What Colors Do Purple and Orange Make

What Colors Do Purple and Orange Make? – Shades of Brown

Some colors are more widely used than others and when it comes to color combinations, you might not even consider some of the options. For example, have you ever thought about what happens when you mix purple and orange? These two colors on their own have many uses, and when paired, they may be a color combination that you either love or hate. Blending purple and orange is another story altogether and might have some surprising results. To find out what happens when you mix purple and orange, let us see where these hues stand in color theory.



What Colors Do Purple and Orange Make?

Before we get into the nitty gritty of understanding colors, let us briefly answer the question of what colors purple and orange make. If you are mixing paints, the answer can vary, but it will most likely be some sort of brown. The particular brownish color will depend on the shade and tone of the type of orange and purple you use. The proportions of each will also provide slightly different results. As you can see in the table below, there are a few different examples of purple used.

These colors you can find online by using their hex code. Also, if you are mixing actual paints, the results might not look quite the same as the online versions.

The first purple is a general color called purple, and this mixed with orange creates a moderate red-like cedar chest. This is closer to what you will get when mixing colored lights. The Rebecca purple has more of a bluish undertone and is a darker version of violet, which then produces a brown that has more of an orange undertone. Using an even darker violet will create a color close to russet. This is the color closest to what you will get when mixing paints. Depending on the paint colors you use, when you mix purple and orange, you can also get something close to burnt sienna.

Mix Purple and Orange

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Purple#8000800, 100, 0, 50128, 0, 128 
Orange#ffa5000, 35, 100, 0255, 165, 0 
Russet#80461b0, 45, 79, 50128, 70, 27 


Mixing Results for Different Shades of Orange and Purple

Purple ShadeOrange ShadeMixed Color



Understanding Purple and Orange As Colors

When talking about colors and what happens when you pair or mix them, you will need to have some basic knowledge of color theory. You will most likely know about the traditional color model that was taught at school. This would be the RYB color model, which has primary, secondary, and tertiary hues. The primaries are red, yellow, and blue, while the secondaries include green, purple or violet, blue, and orange.

Tertiaries are created by a combination of the primary and secondary colors.

Purple and Orange Combination

However, we are only dealing with the secondary hues of purple and orange. So, purple is a blend of blue and red, while orange is a blend of yellow and red. To make it easier to visualize these colors and how they interact with each other, there is the color wheel. All the colors are on this color wheel, and you might notice that the red, orange, and yellow hues are together on one side. On the opposite end, there you will find blue, green, and purple. These can also be classified as warm and cool colors. Of course, there are numerous variations and different shades of each color as well.


Meaning of Purple

Since the purple color or dye was rare in the past, it has gained a reputation for being associated with luxury and royalty. Purple also has a certain amount of mystery to it since it has a strong connection to spirituality. Purple is also associated with wisdom, compassion, and imagination. In some South American countries, purple is associated with bad luck and is a color of mourning.

Negatively, purple can be seen as being immature or arrogant.


Meaning of Orange

A fun and warm color, orange is mostly associated with enthusiasm and optimism. Orange is a stimulating color that is also uplifting and encourages communication. The color orange can also encourage creativity and spontaneity. In the Middle East, orange has an opposite meaning and is the color of mourning. Too much orange can also seem overpowering and superficial.

Negatively, orange can also be associated with impatience and garishness.

Mix Purple and Orange Tones



Mixing Orange and Purple Paint

Carrying on with the traditional color system and mixing paints, what colors do purple, and orange make? Since orange is a blend of yellow and red, and purple is a blend of blue and red, if you mix purple and orange, you will be combining all of the color primaries. When this happens, since it uses subtractive color mixing, the colors cancel each other out, producing a neutral color.

Subtractive color mixing means that when you look at an object, some colors are absorbed, and others are reflected. Ideally, if you mix all these colors, it should produce black, but this seldom happens with paint colors, so you will more likely produce a gray or brown, depending on your proportions and shades and tones used.

Mix Purple and Orange Shades

You can easily mix orange and purple that you can purchase. However, if you are looking to have more control over the results, it is best to mix all the colors yourself. So, you will create an orange from the yellow and red you have on hand, and the same with the purple. When mixing colors, it is a good idea to experiment and keep a color palette for future reference. You can also experiment with a brown paint color by adding more red and yellow to adjust the brown to what you are looking for.


Meaning of Brown

Even though brown is seen as more of a neutral color, it still has meaning. Being closely associated with the earth, it is a very grounding, reliable, and stable color. Brown is also seen as responsible, honest, dependable, and practical. Again, in some Eastern cultures, brown is the color for mourning.

Too much brown can also seem dreary and predictable.


Creating Lighter and Darker Shades

Once you have a brown, you might want to adjust it by making it lighter, darker, or brighter. More orange will make it brighter, while more purple will darken it. To make a lighter color, also known as a tint, you can add white. To create a shade of brown, you can also consider adding in a very small amount of black, or experiment with a dark blue like navy.



