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What color makes dark violet?

What color makes dark violet?

Dark violet is a rich, deep shade of purple that has a mysterious and elegant feel. But what colors combine together to make this regal hue? The answer lies in color theory and the basics of how pigments work. By understanding the fundamentals behind color mixing, we can unlock the recipe for dark violet.

The Color Wheel

To grasp how to make dark violet, we first need to look at the color wheel. This circular diagram shows the relationships between different hues based on their pigmentation. The wheel contains primary, secondary, and tertiary colors.

The primary colors are red, blue, and yellow. These cannot be created by mixing other shades – they are the core pigments. When combined, they make the secondary colors of purple, green, and orange. Further mixing produces the tertiary colors like red-violet, blue-violet, yellow-orange, and so on.

Looking at the color wheel, we see that violet sits between blue and red. This reveals that violet contains both blue and red pigments. To make a deep violet, we need more of these two base colors.

The Violet Family

Violet has a wide family of shades, from pale lilac through to deep purple. The more blue or red pigment a violet contains, the darker and richer it becomes. Some key shades in the violet family include:

– Lilac – A pale, soft violet with more blue.

– Lavender – A light violet with a subtle grayness.

– Purple – A blend of red and blue, but well-balanced between the two.

– Plum – A red-toned violet that is still fairly dark.

– Amethyst – A jewel-toned violet with depth.

– Violet – A pure, intense violet, right between blue and red.

– Grape – A red-heavy violet that is quite dark.

– Byzantium – A vampy, dusky purple-violet.

– Eggplant – An extremely dark, almost blackish violet.

As you move through these shades from lilac to eggplant, the violet gets progressively darker and more saturated with pigment.

Achieving Dark Violet

So how do we produce a rich, deep dark violet? The essential technique is to start with a vivid violet in the middle of the blue-red spectrum, then add extra blue and red pigment to darken and intensify the color.

There are a few potential recipes:

– Mix a purple with more blue and red paint or dye. Gradually build up the blue and red content compared to the original violet.

– Blend a medium blue with crimson red. Use a high ratio of both pigments.

– Combine indigo blue with maroon. These darker shades will yield a deep violet.

– Start with a pure violet, then add navy blue and burgundy. The blue and red enrichment darkens the violet.

– Mix ultramarine blue with carmine red. These are bold pigments that intensify the violet.

The exact recipe depends on the medium used. In paints, you can directly mix the shades on a palette. For dyes, you would need to blend the dye baths. Digital formats allow mixing with sliders. No matter the medium, a high proportion of vivid blue and red is key.

Examples of Dark Violet

Now let’s look at some specific examples of dark violet hues created from different color mixes:

Dark Violet Color Blue Pigment Red Pigment
Byzantium Ultramarine Hematite
Tyrian purple Indigo Crimson lake
Palatinate purple Indanthrene blue Quinacridone magenta

As we can see, combining a saturated blue with a saturated red at a high intensity consistently produces a lush, vivid dark violet.

Painting Dark Violet

One of the best ways to achieve a beautiful deep violet is through painting. With acrylics or oils, you can blend and layer pigments for a custom dark violet. Here are some tips:

– Start with a premixed vivid violet in the middle of the blue/red range.

– Add small amounts of pure blue like phthalo or ultramarine to deepen the violet.

– Also mix in pure red like quinacridone or alizarin crimson to enrich the violet.

– Use a clean brush between adding blue and red so the colors don’t turn muddy.

– Apply thin layers, allowing them to dry between coats to slowly build up the color.

– For transparency, use acrylic ink or oil paint glazes to get a luminous glow.

– Keep adding blue and red glazes over the violet base until you achieve your desired deep color.

With the right blend of pigments and techniques, you can create any custom dark violet imaginable on the canvas. Be bold with the blue and red enrichment to make the color pop.

Dyeing Dark Violet

For textile arts and crafts, dyeing is a great way to produce dark violet shades. Fiber reactive dyes allow blending two or more colors for an intense violet. Here are some tips for dyeing dark violet:

– Choose a pure violet dye as your base color.

– Prepare an indigo blue dye bath with a high concentration of dye.

– Make a separate carmine or fuchsia red dye bath, also highly concentrated.

– Dip or soak fabric first in the violet dye, then in the blue bath.

– Finish by overdyeing in the red bath. The layers will build up to a deep violet.

– For wool or other protein fibers, use acid dyes in place of fiber reactives.

– Mix the dyes in each bath well using an immersion blender or agitator.

– Increase depth by dipping multiple times in the violet, blue, and red baths.

With enough layers of the three vivid dye colors, you can achieve any dark violet imaginable on fabric.

Digital Dark Violet

Another simple way to mix up a custom dark violet is by using digital color tools. In design programs, you can preview colors and adjust them precisely with RGB values. Here are some tips:

– Start with a vivid violet near the center of the color wheel.

– Slowly increase the blue and red values while decreasing the green.

– Push the blue and red amounts up higher to enrich the color.

– Try taking a blue like RGB 0, 0, 255 and mix with a red like 255, 0, 0.

– Add a touch of the pure violet back in if the color starts getting too blue-red.

– Increase all the values together to make the overall color darker.

– Check the color preview periodically so you can tweak the RGB values until you achieve your desired dark violet.

With the ability to finesse the color balance and experiment quickly, digital tools make it easy to customize a deep vibrant dark violet.


Dark violet sits in an alluring space between blue, red and purple. By leveraging color theory, we can break down exactly how to mix this sultry, elegant shade. The key is starting with an intense violet, then enriching it with extra vivid blue and red pigment until it reaches a darker, more saturated state. Whether mixing paint, dyeing fabric, or digitally creating colors, a high proportion of blue and red is essential for making dark violet. So embrace this versatile hue and explore the limitless shades you can craft through strategic color blending.