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What Color Does Red and Purple Make?

Curious to learn the answer to the question, “What color does red and purple make?” Let us continue our color mixing chart explorations!

As background, I’m an artist and teacher who was 40 years old before I began realizing how little I knew about color pigmentations — and now I can’t stop mixing. Every experiment is an adventure!

Let’s start with seeing what purple and red look like, only partially swirled together. Ooh, that’s gorgeous…

What does red and purple make?
What does red and purple make?

Mixing the Colors

As you can see above, purple and red are analogous colors, meaning they are next to each other on a color wheel. Red is a primary color, and purple is made up of blue and red — so when they’re mixed, they create a pleasing, clear, harmonious tertiary color, also known as intermediate colors.

Other tertiary intermediate color mixes made from analogous combinations you may know are what blue and green make when mixed: teal, what red and orange make: vermillion, what blue and purple make: violet, what yellow and orange make: amber, and what green and yellow make: chartreuse!)

In contrast, adding together colors on opposite ends of the color wheel (such as mixing red and green, or combining yellow and purple) yields muddy shades like brown or even black.

Now, what is the exact color called when purple and red come together? We know red and blue make purple, but what about red and that secondary color? Let’s see my illustration below, created with the digital art app called Procreate.

What color does red and purple make?
The color red and purple make is magenta!

How to Make Magenta

What colors make magenta? Why, it turns out that when you mix purple and red, that’s exactly what you get! What precisely is magenta? In my opinion, it’s one of the most fabulous hues out there: a rich reddish-purple that’s integral to the “Jewel Tone” palette that I love so much. I use it all over my colorful clothing designs, and cartoon art in general. The name may ring a bell from new stories, because the 2023 Pantone color of the year is “Viva Magenta.”

What’s the difference between magenta and fuchsia? Magenta has more red in it, as you can see from these drawings, while fuchsia is more like a purplish hot pink color. I like them both, but have a slight preference for the former, because it feels “meatier” to me — more robust.

(Side note: You’ll see I’m using the spelling “color,” but if you’re wondering about the difference between color or colour, click that link to learn the surprising back-story and English rule.)

What do purple and red make when mixed?
See what purple and red make when mixed!

So, What Color Does Red and Purple Make?

After reading this article and seeing my illustrations, you now have a clear answer the next time someone asks what color purple and red make — and you also now know how to make magenta!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this color mixing exploit. Do you also adore magenta? What pigments should we combine next? Do share!

Want more? Check out “What Do Orange and Green Make?” and “What Does Orange and Blue Make?” and “What Does Purple and Green Make?” Interested in purple in general? Check out the article about a purple aura meaning.

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