What Color Do Blue and White Make When Mixed?

Blue and white abstract pattern

White is light and easily drowned out by other colors. Yet, when it’s mixed with hues, it can alter them slightly. Mixtures with white are often beautiful and serene, which is why they’re so common.

So, what color do blue and white make when mixed together? Can the result vary based on the color model you use?

What Color Do Blue and White Make in Paint?

Mixing white and blue together creates light blue, also commonly known as sky blue. That’s because any color mixed with white creates what’s called a tint. Tints always look lighter and paler than the color that white is mixed with. The more white you add to blue, the lighter it’ll be.

Understanding the RYB Color Model

Red, yellow, and blue triangle background

RYB is a color model used for paints and other physical art mediums. Most people are familiar with this form of subtractive color mixing because it’s taught in early art classes. When colors are combined in RYB, wavelengths are removed from the mixture to create a new color.

The primary colors in RYB are red, yellow, and blue. If you mix two primary colors together, they make one of the secondary colors, which are green, purple, and orange. All three primary colors mixed together usually result in brown. Black and white don’t appear on the color model, but they can be used to change the appearance of a hue.

Making Blue Lighter or Darker

After mixing light blue using white and blue, there are still ways to alter how the color looks. Here are some tips for making a paint color look lighter or darker.

Mixing Tints

As mentioned earlier, tints are made when a color is mixed with white. This causes the color to look lighter and paler. Sky blue is already a tint of blue, so you probably won’t need to make it lighter. Yet, if you do, all you have to do is mix in more white paint.

Mixing Shades

Shades are the opposite of tints. They’re made by mixing a color with black, which makes it darker. Black paint is much more overpowering than white, so a little can go a long way. Use black sparingly when trying to make a blue color look darker. You can also make it look darker if you use more blue than white.

Light Blue Color Meaning

Light blue sparkles

Light blue is a pleasant color that can symbolize tranquility, softness, and understanding. Yet, it could also share some general meanings with the color blue.

Blue is usually a color of security, loyalty, and responsibility. It’s known to protect, calm, and support. Like all colors, blue has a variety of good and bad meanings. Some positive meanings include confidence, peace, and honesty. However, negative interpretations could be passive, depressed, and predictable. The symbolism of light blue depends on how it’s being used and what you want to portray.

Can You Create Blue and White Paint?

Running out of paint can be frustrating, but depending on which colors you need more of, you might not need to run to the store. The RYB color model doesn’t show an easy way to make blue and white, so is it possible to create them using other colors?

To create blue paint, you’ll need to reference the CMYK color model, which is used for printing. According to that diagram, cyan and magenta can be mixed to create blue. However, both of those colors are difficult to find in paint.

Unfortunately, no colors can be mixed to create white paint. You may be able to make it using other materials, but neither subtractive color model allows you to create it with other colors. That’s because any paint color mixed with another will absorb at least one wavelength. In paint, white is the absence of all the wavelengths.

What Color Do Blue and White Make in Lights?

White and blue light

If you combine a blue light with a white light, you’ll also get light blue just like you would in paint. To make white in lights, you need to mix the three primary colors together at full brightness. Adding blue would mean that there would be a little more blue than the other two primary colors. Thus, the color would be close to white, but with a blue tint.

Understanding the RGB Color Model

The RGB color model is used for mixing colored lights and digital displays. Unlike RYB, it’s an additive color model, which means wavelengths are added when colors are combined. Mixing lots of colors in lights usually gives you a lighter result, while paints typically end in a darker color.

In this color model, the primary colors are red, green, and blue. Then, the secondary colors are cyan, magenta, and yellow. If you mix all three primary colors together at full brightness, it’ll give you white. However, if you adjust the brightnesses of the colors you’re mixing with, the result can vary slightly.

CMYK seems like a similar color model, but it’s actually a subtractive color model used for printing. The primary and secondary colors in CMYK are the opposite of RGB, with cyan, magenta, and yellow being the primary colors and red, green, and blue being the secondary colors. When you mix all three primary colors together, you get black.

How to Mix Colored Lights

RGB light mixing on dark background

Mixing lights isn’t the same as mixing paints. With paint, you need to swirl two colors together to create a new one, but with lights, you have to layer one color on top of another. If you already have a blue and a white light, simply shine one on top of the other to reveal a light blue color.

However, you can also create all the colors on the RGB color model by layering red, green, and blue on top of each other at different brightnesses. For example, if you wanted to create light blue that way, you could keep blue at full brightness, move green to about 75% brightness, and put red at about 25%. Then, you’d get a nice light blue.

Mixing with lights involves a lot of trial and error. If the color you’re trying to make doesn’t turn out as expected, you can adjust the brightnesses of red, green, and blue to change how it appears. You might discover some interesting colors in the process.

How Do Our Eyes Perceive Colors?

Rainbow colored background with colors of the visible light spectrum

The way our eyes perceive color is unique and complicated. The wavelengths of light are what help our eyes look at colored objects, which our brains then help us interpret based on the context. Every color on the visible light spectrum has a unique wavelength, which helps determine which colors are absorbed into an object and which ones are reflected.

Violet is on one end of the spectrum while red is on the other. Thus, the two colors have very different wavelengths. Violet’s wavelengths are short and frequent, but red’s are long and stretched out.

When light shines on an object, some wavelengths are absorbed into the item while others reflect back at us. The colors that bounce off an object are the colors we see that object as. For example, a ripe banana would absorb the colors red, orange, green, blue, and violet while reflecting yellow. So, the banana would appear yellow to us.

Inside our eyes, we have cone and rod cells, which are also known as “photosensors.” Those cells allow us to interpret the colors we’re looking at. Cones are most effective in bright light, so they can perceive colors during the day. Rods are a bit more sensitive, so they interpret colors best in dim lights. The two types of photosensors work together to help us see colors at all times, and our brains help us process those colors.

Designing with White and Blue

Blue and white interior room design

Blue and white together make peaceful designs. They’re often used in beach resorts and sunrooms because they make people feel relaxed. While these two colors are great as a pair, there are plenty of colors you can add to make the design more interesting.

Some colors that might go well with blue and white are green, purple, pink, or yellow. Other neutral colors like brown or gray might fit in well too. Adding in shades and tints of blue may make the design more appealing. All of these color schemes work well for all kinds of designs, including rooms, paintings, and advertisements.

If you use white or blue on their own, you’ll have a lot more options. White is a neutral color that goes well with just about any other color. It complements bright colors well, so consider using it with yellow, green, or pink. If you want a more neutral color scheme, consider pairing it with beige or gray. Blue goes best with yellow, pink, red, or purple.

Do Blue and White Always Make Light Blue?

White and blue is an easy combination to mix because they always make light blue. Adding white to any color usually lightens the color, which is why blue and white give you light blue paint and lights.

Not all color mixtures are as simple. Some pairs make different colors in each color model, such as red and green. The best way to find out what two colors make is by mixing them yourself. Sometimes, you might be surprised by the results.