Mixing colors is an essential part of art and color theory. All colors can mix with other colors to create something special, but some color combinations certainly work better than others. Blue and green work well together in designs, and they can also be mixed together to create a beautiful and unique color.
However, the color that blue and green make can vary based on the medium you’re using and the type of blue and green you select. So, let’s see how that can affect your art.
What Color Do Blue and Green Make When Mixing Paint?
When you mix blue and green paint together, you get blue-green, which is a tertiary color on the color wheel. Blue-green sort of resembles a turquoise color or the color of the sea. It’s one of the most common and most desirable tertiary colors.
What are Tertiary Colors?
Tertiary colors are defined as a mixture between a primary color and a secondary color. Since blue is a primary color and green is a secondary color in terms of painting, they create blue-green.
The other tertiary colors on the color wheel are red-orange, yellow-orange, red-purple, blue-purple, and yellow-green. They all look exactly as their names describe.
Mixing your own tertiary colors can often be difficult and time-consuming since finding the exact shade or tint can be tricky. Most artists just buy a 12-pack set of paint colors rather than mixing their own. However, mixing all the colors using the three primary colors is a great way to learn about color theory.
Can Tertiary Colors Have Other Names?
People will rarely refer to a color as blue-green, red-purple, or any other tertiary color name. In most instances, individuals will use specific color names for these colors. While blue-green might not be the same exact color as turquoise, it’s more common for people to call these colors by specific familiar names.
For example, colors like teal, chartreuse, vermilion, magenta, violet, and amber are technically tertiary colors. Yet, in an educational setting, you will never see tertiary colors mentioned on the painting color wheel in these ways. Instead, these are names we’re used to seeing on crayons, markers, and paint tubes.
Types of Blue-Green
Like all colors, blue-green can have different shades, tints, and variants, depending on the type of blue and green you mix. Any mixture between blue and green is technically a type of blue-green, whether you’re using sky blue, mint green, navy, or forest green.
Some well-known types of blue-green include turquoise, cerulean, teal, and cyan. Yet, most of these are lighter tints of blue-green while a pure blue-green is much darker. Any of these colors can be made using blue and green if you add a little white or black into the mix.
How to Create Shades and Tints of Blue-Green
Since there are many variants of blue-green, you might need to do some additional mixing to find the perfect one. Here are some tips for making different kinds of blue-green.
Making Lighter Blue-Green
If you want your blue-green to be lighter, you can add white to the mixture. You might need to add a large amount of white to notice a difference. Starting with lighter colors, like cyan and mint green, will also help your mix to turn out lighter.
Making Darker Blue-Green
With pure blue and green, blue-green starts off fairly dark. However, adding a hint of black could make it even darker. Yet, don’t go crazy with black paint since it can easily overpower the other colors.
Adding More Blue or Green
Instead of making a perfect 50/50 mixture, you can add more blue or more green to get a different color. From there, you can decide if you still want to add white or black. For example, turquoise has more green than blue while cyan has more blue than green when it comes to painting.
Does Blue-Green Have a Meaning?
Blue-green’s meanings aren’t as popular or consistent as blue and green’s, but it still has some significance to it. It’s a color commonly seen in nature, like in water, fish, and damselflies. So, it could give people a sense of outdoor adventure or an appreciation for nature.
Like blue, blue-green is also known to reflect calmness and peace onto the people who view it, likely because water is calm and relaxing too. If you plan to use blue-green in your art and design, consider these meanings before incorporating it.
Read more about blue-green color meanings here: turquoise and teal.
What Color Do Blue and Green Make When Mixing Lights?
Colors in lights and printing use different color models than painting and other hands-on art forms. So, when you mix blue and green lights together, you get cyan, according to the RGB color wheel. This color wheel is a form of additive coloring that’s used to make colors on your monitor using only red, green, and blue.
Understanding the CMYK and RGB Color Models
The CMYK color wheel differs from the paint color wheel because the three primary colors are cyan, magenta, and yellow (and black, which is the K in CMYK that stands for “Key”). Those three colors can be used to make all the other colors, including red, blue, and green, which are the primary colors most people are familiar with.
However, to create cyan with lights, you’ll need to use the RGB color model. The RGB color wheel is a form of additive coloring, unlike the other main color wheels, which are subtractive. In that case, the primary colors are red, green, and blue. Red and green make yellow, red and blue make magenta, and blue and green make cyan.
When all colors are added together on the RGB model, they create white. The CMYK model is the opposite, which creates black when all the primary colors come together. While these color schemes won’t work for paint and similar art styles, it’s how light and printing make color mixtures.
What are the RGB Tertiary Colors?
Since RGB replaces yellow with green as a primary color, the secondary and tertiary colors also vary. The names for tertiary colors on this color wheel are more specific than just a hyphenated version of the primary and secondary colors.
The tertiary colors on the RGB and CMYK models are called azure, violet, rose, orange, chartreuse and spring green. Many of them appear similar to the tertiary colors on the painting color wheel, but they’re not quite the same. The names are a little more creative, so they can be harder to memorize.
Can Colors Be Mixed to Make Blue and Green?
The CMYK color model proves that colors can be mixed together to create blue and green. This is true for all mediums, and the process is subtractive mixing.
Many people believe that you can’t mix colors to create the primary colors of light: red, green, and blue (RGB). However, the CMYK color wheel shows that mixing magenta and cyan together can give you blue. Of course, when it comes to painting, it’s much more efficient to simply buy blue paint since cyan and magenta paints are harder to come by.
In painting, green is a secondary color, which can be mixed using blue and yellow. Yet, in printing, it is created by mixing yellow and cyan.
Is Cyan a Type of Blue-Green?
Yes, cyan can be considered a lighter tint of blue-green, meaning that blue and green make a fairly consistent color no matter what medium you’re using.
Like other blue-green colors, cyan gives off a calm, peaceful vibe. It’s often used in design to give images and furnishings a pop of color. It goes well with other cool colors, but it can also make a great addition to neutral colors, such as brown, tan, white, or black. The same is true for most types of blue-green.
Designing with Blue and Green
Blue and green are both cool colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. So, they can work together well in designs. In addition to using blue and green, you can also add blue-green to the mix for a wider variety of colors. Creating an art piece of only cool colors will leave viewers feeling relaxed.
However, if you’re designing a room in a house, less is usually more when it comes to blue and green. Blue, green, and cyan can make great additions to a room, but only in small quantities. For example, if you have a gray couch, you could add a blue-green decorative pillow for a pop of color.
Colors on the other side of the color wheel, such as red and orange, tend to clash with blue and green since they’re complementary colors. Yet, if you’re creating a logo, you might want to consider using blue and orange or red and green to make the letters or icons pop out more.
There are lots of different shades and tints of blue-green that you can create by mixing blue and green, including turquoise, cyan, and teal. All of these colors are pleasing to the eye, making them great additions to most art pieces and designs. So, when designing with those colors, pay attention to what other hues they go best with.