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How to Make Purple Paint to Create Shades With Perfection

How to Make Purple Paint
While working on a painting, you suddenly find that you are missing the appropriate shade of purple for your project. Your best solution, in such a situation, is to know how to mix other colors on the pallet to get the perfect shade of purple that you wanted. Let's check out a few techniques on how to make purple paint at home.
Anuj Mudaliar
Last Updated: Dec 10, 2017
Quick Tip!
To create bright and luminous shades of any color, make sure that the colors that you are mixing are manufactured using very few pigments, the best being the ones made with one pigment. Most good quality paints have the pigments mentioned on the labels.

To be a good artist and create paintings that will create interest, it is important that one knows how to mix colors properly, so that they are able to use any shade that they can think of. Primary colors red, yellow, and blue can be used to create secondary colors, which can be further mixed to create tertiary colors.
Purple is a bright and vibrant color, that comes in many shades. It is a secondary color, created mostly by mixing the primary colors red and blue. Although most stationary and art stores stock the ready-made version of this color, it is quite easy to create one at home in emergencies. This also has the added advantage of being able to create you own shade of purple. Creating your own paint will save you money, especially if you paint regularly. Learning and remembering this process requires practice and a lot of experimentation. Let's see which colors one should use to get a purple color.
Which Two Colors Make Purple
True Red and Blue:
  • First make sure that the red and blue colors you are using are actually true colors. This is because, reds and blues made with a combination of pigments will not create purple, but a dark black or brownish shade.
  • Check to see if your red looks slightly yellow or orange, and if the blue has a tinge of yellow or green. Such colors are not true colors.
  • To be absolutely sure, mix your red and blue with white in separate parts of the pallet. The red should turn into pink, not peach, and the blue should become sky blue, rather than a light green-blue.
  • For rich dark purple shades, add more blue, and for warm brighter shades, add extra red.

Magenta and Cyan:
  • This is the best way to get a bright and beautiful color, which you cannot get by mixing red and blue. This is because, red paint absorbs red and blue light, while blue paint absorbs red and green light. Since the human eye is equipped to see in only red green and blue, you end up seeing a dark (almost black) purple color.
  • Magenta and cyan paint absorb only green and red light, respectively. This allows your eyes to get a better color input, and you see a bright, vibrant purple color.
  • Mixing magenta and cyan in varying proportions results in a wide range of purple and blue shades.

Changing Shades in Purple Paint:
  • Adding white to purple paint will make the shade lighter. However, add white in small amounts to get the right shade. Equal amounts of purple and white will give you a pastel color.
  • To make your purple darker, you can add a very small amount of black, or you can mix in some yellow/lime green which will give a rich, dark shade. If you add too much black to the purple, it can be difficult to rectify the error, so it is important that you are careful.
  • Mixing small amounts of black and white in various proportions will result in a gray-lavender color of varied brightness.
Making Purple in Water Colors
To create a purple water color, it is important that you mix a blue that reacts well to reds, and a red that reacts well to blues.

Blue Shades with Red Bias
  • Brilliant blue
  • Victoria blue
  • Cobalt blue
  • Verditer blue
  • Cyanine blue
  • Ultramarine blue
  • Mountain blue
  • Indigo

Red Shades with Blue Bias:
  • Scarlet lake red
  • Magenta
  • Alzarin crimson
  • Rhodamine red
  • Carmine red
  • Rose madder red
  • Crimson lake red
  • Opera red

These color combinations work well with acrylic paints as well.
How to Make Purple Food Coloring
Colors form a very big part of presentation as far as food is concerned. The quality of food coloring can make any dish seem very appetizing, or absolutely disgusting. Although ready-made purple food coloring is available in stores, one can also use red and blue food coloring to create good purple shades, in a jiffy. The food color can be used in all kinds of foods, to make the menu look unique and out of the ordinary.
If you want to create purple food color for cakes, icing, or other baked items, mix 6 drops of red and 4 drops of blue food coloring. In case of decorations, for items such as Easter eggs, use 5 drops of red and around 15 drops of blue. You can experiment and try different proportions to get different shades of the color. Add more red to lighten the color, or extra blue to darken it.
When you are painting a large project, mix enough purple paint to complete the job, as mixing new batches at different times will create inconsistencies in the shade of purple. Now that you know which two colors to mix to get purple paint, along with some variations, mix different colors, experiment, and have fun with any shade that you want.
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