What Color Does Purple and Brown Make

What Color Does Purple and Brown Make? – Mixing Guide

In this article, we’ll reveal the color outcome of blending purple and brown. You’ll find a comprehensive mixing table, alongside essential tips and tricks, to guide you in creating the precise hue that arises from this color combination for your various art and design endeavors.



What Color Do Purple and Brown Make?

In general, brown and purple mixed will create a darker and toned-down or desaturated shade of purple, called “Cardinal Red”.

Purple and Brown Make What Color

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Purple#8000800, 100, 0, 50128, 0, 128 
Brown#8b45130, 50, 86, 45139, 69, 19 
Cardinal Red
#c41e3a0, 85, 70, 23196, 30, 58 


Different Shades of Purple and Brown Mixing Results

Purple ShadeBrown ShadeMixed Color



Understanding Purple and Brown As Colors

All color models have primary, secondary, and intermediate (tertiary) colors that can be observed on the color wheel. Each of the colors is a little different for each color model. The primary colors for the traditional color system are easily identifiable as red, yellow, and blue. If you then mix two of these primary hues, you will produce a secondary hue, such as orange, green, and purple.

So, purple is a secondary hue that is a blend of blue and red. Purple is considered a cool color, along with green and blue, and these colors are usually positioned close together on the color wheel.

Brown and Purple Mixed Color Models

You will also find warm colors like yellow, orange, and red, which are usually positioned on the other side of the color wheel. To create a deeper but more vibrant purple, you might want to consider using magenta instead of red with blue.

Brown is a little more complex, as it does not form part of the color wheel. The brown color is neutral, which can be created by blending all of the primary hues. Brown can also be produced by blending complementary colors. These colors can be determined by how they are located on the color wheel. If you find purple, and look across from it, you will discover yellow. These two colors complement one another.

Brown and Purple Mixed

Mixing a small amount of purple into the yellow will mute or tone down the yellow. Add more and more purple, and you should eventually produce a shade of brown. You can do this with other colors, for example, orange and blue.

Of course, you can purchase and use a brown paint color that is from a tube. However, there is more control over the results if you mix the colors from scratch. This is because some paint colors can have a color bias.

As we have discussed, purple is a cool color, however, you can get warm purples that have more of a reddish undertone, or cool purples that have more of a bluish undertone. This is what makes color mixing something of an interesting challenge, and why experimenting and creating a color palette is important.


Creating Lighter and Darker Shades

Plum is already a darker shade of purple, but you can produce something even darker by adding a small amount of black. To begin with, to create a darker plum, you can also use a darker brown. This will produce what is termed a “shade”. A lighter color or a “tint” is what occurs when you add white to a color. Just remember, that adding white will also make the color paler or more opaque.

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Plum#6731470, 52, 31, 60103, 49, 71 
Light Plum#d19fb30, 24, 14, 18209, 159, 179 
Dark Plum#2511190, 54, 32, 8537, 17, 25 


Meaning of Purple

Purple has a strong connection with royalty, affluence, and luxury, due to an expensive dye that was often used in the past. Purple is also strongly associated with spirituality, mystery, and wisdom. Purple is something that encourages imagination and creativity.

An uplifting color that also has a few negative associations, for example, purple is often associated with arrogance and immaturity. 

Brown and Purple Mixed Colors


Meaning of Brown

Brown is a strong color that has a connection with the natural world. The color brown is seen as a stable, reliable color that also offers security and comfort. Brown is also grounding and provides a sense of balance. Negatively, brown is often seen as being too predictable and boring.

Brown and Purple Mixed Shades


Meaning of Plum

Being a shade of purple, plum also shares the meaning of purple. However, its muted color can be associated more with romance, confidence, and determination. The plum color is seen as a symbol of energy, enthusiasm, and new beginnings. A confident color that is also associated with determination and compassion. 

Brown and Purple Mixed Tints



Best Uses for Plum in Art and Design

All shades of purple, including plum, are often used as a color that represents mystery and fantasy. Purple can also be used to inspire imagination. Many artists use dark purples to help create a nighttime landscape that adds depth and mystery to the whole painting.

These colors can also be used successfully in other design routes, such as creating websites, elegant evening gowns, or painting living room walls.


Graphic Design

Purple is a color that represents luxury and creativity, which can be used to create logos and websites to convey these feelings. Darker purples like plum, are associated with wealth, while lighter shades are more romantic and feminine. Some brands that use a color close to plum include Hallmark, Cadbury’s, and Milka, another chocolate brand.

Brown and Purple Mixed Graphics


Fashion Design

The plum color is quite versatile and can be worn in different ways. However, since it has such a luxurious feel, it is ideal for a more formal evening outfit. However, a beautiful plum-colored shirt with jeans adds a touch of luxury to a more casual outfit.

Plum also makes a great color for accessories, such as a pair of high-heeled shoes or a handbag. Pair with lighter colors to provide a softer look or combine with bolder colors to make more of a statement.

Consider grays and whites or shades of green to complement the plum.

Brown and Purple Mixed Fashion


Interior Design

There are different shades of plum from lighter and brighter plums to darker and more luxurious plum colors that offer more sophistication. The dark plum will work well with lighter browns and other neutrals like white, beige, gray, and tan.

To add to the luxurious feel, consider pairing metallics like gold and silver with plum. If you love the dark plum, you can choose to paint the walls, however, try to balance it out with neutrals to avoid it becoming too overwhelming.

Plum can also be used as the perfect accent color, for example, plum cushions or art pieces that display the color.

Brown and Purple Mixed Decor

Another way to up the luxurious feel is to add different textures in plum or purple. For example, velvet upholstery can elevate a look, providing a more extravagant look and feel. When incorporating purple colors, it is also important to take note of the lighting, as the colors can appear different. Colors like a deep plum need enough natural light, otherwise, it can appear quite dark.


When mixing brown and purple, you might think that the resulting color will be muddy and unattractive. However, it surprisingly produces a luxurious and deeper shade of purple, which is known as plum. Plum is an extremely popular color in the fashion industry and is also quite prevalent as a color choice for interior designs.




Frequently Asked Questions


What Color Does Purple and Brown Make?

When creating a paint color palette, brown and purple mixed will produce a deeper shade of purple. This can vary according to the specific purple and brown that was used, as well as the ratios of each paint that was included.


Do Brown and Plum Go Together?

Any shade of purple will work well with brown. You can pair plum with a variety of brown colors and neutrals including beige, tan, and coffee. A beautiful and rich brown will help to bring out the warmth of the plum color.


Is Plum a Cool Color?

Purple, in general, is a cool color. However, the various shades of purple can be cooler or warmer, depending on the undertones. In particular, plum is most often described as being warm.


Cite this Article

Charlene, Lewis, “What Color Does Purple and Brown Make? – Mixing Guide.” Art in Context. December 17, 2023. URL: https://artincontext.org/what-color-does-purple-and-brown-make/

Lewis, C. (2023, 17 December). What Color Does Purple and Brown Make? – Mixing Guide. Art in Context. https://artincontext.org/what-color-does-purple-and-brown-make/

Lewis, Charlene. “What Color Does Purple and Brown Make? – Mixing Guide.” Art in Context, December 17, 2023. https://artincontext.org/what-color-does-purple-and-brown-make/.

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