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What does red and blue make color wheel?

When it comes to mixing colors on the color wheel, red and blue make purple. This is because red and blue are complementary colors, meaning they are directly across from each other on the color wheel. When complementary colors are mixed together, they neutralize each other and create a gray or brown shade. However, when mixed in the proper proportions, red and blue make a rich purple hue.

The Color Wheel

The color wheel is a visual representation of color theory and illustrates the relationships between different colors. The basic color wheel uses red, blue, and yellow as the primary colors. When two primary colors are mixed, they make the secondary colors – purple, green, and orange. The color wheel shows how colors relate to each other and how they can be combined.

On the standard color wheel, red is positioned at 0 degrees and blue is positioned at 240 degrees. Red and blue are directly opposite each other, making them complementary colors. Complementary colors are color pairs that sit opposite each other on the color wheel. Some other examples of complementary pairs are yellow/purple, orange/blue, and green/red.

Mixing Red and Blue

When red and blue pigments are mixed together, they create a new secondary color – purple. The specific hue of purple will depend on the ratio of red to blue pigment used. Equal parts red and blue will make a vivid violet. Using more red will create a warmer, more raspberry-toned purple. With more blue, the mix will become a cooler, more indigo shade of purple.

Light works differently than pigment when mixing colors. Red and blue light mixed together will make white light. This is because red, blue, and green are the primary colors of light. Computer screens and TVs mix different amounts of these colored lights to create all the colors we see.

Color Mixing Ratios

The exact ratio of red to blue color mixed together will determine the resulting purple hue. Here are some common red and blue mixing ratios and the purple shades they make:

Red Blue Resulting Purple
1 part 1 part Vivid violet
2 parts 1 part Raspberry purple
1 part 2 parts Indigo purple

As you can see, equal parts red and blue make a vivid violet. Using more red makes a warmer, pinker purple, while using more blue makes a cooler, bluer purple. The mixing ratios allow you to mix a wide range of purple tones.

The Importance of Color Theory

Understanding color theory allows artists, designers, and anyone working with color to properly predict and mix colors to get their desired result. The color wheel and color relationships help explain why certain color combinations work well together while others clash. It provides a framework for mixing shades that coordinate.

For example, complementary colors like red and blue have a high contrast that makes them stand out when used together. Analogous colors, which sit next to each other on the color wheel, blend seamlessly and create soothing combinations. Color theory principles guide color mixing and help select colors that achieve the intended look and feel.

Using Red, Blue, and Purple in Design

In design, red, blue, and purple are considered a triadic color scheme because they form a triangle on the color wheel. This color scheme offers high contrast while also balancing the colors well, making vibrant and dynamic designs.

Red brings excitement, energy, and warmth. Blue evokes professionalism, tranquility, and calm. Purple combines the passion of red with the serenity of blue. This makes a red, blue, and purple color scheme very flexible for many industries and applications.

Red and blue complement each other extremely well and purple acts as a bridge between them. This color combination provides visual interest and versatility for logos, websites, interior design, and more.

Psychology of Red, Blue, and Purple

Color psychology plays an important role in how colors and color combinations affect us emotionally. Here is a look at the psychological effects of red, blue, and purple:

  • Red – Associated with energy, passion, aggression, excitement, impulse, and love. Increases heart rate and appetite.
  • Blue – Represents tranquility, reliability, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, and intelligence. Lowers heart rate and appetite.
  • Purple – Symbolizes luxury, ambition, creativity, magic, and imagination. Uplifts mood and boosts creativity.

When used together, red, blue, and purple create a dynamic, high-contrast color scheme that encompasses both warm and cool properties. This combination stimulates the mind and senses, balances emotions, and allows creativity.


When red and blue are mixed together on the color wheel, they make purple. The exact hue of purple depends on the ratio of red pigment to blue pigment. Equal red and blue makes violet, more red makes raspberry purple, and more blue makes an indigo purple. Understanding color theory allows you to intentionally mix colors to create the shades you imagine.

Red, blue, and the purples in between are rich, versatile colors full of energy and tranquility. They complement each other extremely well. Combining these colors creates vibrant, stimulating designs that also promote balance and harmony.