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What Does Purple and Green Make When the Colors are Mixed?

Fresh off the shocking result of my inquiry, “What Do Yellow and Purple Make?” I realized there was a whole other rabbit-hole to dive down in this investigation: Despite being an artist, I also had no idea the answer to the question: “What does purple and green make when the two colors are mixed?”

Once again, I pulled out my trusty iPad and Procreate digital drawing app for a hands-on exploration. Aww — yet another time, the results flabbergasted me! Allow me to show you.

What does purple and green make?
What does purple and green make, illustrated.

Green and Purple Make…

For my first experiment, pictured above, I used a white background, then drew diagonal swaths of different shades of purple using the “Acrylic” painting brush. Next to these, I added various hues of green. (Because both purple and green have different incarnations, I wanted to test a range of them.)

I then used the “Smudge” tool to blend and mix all three versions of the color combinations together. This was a similar technique to the one I used in my experiment, “What Color Do Orange and Purple Make?”

Holy wow! It turns out that the answer to “What does purple and green make” is actually light gray-blue called slate?! I was not expecting that in the least, even though I’ve used both colors for juxtaposition in artwork next to each other for years! What most shocks me is that combining two bright, vibrant colors can yield such a faded one.

Green and purple make blue black
Another color green and purple make is black.

The Mix Yields Gray-Blue or Black?

For my second experiment, I used the “Marker” brush, which provides greater saturation. As you can see from the result above, this led to a whole new answer to “What do green and purple make?” The answer was: BLACK! Granted, it was a blue-ish black, but if you played with the incoming shades and saturation, you likely could get a pitch black aura billowing out of the combination.

This article explains why: Both “ingredient” colors contain the primary colors, yellow, red, and blue, put together, and mixing those three primary colors is what yields black. Wow!

How to make black or gray
An interesting way to make black or gray.

Two More Color Mixing Experiments

Above and below, you can see the results of two more versions of my investigation into purple plus green. Above, I used the “Airbrushing” tool — and the color from the mix was such a dark blue-gray that it almost disappeared into the black background, once I blended out the green aura!

Below, the hue emerging from the combination by using the “Wet Sponge” brush and “Smudge” blending yielded a totally muddy gray-black-blue. I think we’ve found our answer to the resulting color of mixing green and purple: it’s a dusty blue-gray that ranges from lighter to almost black, depending on the saturation and technique used. Unexpected!

Green plus purple
The green and purple combination.

Mixing Purple and Green, in Sum

There you have it: the bright and happy hues of purple and green are complimentary and vibrant when next to each other in clothes or decoration — but when you start to mix them, they darken like a stormy night into a gray, black blue called “slate!” There’s got to be a metaphor in there somewhere about relationships…

Anyway, feel free to reach out in the comments section below with any thoughts about this colorful (or colourful) investigation, or with requests for other artistic explorations you’d like me to take with my handy Apple Pencil and tablet. Also, feel free to see why slate is sometimes categorized as on of the tertiary colors, and sometimes not. Happy hues!

Want more? Check out “What Does Red and Green Make?” and “Red and Blue Make What Color?” and “What do Orange and Green Make?” and “What Does Red and Purple Make?” and “What Does Green and Blue Make?” and “Blue and Brown Make What Color?” plus my full color mixing chart.