Shades of Purple

Over the years, the purple color has had a major impact on society. Starting with grinding berries to obtain and use the natural pigment purple color contained within.

Various shades of purple can be found throughout history. The first being Tyrian purple, also referred to as a royal purple.

A History of Purple


The basic idea of creating purple is combining the two primary colors red and blue.

Basic Color Theory

You can use whatever red or blue paint you have handy, however, the secondary purple color created might not be exactly what you are looking for. 

Purple Temperature

To add dimension, depth, shadows, and highlight effects, you will need to make purple darker or lighter. A simple method for lightening a purple color is to add white.

Light and Dark Purple

Since there is a variety of purple shades, you get your cool as well as warm undertones. So, if you choose the right type of purple, it can pretty much go with most colors.

Purple Complements

When looking at the color wheel, you will notice violet, and purple is next to each other and are in-between blue and red.

Violet vs Purple


When mixing acrylic paints, the best option for a vibrant purple is to combine a cool red and warm blue. 

Purple Acrylic

Some watercolor pigments will stain the paper faster than others, and these will settle more than the color it is blended with.

Purple Watercolors

Creating the perfect purple color can involve a lot of practice and experimentation to get just the right color you want.

Tips for Mixing Purple

Complimentary colors work well together and provide a great contrast. Think of pairing a citron yellow, which is a darker yellow with a selected purple.

Using Purple in Decor