Purple and white make a beautiful, uplifting pattern when used together. They’re often paired together in flowers, clothing, and advent candles. They’re thought of as pleasing and calming.
So, what happens if you mix purple and white – and will the result be equally as beautiful as the individual colors?
What Color Do Purple and White Make with Paints?
Whenever white is mixed with a color, it creates a tint. Tints appear as lighter or paler versions of the color, so they’re often used strategically in designs.
If you mix purple and white together, you’ll get light purple. The more white you add to the mixture, the lighter the purple will appear.
Here are some examples of light purple colors:
RGB 200, 162, 200
CMYK 0, 19, 0, 22
RGB 230, 230, 250
CMYK 8, 8, 0, 2
RGB 204, 204, 255
CMYK 20, 20, 0, 0
Understanding the RYB Color Model
The RYB color model is commonly used for physical color mediums like paints. Many people are familiar with it because it’s taught in early art classes. In this color model, the primary colors are red, yellow, and blue.
Then, if you add two primary colors together, you’ll get a secondary color, such as green, orange, or purple. Combining an equal amount of all three primary colors gives you brown.
You might notice that white and black aren’t shown on the RYB diagram. However, both black and white exist in RYB. They’re commonly used to make other colors look lighter or darker.
Making Purple Lighter or Darker
If you’re not impressed with the type of purple that white and purple create, it’s not hard to adjust it. Here are some tips for making purple lighter or darker.
Light purple is already a tint of purple, but you can still make it lighter. All you have to do is add more white to the mixture. Also, if you’re creating purple from scratch, you can use lighter versions of blue and red to create a lighter purple to start with.
Shades are the opposite of tints. They’re when black is added to a color, which makes it look darker. If you add black to light purple, the black and white might clash and make the color duller. So, it’s easiest to create shades using normal purple rather than light purple. A little black paint can go a long way, so only use it sparingly when creating a shade.
Light Purple Color Meaning
Purple has a wide range of meanings, but light purple is thought of as more delicate than most purples. Light purple relates to romantic and nostalgic feelings. However, it could also share some of the same meanings as regular purple.
The color purple is often associated with mystery, royalty, and imagination. It can enlighten, inspire, and encourage. Some positive meanings include compassion, wisdom, and creativity, but some negative meanings are overly sensitive, immature, and vigilant. It all depends on the context of the color.
Can You Create Purple and White Paint?
Some paint colors run out much faster than others. Instead of going to the store to buy more of one color, you might be able to create more of it using other colors. So, can you create more purple and white paint?
Purple is an easy color to make because it’s a secondary color in RYB. It can be created by mixing an equal amount of red and blue paint. Adding extra red makes the color warmer and more vibrant, while extra blue cools it down and makes it a bit darker.
However, it’s impossible to create white paint using other colors. In subtractive mixing, the more colors that are mixed together, the darker the color will look. There’s no way to make the colors significantly lighter without adding white to them. So, you cannot create white paint by mixing colors together. It’s only possible to make white light using an additive color model.
What Color Do Purple and White Make with Lights?
Mixing lights is much different than mixing paints. When all three primary colors are mixed in lights, they make white. So, as colors are combined in lights, the result gets lighter instead of darker. Thus, adding white light to purple light will only make it a lighter version of purple, which is similar to the results of other color models.
Understanding the RGB Color Model
RGB is the color model used for lights and digital displays. It’s a form of additive mixing, so when colors are combined, more wavelengths are added to create a new color. While color combinations tend to create darker colors in RYB, they become lighter instead in RGB.
The primary colors are red, green, and blue. Combining two primary colors together will give you one of the secondary colors: cyan, magenta, and yellow. If you combine all three primary colors at full brightness, you’ll get white. Darker colors like black, brown, and gray don’t exist naturally in this color model.
People often associate the CMYK color model with RGB. CMYK is a form of subtractive mixing that’s used for printer ink. Its primary and secondary colors are the opposite of RGB, so cyan, magenta, and yellow are the primary colors, while red, green, and blue are the secondary colors. When you combine the three primary colors in this color model, they make black.
Even though CMYK is different than RGB and RYB, it still creates light purple when white and purple are mixed.
How Do You Mix Colored Lights?
Combining colored lights is different than mixing with paints. If you have a purple and white light, you can mix them by shining one on top of the other. However, all colors can be made by layering red, green, and blue on top of each other at different brightnesses.
For example, you can create a light purple color by setting blue at full brightness, red close to full brightness, and green at about half brightness. Adjusting those amounts slightly can give you different versions of purple.
Mixing lights using red, green, and blue can be a tedious process if you’ve never done it before. If you want to learn more about color mixing, try adjusting the brightness of those colors to see what different colors they create. You might be surprised by how different the results are from subtractive color mixing.
How Do Our Eyes Perceive Colors?
A lot goes on in our eyes when we see colors. When light shines on an object, our eyes see the colored wavelengths that reflect off that object. In some instances, our eyes rely on our brains to provide context for what color an item is.
On the visible spectrum, there’s a wide range of wavelengths. Violet is on one end of the spectrum, and it has the shortest, most frequent wavelengths. Red is on the other end of the spectrum with the longest, most stretched-out wavelengths. All the other colors of the rainbow fall in the middle of those two.
If we look at a ripe banana, all wavelengths will be absorbed into the fruit except the ones associated with yellow. Those yellow wavelengths will reflect back toward us, causing our eyes to perceive the banana as yellow.
Inside our eyes, we have “photosensors” called cones and rods. They’re used to help us interpret the wavelengths reflecting at us. Cone cells allow us to see colors well in bright lighting, while rod cells are more sensitive, so they’re only effective in dim lighting. Both cell types work together to help us see a wide range of colors.
Designing with Purple and White
Purple and white are whimsical when used together. They can make a cute, serene room design, especially if light purple is used. Yet, like most designs, these two colors can benefit from adding more colors to the mix.
Some colors to consider adding to a purple and white design are pink, blue, brown, or gray. If you want to add some contrast to the design, you can use yellow, which is purple’s complementary color. If none of these ideas sound interesting to you, you can also use purple and white separately.
White goes well with almost any color. It can go well with neutral colors like brown and gray or vibrant colors like blue, yellow, pink, or green. There are endless options with the color white. However, purple is a bit more limited. It goes best with gold, pink, turquoise, tan, or red. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box when making a creative new design.
Do Purple and White Always Make Light Purple?
Yes, purple and white will always make some kind of light purple, regardless of the color model you use. White is known for making other colors lighter, and it works well in almost any design. So, it’s a fun color to mix with and it creates softer colors when combined with brighter hues.
Mixing a wide variety of colors is essential for understanding color theory. So, don’t be afraid to try new mixtures, even if you know what the result might look like. The more knowledgeable you are about color combinations, the easier it will be to create exciting new artwork.