Orange and purple are two colors that you wouldn’t normally think to mix together. Yet, they work surprisingly well when combined or placed in designs together.
So, what color do orange and purple make when mixed, and will that conclusion differ based on what medium you use? Let’s talk about the results when mixing colors using paint and lights.
What Color Do Orange and Purple Make in Paint?
On the RYB color wheel commonly used for painting, orange and purple are both secondary colors. Orange is made of yellow and red, while purple is made of blue and red. So, when mixing orange and purple, you will create a combination including all three primary colors. Normally, that result is brown, but since there is more red than yellow or blue, the result is slightly different.
Purple and orange mixed in paint create russet, which is brown with a red tint to it. It’s often seen as a fur color for animals, and it’s a unique color to use in artwork.
Understanding the RYB Color Model
The RYB color model is used for painting and other types of physical art creations. The primary colors are red, yellow, and blue. Those three colors can be mixed in combinations to create the secondary colors, which are purple, orange, and green. If all three primary colors are mixed together in equal amounts, they’ll create a murky brown color.
This color model is a form of subtractive mixing. Subtractive color mixing occurs when colors are absorbed together to create a new color. That’s why swirling two paint colors together will give you a completely different hue.
Is There an Easier Way to Make Russet?
Most people find russet to be much more endearing than a traditional brown. So, there’s an easier way to create russet than mixing purple and orange. If you already have a tube of brown paint, mix red with brown to create a nice reddish-brown hue.
Yet, if you don’t have access to brown paint, you can mix all three primary colors together to create brown. Instead of mixing an equal amount of all the colors, add a little more red than blue or yellow. Then, you’ll get a nice russet brown. The more red you add, the warmer the color will turn out.
How to Mix Lighter and Darker Colors
Russet is a unique type of brown, but it might not be exactly what you’re looking for. So, here are some tips for how to create a lighter or darker version of the color.
Tints are lighter versions of a color. The best way to create a lighter russet color is to add white to the mixture. Since white is such a light color, you might need to use a lot of it to notice a difference.
On the other hand, shades are darker versions of colors. To get a shade of russet, you can add a touch of black into the mix. Black can easily overpower the other colors though, so be sure to only use it sparingly.
Russet Color Meaning
RGB: 128, 70, 27
CMYK: 0, 45, 79, 50
Russet is a type of brown, which means it can share some of brown’s common meanings. Brown is a color of reliability, stability, and honesty. It’s meant to simplify, protect, and ground people.
Some of brown’s positive meanings include appreciation, support, and wisdom. However, it can sometimes be seen as a negative color, appearing boring, dull, or timid.
While russet can have all the meanings of brown, depending on the context, it also has some lesser-known meanings of its own. It’s commonly associated with autumn, which is a sign of change, growth, and wealth. Yet, some also see russet as a serious or sorrowful color. It all depends on how you intend to use it in your artwork and designs.
What Color Do Orange and Purple Make in Lights?
It’s very rare that you would ever mix orange and purple in lights since they’re both tertiary colors. Yet, they might create an interesting mix if you try it. In the color wheel for lights, orange is a mix of yellow and red, while purple is a mix of blue and magenta. Since the primary colors for lights are red, green, and blue (RGB), this mix doesn’t use all three primary colors as it does with paint.
Mixing orange and purple lights together will likely give you a light pink. However, it depends on how bright the colors are. Since there’s more red in the mixture than any other color, it makes sense that there would be red or pink hues in those lights.
You’ll get a similar result when mixing colors through ink and printing as the tertiary colors are the same on RGB and CMYK models.
Understanding the RGB Color Model
The RGB color model is used for lights and displays on electronic systems. The three primary colors are red, green, and blue instead of red, yellow, and blue. Those primary colors can be mixed in combinations to create RGB’s secondary colors, which are cyan, magenta, and yellow.
This color wheel is a form of additive color mixing, which is created through a combination of wavelengths. So, for mixing lights, the colors are layered on top of each other to create a new color.
While the CMYK color model is subtractive, it still shares colors with the RGB color model. It’s just the opposite way around, with the primary colors being cyan, magenta, and yellow and the secondary colors being red, green, and blue. A big difference between the two is that the primary colors in the RGB color wheel mix together to create white, while the ones in the CMYK color model mix to create black instead.
How Do You Mix Lights?
Lights can be mixed by layering one colored light on top of another. All colors can be created by adding the three primary colors together at different brightnesses.
All three colors mixed together at full brightness make white. However, removing one of the colors or lowering its brightness can create something entirely different. Orange is made by having red at full brightness, green at about half brightness, and no blue. Then, purple is made when red and blue are at full brightness, but green is only halfway.
Thus, mixing colors with light can create slightly different results, depending on how bright the colors are. Some lights already have a mixed color to them, but all colors can be made by simply using red, green, and blue lights. Experimenting with different light combinations is a great way to better understand the RGB color model.
Pink Color Meaning
Pink is commonly seen as a sign of compassion, love, and playfulness. It’s comforting, nurturing, and calming, which is why it’s often thought to be a feminine color or associated with mothers. However, anyone can benefit from this vibrant and uplifting color.
Some positive aspects of pink include kindness, warmth, and romance. It’s often associated with emotions, including ones like timid, immature, or unconfident. So, consider all these meanings before choosing to use pink in designs.
Orange and Purple in Design
Orange and purple are two very different colors that sit on opposite sides of the color wheel. Orange is considered a warm color, while purple is a cool color. The two are rarely used together in designs because they tend to clash.
However, orange and purple can work well together if you’re looking to make something pop in your design. For example, an orange logo with a purple background will make the logo stand out more. The entire design will also be bright and vibrant. These colors can also make unique room designs if used sparingly with more neutral colors, such as gray and brown.
The colors that orange and purple make are a bit easier to use in designs. Russet is a unique version of a neutral color, so it goes well with vibrant colors like red, magenta, and cyan. Pink is a much brighter color, so it should be used more sparingly. If you’re looking for a loud, vibrant design, pink can go well with colors like green and yellow, but if you want it to look more calm and professional, pair it with neutral colors like brown, gray, and white.
Why Do Two Colors Make Different Mixes?
Even though orange and purple look the same in paints and lights, they have two distinct results when combined. When painting, they turn russet, while in lighting, they look pink. The main reason for this is that each medium uses a different color model and a different process for mixing.
For example, mixing paints involves swirling two colors together to make a combination of the two. However, mixing lights involves layering one colored light on top of another. So, not only are the color wheels drastically different but they are created using unique processes.
Mixing colors can be confusing when exploring different mediums, but the more you experiment with color mixing, the better you’ll understand how it works. All colors can make great additions to designs, so think about meanings, mixtures, and similar colors when creating your own artwork. Unexpected mixes like orange and purple can surprise you in a good way.