I’ve seen many people asking, “what do green and purple make?” and, honestly, I never in a million years would’ve guessed that it was such a burning question.
That said, it piqued my curiosity, so I thought I’d do a little color mixing experimenting and share with you what I’ve found.
When you mix green and purple acrylic paint, you get so much more than just brown. You can also make grey, black, and even blue and turquoise! The color you end up with will be decided by which blue and green paint you mix together.
Let’s get down to the nitty gritty so you can see my results and find the recipes to give it a try for yourself!
In This Article...
- The Different Colors That You Can Make With Green And Purple Paint
- Understanding Primary and Secondary Colors For More Accurate Color Mixtures
- Color Mixing With Primary Colors To Make A Green And Purple Mixture
- Experimenting With Different Green and Purple Paint Mixtures
- Creating A Custom Color Story With Purple And Green Paint Mixtures
- Ideas For How To Use Your New Purple and Green Paint Combo
- Final Thoughts
If you’d rather skip the in depth experiment to find out what green and purple make when mixed together, including photos, I’ll give ya a little shortcut for the most popular questions asked about the color mixture.
You can make a beautiful black by mixing purple and green together. It all comes down to combining the right purple and green and the ratio between them.
In my experiment below, I created a lovely black using 1 part Dioxizine Purple with 2 parts Chromium Oxide Green. This can also be accomplished by mixing Violet with the same green and using the same ratio recipe.
I was able to create two different greys during my experiment.
For a cool bluish grey:
- 1 part Dioxizine Purple (or Violet) + 2 parts Chromium Oxide Green + White (lighten as much as desired)
For a warm brownish grey:
- 2 parts Dioxizine Purple (or Violet) + 1 part Prussian Green + White (lighten until you’re happy)
How To Mix Green and Purple Paint To Make Brown
Most people assume that green and purple make brown when mixed together, which is true. You can make some amazingly rich brown colors depending on which greens and purples you mix together.
Here are a couple of recipes for making brown to get you going:
- 1 part Dioxizine Purple (or Violet) + 1 part Light Sap Green
- 2 parts Dioxizine Purple (or Violet) + 1 part Prussian Green
If you’re looking for even more recipes, check out my article that dives deep into how to make brown paint.
Remember in school when the teacher would explain how mixing the primary colors, blue, red, and yellow, would help us to create the secondary colors, purple, green, and orange?
This can help you a lot when you’re doing any color mixing. As long as you have the primary colors, you can make a ton of other colors with them. This can save you some serious cash.
However, if you were to take the actual primary hues of acrylic paint and mix them together, you’d get brown. It would be a very muddy brown and not very exciting.
A good way to get to know your primary colors (red, blue, and yellow) is to start experimenting with different undertones. Get out all of the reds, yellows, and blues that you own and start squishing paint. You’ll see that it can make a big difference in the end result.
For instance, if you use a cool-toned blue with a cool-toned red, you’ll get a deep cool purple. You’ll get a cool green if you mix a cool-toned blue with a lemon/cool yellow. If you’re looking for warmer tones, just make sure that all of your paint colors have a warm undertone.
How do you know whether your paint colors are cool or warm? That has to do with comparison to other tones of the same hue.
As an example, let’s think about Lemon Yellow and Yellow Oxide. Which one is cool and which one is warm? When you have them side by side, it’s pretty apparent that Lemon Yellow is cooler than Yellow Oxide.
You can easily keep track of your warm and cool-toned colors by making a color wheel for all the paints you have. I have a whole article that teaches you about color and how to make your own custom color wheel. It is a great way to keep track of what you have and comes in handy when you want to mix paint colors.
Sherwin-Williams has a great little article that talks about undertones in paint, if you’d like to learn more.
Color Mixing With Primary Colors To Make A Green And Purple Mixture
So, we’ve just finished talking a bit about primary colors but let’s take a closer look at what happens when you take those primaries and play around with the ratios. Does it ever make anything other than brown?
All of the paint used were from the Liquitex Basics line except for the Titanium White which was from the Winsor & Newton Galeria line.
The Experiment Details
On the far left, I started with the pure mixture without any white added. The middle column had one part white added and the far right column was two parts white.
Each row used different ratios of the same paint colors in the following order:
- 1 part Cobalt Blue + 1 part Cadmium Yellow Medium + 1 part Cadmium Red Medium
- 2 parts Cobalt Blue + 1 part Cad Yellow Med + 1 part Cad Red Med
- 1 part Cobalt + 2 parts Cad Yellow Med + 1 part Cad Red Med
- 1 Cobalt + 1 Cad Yellow Med + 2 Cad Red Med
- 2 Cobalt + 2 Cad Yellow Med + 1 Cad Red Med
- 1 Cobalt + 2 Cad Yellow Med + 2 Cad Red Med
- 2 Cobalt + 1 Cad Yellow Med + 2 Cad Red Med
- For the very last row, I mixed up one part blue and one part yellow to make green. Then, I combined 1 part blue and 1 part red to make purple. And lastly, I mixed the green and purple, finishing by adding white.