Understanding Purple and Orange in Other Color Models

When a purple and orange combination is of colored lights, the color model uses different primaries. The results can be seen on your television or computer screen. In this system, red, green, and blue are your primaries, while cyan, magenta, and yellow are the secondaries. To make orange, you will use red and yellow, a primary and a secondary color. Purple is made with blue and magenta, also a primary and secondary color. This color model uses additive color mixing, meaning that the different color lights are layered to create colors.

If all the primary colors come together, it will produce white light.

Depending on the type of purple, for example, a lighter or brighter version of purple or a darker version of purple. Below, you can see the purple, and below that the brighter and darker version. When mixed with the orange, it will then produce a bright pink or dark orange that resembles a brown tone as shown in the table. The pink and brown colors depicted in the table, were created using an online color mixer. The CMYK or printing model, which also works with subtractive mixing, has primaries similar to the RGB model secondary colors. However, when all the primary colors are combined, it forms black. In the end, the result of a purple and orange combination will be similar to the RGB model.

Mix Purple and Orange Hues

ShadeHex CodeCMYK Color Code (%)RGB Color CodeColor
Purple#8000800, 100, 0, 50128, 0, 128 
Bright Magenta#f600f60, 100, 0, 4246, 0, 246 
Dark Magenta#3400340, 100, 0, 8052, 0, 52 
Orange#ff77000, 53, 100, 0255, 119, 0 
Bright Pink#fb3c7b0, 76, 51, 2251, 60, 123 
Dark Orange (Brown Tone)#9a3c1a0, 61, 83, 40154, 60, 26 



Best Uses for Purple and Orange in Art and Design

Purple and orange together can create an eye-catching design, but it can be a bit too contrasting for some, so it is not one of the first choices when developing a color scheme. As with all colors, it is always a good idea to understand the meaning behind the colors, so that you convey the proper feeling and message. So, if you are looking for a combination that conveys independence and confidence, orange and purple might be the way to go.

In paintings, orange and purple are sometimes used as underpainting, while purple can also be used for shading.

Purple is popular in fantasy art, as it provides a certain mystery and imagination. Various shades of brown can help to produce varying degrees of dark to light and are often used in landscape paintings. Purple and orange can also be used in many other design projects.


Graphic Design

Orange and purple can work great together in graphic design since they provide a bright and exciting combination. If you want something that is attention-grabbing in a logo design, consider a purple background and an orange logo. You can also play around with the many different shades to find a look that suits you.

Mix Orange and Purple Paint


Fashion Design

Purple and orange are not a common choice in fashion, but they do make a striking combination in an outfit. You might think that it is a risk to wear these two colors, but there are more subtle ways to do it. You can go bold with a vibrant orange and purple outfit, for example, an orange shirt and purple pants or skirt. However, you can also choose more subtle shades of orange and purple, and consider using one color as your main choice, while the other can work nicely as an accent. For example, a purple dress, with an orange handbag.

Brown is always a good addition as a neutral.

Mix Purple and Orange Pigment


Interior Design

Orange and purple also make for a beautiful contrast when using a color scheme for the home. Again, there are many shades to choose from so the combination does not appear too overwhelming. Sticking to the 60, 30, 10 rule is also a good idea here, so you can bring in accents of color. For example, a softer shade of purple on the walls, with a deeper orange couch.

Accents can also be brought into the look-through things like rugs, flowers, art, drapes, throws, and lampstands, among many other ideas.

Mix Purple and Orange Graphics

You can also use the colors in a neutral color scheme as accents, for example, a soft purple couch with orange cushions. Consider using softer and more calming pastels in the bedroom and bringing in more patterns and textures. Brown can also be added, especially as a natural element like wood. For example, lighter wood floors and darker wood furniture.


Mixing colors is often an adventure of discovery, and it is no different when you mix purple and orange. Depending on the shade or tone of paint colors, you can produce a range of browns, or you can simply use purple to tone down orange. The only way to really find out is to experiment with the different paint colors yourself!




Frequently Asked Questions


What Colors Do Purple and Orange Make?

When you mix purple and orange paint colors, you are likely to get a dark and muddy shade of brown, depending on the shades of purple and orange that you used in the mixture. When mixing colored lights or using the RGB color model, you can get anything from a shade of pink to dark orange, depending on the shade used.


Do Orange and Purple Work Together?

Since orange is made up of red and yellow, and yellow is the complementary color to purple, these colors form a contrast when paired. If you want a bold and eye-catching look, then this combination is something you should try. There are also different shades you can use to make the combination more appealing. So, yes, orange and purple can work well together if done properly.


What Colors Do Lilac and Orange Make?

Lilac can be described as a softer shade of purple that has a reddish undertone. So, when you mix lilac and orange, you are likely to produce a lighter shade of brown with a reddish undertone.


Cite this Article

Charlene, Lewis, “What Colors Do Purple and Orange Make? – Shades of Brown.” Art in Context. November 21, 2023. URL: https://artincontext.org/what-colors-do-purple-and-orange-make/

Lewis, C. (2023, 21 November). What Colors Do Purple and Orange Make? – Shades of Brown. Art in Context. https://artincontext.org/what-colors-do-purple-and-orange-make/

Lewis, Charlene. “What Colors Do Purple and Orange Make? – Shades of Brown.” Art in Context, November 21, 2023. https://artincontext.org/what-colors-do-purple-and-orange-make/.

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