Creating various color combinations can be a bit confusing at times, and you might come up with something more unexpected. When dealing with color mixing, you should understand the basics of color theory to create the colors that you want. So, purple and yellow make what color? This is what is up for discussion today, so let us find out what happens when you mix yellow with purple!
Table of Contents
- 1 What Does Yellow and Purple Make?
- 2 Understanding Yellow and Purple
- 3 Understanding Yellow and Purple Within Other Color Models
- 4 Uses of Yellow and Purple in Art and Design
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions
What Does Yellow and Purple Make?
First, the RYB color model, which most of us know about, was taught at most schools, and is used to mix paints. The model involves three colors, namely red, yellow, and blue, which are all the primary colors within this model.
The different combinations of these colors will then produce your secondary and tertiary or intermediate colors. We have already established that yellow is a primary color, while purple is a secondary color, and where these two colors can be found in relation to one another on the color wheel.
When you take all three of your primary colors and you mix them in equal amounts, you are going to create a neutral brown color.
So, if you take yellow and purple and mix them, you will create a neutral color, which can range from brown to gray, and even a mauve, depending on the type of colors you use. Why does this happen? Well, purple is composed of red and blue, so when you combine purple with yellow, you are mixing the three primary colors.
Mixing Results for Different Shades of Purple and Yellow
Creating Lighter and Darker Shades
When working with paint colors, you can create different shades. For example, you can use a lighter shade of purple like lavender and mix it with lemon yellow to produce a more sandy brown or something that leans towards a grayscale. The intensity of each color plays a major role in the outcome of your paint mixture. If the paints are less saturated, it can create a color closer to mauve, while brighter more saturated color will produce more of a darker brown tone.
So, if you do not have any brown paint to work with, you can make it by using your primary paint colors.
Combine red and blue to produce a shade of purple and then simply add yellow to form a brown. Once you have created a brown, you can make it lighter by simply adding a little bit of white paint. To brighten it, you can add a little yellow paint and to create a darker version, you can add a little more blue or a very small amount of black paint.
Meaning of Brown and Gray
Brown is often used as a neutral color and can be found everywhere in nature. This makes brown a stable, reliable, welcoming, and comforting color. It is associated with warmth, a feeling of earthiness, protection, and security. Brown is a simple color that is grounding but can also seem boring and predictable. Gray is another neutral color and provides a sense of balance. Gray can be calming, conservative, elegant, cool, and a bit mysterious. However, gray can also seem cold, depressing, and dull.
Gray can act as the perfect neutral and can create balance within a color scheme.
Understanding Yellow and Purple
Let us first consider yellow and purple as separate colors. These two colors each have their own meanings and uses in art and design. We were all taught that yellow is a primary color along with blue and red, while purple is a secondary color, along with green and orange. When you take the color wheel, which contains all your primary, secondary, and other colors, you will notice that yellow and purple are situated on opposite sides.
Whenever you use these two colors in a design alongside one another, they help to create a contrast. If not used correctly, these two colors can clash, which might not be what you are looking for.
Yellow is also considered a warm color, the same as orange and red. Purple is considered a cool color, similar to both green and blue. This color temperature or bias also plays a vital role in many designs. Next, let us see what yellow and purple colors mean and how they can affect emotions.
|CMYK Color Code (%)
|RGB Color Code
|0, 0, 100, 0
|255, 255, 0
|0, 100, 0, 50
|128, 0, 128
Meaning of Yellow
Being a warm and sunny color, yellow is considered a happy and bright color. Yellow is seen as a positive color that brings enthusiasm, hope, energy, and happiness. Yellow is also a confident color that has a certain curiosity and friendliness. The yellow color is said to help improve learning as it helps to stimulate parts of the brain. However, too much yellow can also create negative associations. It can be seen as a color of cowardice, anxiety, betrayal, and a sign of caution and egotism.
When working with yellow, it does tend to go well with many different colors from different shades of blue and green to neutral colors like brown.
Meaning of Purple
As a cool color, purple has a different effect than yellow. Purple is associated more with creativity, wisdom, luxury, reliability, and trust, and has a certain amount of mystery behind it. The color can also help to encourage spiritual growth. On the negative side, purple can be seen as arrogant, immature, and emotional.
Understanding Yellow and Purple Within Other Color Models
We have just dealt with the color model most of us have used. Next, we are going to look at the color models involved with graphics and printing. The first one is the RGB color model that is used to create all the colors on your computer screen. This means that it is a combination of light instead of paint or pigments. This is also known as additive color mixing, where different color wavelengths are added to create colors. The primary hues for this model include red, green, and blue, while the secondary hues are cyan, magenta as well as yellow.
You can identify all colors online by using a hex code, and in most cases, each color will have a description or information about its color proportions.
For example, you will find that yellow has a hex code of #ffff00. The RGB color code also indicates the proportions of each color within yellow. In the RGB color model, yellow is a secondary color, while purple is more a tertiary color, and they do not quite sit directly opposite one another on the color wheel. With paint colors, all primary colors, when mixed, create a shade of brown.
However, all primary colors in this color model, when combined, create white light. So, when mixing yellow and purple light, you will create white light that might have a slight reddish tint to it. White, even though not considered a real color, does also have meaning. White is considered a color of innocence, hope, and purity.
