch of pink can soften green’s intensity, and a hint of green can energize pink’s femininity. The balance creates an appealing harmony.


While green and pink won’t make purple through additive or subtractive color mixing, these complementary hues still interact in interesting ways. When combining pigments, the result is a neutral brownish tone. Mixing green and pink light makes a subtle whitish blend. The combo works best in soft or vintage designs, adding balance and harmony. With careful use, the colors meld beautifully without clashing.