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What colors mixed together make blue?

What colors mixed together make blue?

Blue is a primary color that can be made by mixing other colors together. The two most common color combinations that create blue are mixing the primary colors red and blue, or mixing the secondary colors green and purple.

Mixing Primary Colors

The primary colors are red, blue, and yellow. When you mix the primary colors red and blue together, they make the secondary color purple. However, if you use more blue than red in the mixture, the result will be a blue color.

The exact shade of blue will depend on the ratio of red to blue. Using a lot of bright red with just a little blue will make a violet-blue. Using more blue than red will create a true blue. The more blue you use compared to the red, the brighter and more saturated the blue will become.

Mixing Secondary Colors

The secondary colors are purple, green, and orange. Secondary colors are created by mixing two primary colors. Green is made by mixing blue and yellow. Purple is made by mixing blue and red.

When you mix the secondary colors green and purple, this also results in a blue color. Green contains the primary colors blue and yellow. Purple contains the primary colors blue and red. By mixing colors that both contain blue as a base, the blue is reinforced while the yellow and red cancel each other out.

The shade of blue made by mixing green and purple will depend on how saturated the individual colors are. Mixing a light green and light purple will make a pale blue. Using a deep green and vivid purple will create a more saturated royal blue.

Tertiary Colors

Tertiary colors are made by mixing a primary color with a secondary color. Many different tertiary colors contain amounts of blue, depending on which primary and secondary colors are used.

Here are some examples of tertiary colors that contain blue:

Color 1 Color 2 Resulting Tertiary Color
Yellow Blue-green Chartreuse green with blue tones
Blue Red-orange Blue with a touch of violet
Purple Green-yellow Blue-tinted purple

As you can see, mixing a primary color like yellow or blue with a secondary color containing blue results in a muted blue-green or blue-purple tertiary color.

Using More Than Two Colors

You can mix more than two colors together to make different shades of blue. Often professional artists will use a palette of reds, blues, yellows, whites, and blacks and mix them in different ratios to achieve exactly the right hue.

Some examples of mixing more than two colors to make blue:

  • Ultramarine blue + pthalo blue + white
  • Prussian blue + magenta + yellow
  • Cerulean blue + viridian + crimson + white

Blue is a complex color with many shades and nuances. Mastering color theory and experimenting with mixing different tints, tones, and shades of paints will help you learn how to mix the exact blue you want.

Using Complementary Colors

Complementary colors are located opposite each other on the color wheel. The complementary color of blue is orange.

When complementary colors are mixed together, they neutralize each other to create more muted, grayed colors. However, having undertones of complementary colors can increase the vibrancy of a color.

Adding a small amount of orange to blue can make the blue appear brighter and more luminous. This is why painting a landscape with blue skies may use a mix of blue with a touch of orange.

Light vs. Pigment Mixing

It’s important to understand that mixing colors of light is different than mixing artist pigments. On a computer or TV screen, blue light is created by combining the primary colors of light – red, green, and blue.

But mixing blue pigment works differently. Blue pigment absorbs orange light and reflects back blue. So mixing paints uses the subtractive color model, while mixing light uses the additive model.

The Psychology of Blue

Why do we enjoy looking at the color blue so much? Blue light is unique because it has one of the shortest wavelengths visible to the human eye. This stimulates special retinal receptors in our eyes that make blue one of the most vivid colors we can experience.

Blue also has positive psychological effects. The color blue is associated with peacefulness, tranquility, wisdom, confidence, and intelligence. Bright blues can be energizing and refreshing, while deeper darker blues are formal and traditional.

Understanding the basics of how to mix colors to create different hues of blue can help you use blue more effectively. Whether you are an artist painting a landscape or choosing a paint color for your home, blue is a versatile color with many applications.


In summary, the two most common color combinations that make blue are red and blue (two primary colors) and green and purple (two secondary colors containing blue as a base). You can also mix tertiary colors, complementary colors, and more than two colors together to create different shades and intensities of blue.

Mastering color theory takes practice, but learning the basics of mixing colors is an important foundation. Experiment, keep notes, and you will be on your way to understanding exactly how to mix the blue color you want.