Many also see it as a refreshing, purified, and balanced color. However, it can also seem cold, empty, and dull.
Printing Color Model
Secondly, you have the CMYK color model that is used mainly for printing, which involves ink pigments. Again, the primary colors are different and include cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. This uses a subtractive method of color mixing, meaning you start with white paper and as you add colors, the darker the color becomes. Some of the color wavelengths are absorbed, and other colors are reflected.
The tertiary colors remain the same as with the RGB color model, which are red, green, and blue.
So, when you combine all the primary colors, they will make black. Mixing yellow and purple is the same as mixing all the primary colors, but instead of white as with the RGB color model, it will produce black. Black is seen as a color with many meanings and can symbolize elegance, power, mystery, formality as well as sophistication. However, it can also intimidate and become depressing if overused in a design.
Uses of Yellow and Purple in Art and Design
Purple and yellow can be used in art and designs, even though they can sometimes clash when paired. However, this color pair is perfect for things like advertisements and logos, where you want the design to stand out. You can also use the two colors in paintings but in moderation. For example, consider a bunch of yellow and purple flowers within a neutral or natural scene. The flower will form a nice focal point. You can also combine gray and white to help tone down these two vibrant colors. The same applies to interior design when using yellow and purple.
You can go all out with the colors in a room, but this can become too busy and overwhelming.
Rather use them as accent colors to a more neutral tone room, to bring in pops of color. You can also think about using different shades of each, maybe a lighter purple, with a gray undertone, and a pale yellow. Purple and yellow is a fun combination and is quite popular in children’s bedrooms. You can also use quite a few other colors with yellow and purple including your neutrals like brown, white, and gray as well as different shades of green and blue.
Mixing Yellow and Purple
When you mix yellow and purple paint, you now know it will create a brown-to-gray color, depending on the type of yellow and purple you use. These complementary colors cancel each other out to create a more neutral hue. So, you can create different shades of brown by using various shades of yellow and purple. In paintings, brown is a major color in natural landscapes. It can also be the color of many other objects, such as fur, leather, tables, and chairs, or the bark of trees.
Graphic designers often use brown as a background color, as it helps to create a feeling of trust and warmth.
Sometimes, a darker version of brown is also used instead of black, so it does not seem as harsh. In paintings, many artists use certain browns like burnt umber or burnt sienna to help produce subtle progression from light to dark, which can help to create a more realistic painting. Brown also helps to highlight features and is used to create various skin tones. Brown, along with all the other neutral colors can help to create a balanced interior design. Brown is used because it is soothing and comforting and provides a sense of security.
Gray is often used as a way to build an atmosphere within an art piece. Grays help to desaturate colors and also play a role in affecting light and dark. When it comes to interior designs, brown and gray both help to tone down other colors.
You can also use brown to help highlight paler shades of gray. For example, consider a shade of pale gray on the walls and then pair this with brown tables, sofas, or other accessories. Include white and other neutral colors to add more depth to a design.
When mixing yellow and purple, you might be disappointed at the brown or dull color that is produced. However, these colors have their place in both art and design. You cannot create the best light and shadows without these in paintings, and what would interior designs be without the popular browns and grays?
Frequently Asked Questions
What Happens When You Mix Yellow and Purple?
Purple and yellow make what color? When you take yellow and purple paint and mix them, you will be creating a brown color. However, depending on the type of yellow and purple, the color you create can produce various shades of brown, as well as gray.
Do Yellow and Purple Work Well Together?
Purple and yellow are known as complementary colors. This means that they are found on opposite sides of the color wheel. These colors form a contrast and can work well together if used properly.
Are There Different Ways to Mix Yellow and Purple?
Using the RYB color model, you can mix yellow and purple paints. You can also mix yellow and purple in the RGB color model for graphics. Lastly, you can mix ink colors using the CMYK color model for printing, which combines magenta and yellow to make a reddish-orange hue.
In 2005, Charlene completed her Wellness Diplomas in Therapeutic Aromatherapy and Reflexology from the International School of Reflexology and Meridian Therapy. She worked for a company offering corporate wellness programs for a couple of years, before opening up her own therapy practice. It was in 2015 that a friend, who was a digital marketer, asked her to join her company as a content creator, and this is where she found her excitement for writing.
Since joining the content writing world, she has gained a lot of experience over the years writing on a diverse selection of topics, from beauty, health, wellness, travel, and more. Due to various circumstances, she had to close her therapy practice and is now a full-time freelance writer. Being a creative person, she could not pass up the opportunity to contribute to the Art in Context team, where is was in her element, writing about a variety of art and craft topics. Contributing articles for over three years now, her knowledge in this area has grown, and she has gotten to explore her creativity and improve her research and writing skills.
Charlene Lewis has been working for artincontext.org since the relaunch in 2020. She is an experienced writer and mainly focuses on the topics of color theory, painting and drawing.
Cite this Article
Charlene, Lewis, “What Does Yellow and Purple Make? – With Mixing Recipes.” Art in Context. June 12, 2023. URL: https://artincontext.org/what-does-yellow-and-purple-make/
Lewis, C. (2023, 12 June). What Does Yellow and Purple Make? – With Mixing Recipes. Art in Context. https://artincontext.org/what-does-yellow-and-purple-make/