Purple and green aren’t near each other on the color wheel, but they’re not far enough apart to be complementary colors either. So, what happens when you mix them, and will they look good together in designs?
These two colors aren’t normally seen together, and mixing them can be a bit complicated. Let’s take a look at what colors you might get if you combine green and purple in different mediums.
What Do Green and Purple Make in Paint?
Green and purple paint usually make a dark gray color. Since green is made of blue and yellow, and purple is made of blue and red, it’s like you’re mixing all three primary colors together. Normally, a mix of red, yellow, and blue paint makes brown, but since there’s extra blue in this mixture, it’s closer to gray.
However, the results can vary greatly based on the type of green and purple you use. For example, if you use violet instead of regular purple, you’ll get a dark blue color that’s closer to turquoise. The term violet is often used interchangeably with purple, but it’s actually a lighter, bluer color.
So, depending on what kind of green and purple paint you settle on, you will get some type of gray, brown, or blue mixture. Try experimenting with different shades and tints to see how it affects your results.
Understanding the RYB Color Model
The RYB color wheel is the one most people are familiar with because they learned it in early elementary school art classes. In this color model, the primary colors are red, yellow, and blue. Then, combinations of those colors can mix to make the secondary colors: orange, green, and purple.
This color model is a type of subtractive mixing, which means wavelengths are removed when mixed. It’s commonly used for paints and other physical art mediums. The mixing process consists of swirling existing colors together to create a new color.
Mixing Lighter and Darker Colors
No matter what color you get when mixing purple and green, it might be close to what you need, but not exact. To adjust the color slightly, you’ll need to create tints and shades of it. So, here are some tips on how to do that.
Tints are lighter versions of a color. Since mixtures of purple and green are usually really dark, you might want to make tints of the result. Tints can be created by adding a lot of white to the mixture. White is easily overpowered by darker colors, so don’t be afraid to keep adding more as needed.
Shades are the opposite of tints, so they’re darker versions of colors. It’s unlikely that you’ll need to make a purple and green mixture much darker, but it’s important that you at least know how. Adding a touch of black can make a shade of a color. However, a little black paint can go a long way, so only use it sparingly.
All colors have some meaning and symbolism attached to them, so let’s look at the significance of the colors that green and purple can create. The two colors mixed together will likely give you either a gray or blue color.
Gray Color Meaning
Gray is a neutral color that symbolizes control and compromise. It’s meant to stabilize, relax, and soothe. It’s the color of a rock, which makes it stable, solid, and reliable.
While this color is a sign of maturity and intellect, it can have some negative meanings too. Some see it as pessimistic, indecisive, and unemotional.
Blue Color Meaning
Blue can have different meanings depending on the type of blue, but in general, it’s a sign of trust, security, and loyalty. It makes people feel relaxed, protected, and supported.
This color has many positive associations, including peace, confidence, and reliability. However, some might think of it as passive, depressing, and predictable. Like all colors, blue’s meanings can vary greatly based on the context.
What Do Green and Purple Make in Ink?
Ink mixtures are often different than paint mixtures because they use a different color model. So, when green and purple mix in printing, it’ll give you a color close to black, but with a hint of blue in it.
This is because, on the CMYK color model, green is a mix of cyan and yellow, while purple (violet) is a tertiary color that’s made of magenta and blue. The two colors are almost directly across on the color wheel, but not quite. So, it’s like you’re mixing all three primary colors together, but with blue added in. All three primary colors on the CMYK color model create black.
Understanding the CMYK Color Model
The CMYK color model is a subtractive mixing method that’s commonly seen in printers. You’ve likely noticed that printer ink comes in four colors: cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. Cyan, magenta, and yellow are the primary colors of the CMYK color model. All of them mixed together makes black.
Like the RYB color model, all three primary colors can create the rest of the colors. The secondary colors are red, green, and blue, while some tertiary colors include orange, violet, and rose.
Black Color Meaning
The color black is a symbol of power, protection, and elegance. It can mystify, seduce, and intimidate others. It’s often associated with authority and sophisticated individuals.
Black has many positive meanings, such as formality, strength, and prestige. However, it can also be related to depression, sadness, and pessimism. It’s a powerful color that can have a wide range of interpretations.
What Do Green and Purple Make in Lights?
Lights use the RGB color model, which is very different from the RYB and CMYK models. Like in printing, purple (violet) is a tertiary color. Even though green is a primary color in this scenario, it still falls near the opposite side of the color wheel. Yet, in lights, green and purple make a color close to white.
That’s because green is a primary color and purple is made up of the two other primary colors. When all primary colors are mixed together at full brightness on the RGB color model, they make white. However, since purple has more blue than red, the white will have a light blue tint to it.
Understanding the RGB Color Model
RGB is commonly used for colored lights and digital displays. It greatly differs from the other two color models because it uses additive mixing, which consists of adding wavelengths together.
On this color wheel, the primary colors are red, green, and blue. Then, combinations of those colors can mix to make the secondary colors, which are cyan, magenta, and yellow. So, it’s the opposite of the CMYK color model.
How Do You Mix Colored Lights?
If you want to experiment with colored lights, you can try mixing them together by layering them on top of each other. If you only have the three primary colors, you can create all the other colors by layering red, green, and blue over each other at different brightnesses.
For example, purple is made when red and blue are all the way up and green is at about 60% brightness. So, if you add more green, you’ll be mixing all three primary colors at full brightness, which creates white.
White Color Meaning
The color white is a symbol of cleanliness, purity, and perfection. It makes people feel refreshed, balanced, and purified. White is considered the true balance of all colors.
It has plenty of positive meanings, such as goodness, hope, and clarity. Yet, it can also be seen as cold, boring, and distant. It all depends on how it’s being used and the person who is observing the color.
Using Green and Purple in Designs
Despite both being cool colors, green and purple don’t usually go well together in designs. However, they tend to contrast each other, so if you want a purple object to stand out, place it on a dark green background. So, using them together in vibrant designs or logos might work well.
Purple tends to go better with shades of blue or pink as they are closer to it on the color wheel. Green also goes well with blue, but shades of yellow can also work. Like most colors, they work well in rooms when paired with neutral colors like gray or tan.
If you’re looking for colors to contrast purple and green to make them stand out even more, then consider their complementary colors. Green’s complementary color is red, while purple’s is yellow.
How Can Two Colors Mix to Create Several Different Colors?
Some color mixtures create the same result no matter what medium you’re using, but that’s not the case for green and purple. Green and purple can make several different colors depending on if you’re using paints, lights, or ink. The combinations can also vary based on the types of green and purple you choose.
The results can vary so drastically because these mediums use different color models and methods of mixing. So, swirling paints might give you one color, while layering lights on top of each other gives you another.
Color mixing is so much more complicated than meets the eye, and experimenting with different color mixtures can help you better understand color theory. Green and purple might not always work well together in designs, but they can create a wide range of unique color combinations you can use in your artwork.