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What colors are mixed with purple?

What colors are mixed with purple?

Purple is a secondary color that is made by mixing two primary colors – red and blue. There are many shades of purple that can be created by adjusting the ratio of red to blue. Purple sits between red and blue on the color wheel, meaning it can be paired nicely with a variety of colors on both sides of the spectrum.

Primary Colors Mixed with Purple

Since purple contains both red and blue, adding more of either primary color will shift the purple shade towards that color. Here are some examples of mixing purple with the primary colors:

Red + Purple

Adding more red to purple creates red-purple shades. These shades appear warmer and more vibrant. Examples include:

  • Magenta – Equal parts red and blue make this vivid purple hue.
  • Mulberry – A reddish-purple shade close to magenta.
  • Rubine Red – A purplish red shade made with a bit more red than blue.
  • Byzantium – A dark reddish purple named after the ancient Byzantine empire.

Blue + Purple

Mixing more blue into purple makes blue-leaning purple shades. These shades often appear cooler or more muted. Examples include:

  • Violet – More blue than red creates this light purple.
  • Lavender – Only a small amount of red is added to light blue.
  • Wisteria – A light bluish purple named after the flowering plant.
  • Tyrian Purple – An ancient rich, red-purple dye made from sea snails.

Yellow + Purple

Adding yellow, the third primary color, to purple creates shades of violet. Since yellow is opposite purple on the color wheel, even a small amount of yellow noticeably shifts the purple. Examples include:

  • Thistle – A light yellowish purple.
  • Orchid – A light purple with a touch of yellow.
  • Heliotrope – A pinkish purple with yellow undertones.
  • Amethyst – A purple variety of quartz with golden undertones.

Secondary Colors Mixed with Purple

Mixing purple with other secondary colors like orange and green creates shades that are more complex. The interplay of the two parent primaries yields nuanced hues. Here are some examples:

Purple + Orange

Since orange contains red, mixing it with purple accentuates the red undertones, creating shades like:

  • Raspberry – A vivid reddish-purple.
  • Byzantium – A darker reddish purple.
  • Mulberry – A red-leaning purple.
  • Plum – Has a grayish purple tone.

Purple + Green

Adding green, which contains blue and yellow, to purple makes earthy, muted shades like:

  • Eggplant – A dark purple with a brownish hue.
  • Iris – A blueish purple named after the flower.
  • Amethyst -contains hints of gray and yellow.
  • Byzantium – A grayish purple with blue undertones.

Tertiary Colors Mixed with Purple

Tertiary colors like citrine, russet, and slate are made by mixing adjacent primary and secondary colors. Combining these complex colors with purple creates even more nuanced shades. Some examples include:

Purple + Citrine

Since citrine contains orange and yellow, mixing it with purple accentuates purple’s red undertones while also lightening the shade. This can make shades like:

  • Persian Plum – A light reddish purple.
  • Thistle – A light yellowish purple.
  • Orchid – A pinkish purple with yellow tones.
  • Heliotrope – A lighter purple with golden yellow hues.

Purple + Russet

Russet contains red and brown so it brings out the deeper, earthier notes in purple. Mixing the two makes shades like:

  • Byzantium – A grayish reddish purple.
  • Eggplant – A deep purple with brown undertones.
  • Prune – Has a muted, grayish purple tone.
  • Mulberry – A darker, redder purple.

Purple + Slate

Slate is a cool, muted gray tone created from blue, green, and black. Combining it with purple yields complex shades like:

  • Lavender gray
  • Wisteria
  • Grape
  • Byzantium

Complementary Colors Mixed with Purple

Colors opposite each other on the color wheel are considered complementary colors. The complement of purple is yellow. Mixing complementary colors together creates shades that are vibrant, neutral, or muddy. Examples include:

  • Mauve – A light neutral purple that mixes violet and yellow.
  • Thistle- A vivid yellowish purple.
  • Heliotrope – A brighter purple with golden hues.
  • Taupe – When mixed in equal parts, purple and yellow create this grayish brown.

Using less of the complementary color keeps the purple shade more vibrant. The more yellow added, the more muted and gray the purple becomes.

Analogous Colors Mixed with Purple

Analogous colors sit directly next to each other on the color wheel. Purple’s analogous colors are red-violet and blue-violet. Mixing analogous colors creates cohesive, harmonious shades. Some examples include:

  • Magenta – Mixing red-violet and purple.
  • Violet – Mixing blue-violet with purple.
  • Amethyst – Contains hints of red and blue-violet.
  • Byzantium – Combines red and blue undertones.

Keeping one analogous color dominant retains vibrancy. Equally blending creates muted tones.

Triadic Color Schemes with Purple

A triadic scheme uses three colors equally spaced around the color wheel. Purple’s triadic partners are yellow-orange and blue-green. Triadic color schemes tend to be bold and vibrant. Some examples include:

  • Iris – Mixes blue-green with a purple base.
  • Electric Purple – Adds touches of yellow-orange to purple.
  • Byzantium – Contains hints of yellow, orange and blue-green.
  • Veronica – Blends blue with purple and yellow undertones.

The contrast between triadic colors makes them stand out brightly. Subdued shades can be made by blending the colors evenly.

Tetradic/Rectangle Color Schemes with Purple

Tetradic schemes use four colors equidistant on the color wheel. Purple can be combined with its complement yellow, along with the two intermediate tertiary colors yellow-orange and blue-green. This creates vibrant shades like:

  • Iris – Yellow, purple, blue-green
  • Rhodonite – Purple, yellow-orange, blue-green
  • Pearl – White, purple, orange, blue
  • Sunrise – Purple, orange, yellow, turquoise

Balancing all four colors takes skill but can yield stunning shades. Omitting one color simplifies the scheme.

Split-Complementary Color Schemes with Purple

This scheme uses a color, its complement, and the two colors adjacent to the complement. For purple, a split-complementary palette includes yellow, yellow-orange, and yellow-green. These can create shades like:

  • Thistle – Purple, yellow, yellow-green
  • Violet-Green – Purple, yellow-orange, yellow-green
  • Citrine – Purple, yellow, yellow-orange

This scheme has strong visual contrast but is slightly less jarring than a direct complement. The split colors provide nuance while supporting the main hue.

Monochromatic Color Schemes with Purple

Monochromatic palettes use a single base color along with its tints, tones, and shades. A monochromatic purple scheme might include:

  • Light purple
  • Medium purple
  • Dark purple
  • Soft lavender
  • Vibrant magenta
  • Pale lilac
  • Deep eggplant

Varying a color’s saturation and lightness creates a cohesive look. Adding black, white, or gray makes the scheme more dynamic.


Purple has an abundance of mixing possibilities. Changing the ratios of its base colors, red and blue, produces a wide spectrum – from vivid magenta to relaxing lavender. Combining purple with primary, secondary, and tertiary colors yields further nuanced shades. Using color theory schemes like complementary, analogous, or tetradic also provides guidance on mixing captivating color palettes anchored by purple.

So in summary, purple can be mixed with:

  • Primary colors – red, blue, yellow
  • Secondary colors – orange, green
  • Tertiary colors – citrine, russet, slate
  • Complementary colors – yellow
  • Analogous colors – red-violet, blue-violet
  • Triadic colors – yellow-orange, blue-green
  • Tetradic colors – yellow, yellow-orange, blue-green
  • Split-complementary colors – yellow, yellow-orange, yellow-green
  • Monochromatic tints, tones, and shades

Mastering color mixing opens up an endless palette to paint with. So grab your purple and start blending!