The Biggest TakeAways
- I wasn’t surprised to see so much brown
- It was interesting to see that the fourth mixture down (1 blue + 1 yellow + 2 red) made such a pretty dusty rose color
- The dusty rose colorway would be perfect for painting a vintage style still life of a bouquet of pink roses, with lots of creams, browns, and desaturated greens
- The blue-grey mix (second from the top) would make lovely ocean colors on an overcast day
Experimenting With Different Green and Purple Paint Mixtures
Now, let’s dive deep and answer the question, what do green and purple make.
For this experiment, the paints used were:
- Dioxizine Purple – Liquitex Basics
- Violet – Arteza Premium
- Light Sap Green – Arteza Premium
- Prussian Green – Arteza Premium
- Phthalo Green – Liquitex Basics
- Viridian Green – Arteza Premium
- Chromium Oxide Green – Arteza Premium
I also noted the pigment codes for each paint so I could figure out if the pigments significantly impacted the color outcome.
The Experiment Details
I broke the paint swatches into two groups, one to show how the greens behaved with Diox Purple and the other with Violet.
Each row is dedicated to the green shown in the first block. I mixed the purple and green in a one-to-one ratio, starting from the middle of the row, and added white.
As you move toward the left from the center, I added more purple than green, and toward the right, I added more green than purple.
To finish it off, I added an equal amount of white to each green and purple mixture so you could see the lightened version.
The first thing to notice is that adding more purple or green didn’t necessarily force the mixture toward either purple or green.
I mean, sometimes it did, but for most colors, it depended on the strength of the pigment(s) used in the green and purple paint.
If the pigment used in the green was really strong, it overpowered the purple and would more easily create beautiful greens. The same is true for the purple paint.
Creating Tints And Shades
First of all, what are tints and shades? Tints are what you call colors that have been lightened with white. Shades are colors that have been darkened with black.
I tinted each color mix with an equal portion of Titanium White. Still, you can always do your own experimenting by using even more white to see how many green and purple paint mixes you can come up with.
Also, try taking all the mixtures and adding a bit of black to see what happens. By the end, you’ll be amazed at just how many different colors of paint you can get from a limited amount of tubes!
The Biggest TakeAways
- Liquitex Basic’s Dioxizine Purple (pigment code: PV23 RS) and Arteza Premium’s Violet (pigment code: PV23) are pretty much the same color and would make fantastic substitutions for each other (You can find out more by reading my article about finding alternative paint colors).
- If you look at the paint swatches made from both Diox purple and Violet, you can see that there aren’t any surprises in how they behave with the different greens used.
- The other thing to note is the first two green paint colors I used with each purple. Both colors are from Arteza Premium and have the same pigment code of PG7/PY83. However, the colors made when mixing with purple are pretty different, right? That was kind of surprising to me. If I had to guess, I’d say it has to do with the ratio, and amount, of pigments in each paint color.
- Prussian Green seems to be a much stronger color than Light Sap Green and tends to overpower the purple more easily.
- Phthalo Green (PG7) and Viridian Green (PY3/PG7) are a really close sub for each other, even though the pigments used are different.
- You can make blue and turquoise by mixing Diox Purple and Phthalo Green or Viridian Green paint! Who’d a thunk it!
Creating A Custom Color Story With Purple And Green Paint Mixtures
You may wonder what colors go well with the purple and green paint mixtures. The really not helpful answer is that it depends.
Things to think about to choose other colors to go with your new custom mixture are:
- What is the subject of the painting? Is it a landscape? A seascape? A portrait?
- Are you trying to convey a feeling of peace or something more energetic and eye catching?
- Which green and purple mixture did you make?
Always start by mixing up your green and purple paint combo first to see what you end up with. You can create tints and shades from there, so you have a highlight color and a shadow color.
The next step is to find the custom color on the color wheel. At this point, you can see what colors lay next to it and what colors are directly across from it.
Using a color that is very near to it on the color wheel would create a calming and harmonious feeling.
If you choose the color that is opposite from it, you’d have a painting that has some pep!
Here are some extra ideas, excluding neutrals, for some of the colors that you may create:
- Purple – blues (for peaceful vibe), yellow (for pizzaz)
- Green – blues or yellows (zen), red or pink (for pow)
- Blue – purple, green, turquoise (relaxing), orange or peach (eye-catching)
- Turquoise – blues or greens (ahhhh), red, pink, orange, or peach (kaPOW!)
Ideas For How To Use Your New Purple and Green Paint Combo
The majority of the colors made by mixing purple and green together would be great for landscapes and seascapes. You could also do some really pretty still-life paintings of flowers with this combination of colors.
With just the colors I was able to make, I can see:
- A purple that would be great for lilacs
- A warm fog color to use for a foggy harbor seascape
- A beautiful blue that reminds me of Forget-Me-Nots
- Another purple that’s perfect for hydrangeas or lavender
- A bunch of blues and turquoises for a tropical ocean scene
- And lots of earthy browns and greens that are perfect for wooded landscapes
The list is literally endless and is only limited by your imagination!
So, what do green and purple make? Soooooo many different colors and there are probably even more if you have other greens and purples to mix together!
With the paint recipes I’ve given, you now can make your own black, grey, brown, blue, and turquoise!
Get busy and make your own custom color mixes using the green and purple paint colors you have right now. Keep track of what you’ve mixed together and see all the beautiful colors you’ve had hiding in plain sight this whole time.
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