To paint a beautiful eggplant in still life, to outline the flower of the same name, to create a dream sunset: the purple color is certainly very present in the world of painting, as in the real one.
You must know that, among vegetables, the presence of the purple color is often a symptom of the presence of anthocyanins. And therefore of water-soluble dyes that are found in particular in cornflowers, blackberries, cherries, grapes … and so on.
Purple color, meaning, and symbols
In this guide, you will learn how to make the purple color, before leaving, however. I want to tell you about its meaning and its symbols.
The purple color has always been a symbol of spirituality. In fact, it helps us to get in touch with our innermost emotions, allowing us to leave behind all the anguish. And obstacles that do not allow us, too often, to stop for a moment and look inside ourselves. Admiring a purple-colored wall can help you stop time for a moment, calm down and understand what you really need.
It is defined by everyone as the color that contrasts the excess of rationality and that allows you to give free rein to emotions and creativity. The purple color makes us more extroverted and in search of emotional bonds. It leads our person to have the desire to socialize and create solid friendships.
Those who love the color purple have well-defined personalities and characteristics. Lovers of this color are people eager to be accepted and are very available towards others, managing to establish close and lasting relationships over time. These people are constantly looking for something inside them, curious, creative, and freedom-loving.
On the contrary, those who do not like this color turn out to be very suspicious and critical of others and, as mentioned before. Make use of rationality and logic to defend themselves from any type of emotional state.
All this represents what an artist needs, to release their deepest emotions in order to create a fantastic, unique, and personal work.
How to make purple with paint
In this article, I will explain how to make the purple color starting from the primary colors. Thanks to these tips, in case you find yourself stuck with no more purple color. But with the problem of having to finish a painting, you will know how to get by!
But first, a little history.
For centuries, painters have had to prepare many shades of purple to portray liturgical subjects, starting from the assumption that, in the Christian universe, the vestments to be used during the periods of penitential purification (i.e. Confirmation and Advent) are precise of this color.
But violet is not found only in still lifes and liturgical subjects. Those who have studied a bit of art history will certainly remember having seen this color in many paintings depicting power, and therefore in the robes and jewels of monarchs.
In short, even looking back, there are many good opportunities to use purple in painting.
But beware: this is not a color that can really be used on any occasion without any problem.
In the world of entertainment, for example, the most superstitious – and you know, between theater and cinema there are no superstitions – associate purple with bad luck, reconnecting to medieval laws for which, during Lent (marked as we have seen just from purple) theatrical performances in public were prohibited.
After introducing this beautiful color, we can move on to the operational phase: how do you make the purple color?
The purple color, a secondary color
To understand how purple is made with oil colors, acrylics, tempera, and watercolors, it is necessary to start from a little theory, so as not to end up with final results that have nothing to do with the sought-after color.
So let’s start with the basics: purple is a secondary color, which, for us, is great news. Yes, because this means that it is “easily” obtained by mixing primary colors, which instead, precisely, could not be said of a primary color.
There are three secondary colors, as many as the primary colors, and they arise precisely from the mix of two primary colors. Mixing yellow and red produces the secondary orange color, mixing blue and yellow produces the secondary green color, and, drum roll, mixing blue and red produces purple, our coveted secondary color. Finally, by mixing the secondary colors in various doses, tertiary colors can be obtained.
By itself, in addition to being a secondary color, purple is also a cool color – as is green – unlike orange, which is a warm secondary color. However, it is sufficient to vary the number of primary colors used to change this data as well.
Well, now we are definitely ready to find out how purple is made with watercolors, with tempera, and so on
Make the color purple with pure primary colors
As we have seen, to make purple, which is a secondary color. It is necessary to mix two primary colors, namely red and blue. Perhaps, however, you have already tried to get purple with your oil colors, mixing “a” red and “a” blue, and the result did not satisfy you at all.
You must therefore know that blue, like red, absorb a lot of light.
Very often, therefore, the novice painter who to obtain purple mixes a red and a blue “at random”, actually obtains a third color that is very dark, far too much, which does not correspond at all to the desired violet.
In fact, to obtain a perfect purple without fail, indeed, to obtain the Purple with a capital V, it is necessary to mix Red and Blue, or the two pure primary colors. Only in this way, in fact, will you be sure of obtaining a satisfactory purple: otherwise, you will not really get a secondary color. But rather a tertiary color, which arises from the combination of more than two colors.
Eye – this isn’t the only way to get purple. It is possible in fact that you are looking for a particularly bright purple.
So let’s see how purple is prepared to start from magenta instead of red!
Make the color purple with magenta
Those who have read our guide on how to make red should remember that. From the point of view of subtractive synthesis, the three primary colors are not red, blue, and yellow (as in the case of additive synthesis). No, when we talk about subtractive synthesis. And therefore about the colors that make up the material (and not the colors that make up the light). The primary colors are cyan, magenta, and yellow.
And this is where magenta, one of the primary subtractive colors, comes into play. Many people, looking at magenta, confuse it with purple or fuchsia. But the first is a different color, while the second is a variant of it.
Well, magenta is one of the colors to use – coupled with blue – to get a brighter, more vibrant, and brighter purple.
How do you make purple with watercolors?
We, therefore, understood how to make the purple color using some of the primary colors: it will be sufficient to mix carefully. Choosing the right proportion for the desired tone, two tubes of color. Nothing particularly difficult, right
Rather, the problem arises when budding artists try to make purple with watercolors. For the simple fact that many have doubts about how to mix watercolors together to create a new color.
This happens because, in their most classic version, watercolors are presented in dry pods. The so-called godets and half godets, which do not lend themselves to immediate mixing like colors in tubes (even if we have already told you that watercolors exist in various formats ).
But don’t worry: not even mixing watercolors together is difficult, quite the opposite!
Mix the watercolors to get the purple
We start as always, moistening the brush and bringing a little color into your palette. Working the color until it is perfect, with a good water/paint ratio. Usually, when you mix more watercolors, you start from the dominant tone: in the case of purple. We have two very strong colors, so starting from one or the other is indifferent.
Already at this point, it is necessary to make sure to prepare a sufficient dose of color: It will not be easy, subsequently, to obtain the same tone. And it is, therefore, good to have enough to get to the end
After washing the brush, you can take the second color. Deposit it next to the one already prepared, working it well, to be sure to add the desired quantity. At this point, it will finally be possible – after cleaning the brush again. To mix the two colors, to create your own purple. Now all that remains is to try painting on paper to see the result!
Here, you know how to do the purple color: you just have to get to work on the next painting!