What Color Does Red and Blue Make?- Here’s Your Answer!

Mixing various colors is all fun and games until you realize it’s not as simple as you thought. When you mix colors, you may not always get the desired result. And the blend of blue and red is an ideal example in this case.

So, the question is, what color does red and blue make?

What Color Does Red and Blue Make?

Usually, these two colors are combined to give a shade of purple but only if you are using the primary shade of red and blue. But if your colors have color bias then you may get different results.

Scroll down to learn more about:

  • Why blue and red doesn’t always make purple
  • What blue and red make in RGB and CMY models
  • How to make purple in acrylic

Let’s jump into the article and get to learn more about all of these.

What Color Does Red and Blue Make?

Red and Blue Make What Color?

You must have learned about mixing colors in kindergarten. When you mix a portion of blue paint and a portion of red paint, the outcome portrays the color purple or violet.

According to the basic color theory, this is the result we are supposed to get. We know that there are three primary colors on the color wheel: red, blue, and yellow. When two primary colors are combined, a secondary color is produced.

So, in this case, purple is a secondary color and this is obviously a valid answer. But it is only accurate for pigments. But sadly, not always. Even sometimes your color pigments also don’t show purple when you mix red and blue. Because the tones of your selected colors matter to a great extent.

Then again, the perfect ratio of green and red also can show you the color purple or violet. But still in this case you will need to use at least a little blue to bring out the purple.

Because after all, blue and red are the main colors to make purple. But it sometimes depends on the type of color model you’re using. So, take a look at the color model you are using while you are trying to make purple.

This outcome differs from color models and pigments. Red and blue don’t always make purple. Sometimes the outcome ends up in magenta.

Why Doesn’t Red and Blue Always Make Purple?

You must have faced this problem earlier that red and blue are not making the purple shade you wanted. It’s ending up in something else. The reason behind this is your pigments have color bias.

Are you not familiar with this? Let us explain. Color bias means when your pigments contain the hue of another shade. If you see a color wheel, you will see a primary color tends to have a hue of its neighboring primary colors and that causes color bias.

In this case, the red and blue shade you are using might contain the hue of yellow which makes both of the shades warm-toned. That is why, when you mix your blue and red pigment, it winds up in magenta and not the purple/violet shade you want.

So, to avoid this hue massacre, you need to choose a warm-toned blue and a cool-toned red. For example, you can choose ultramarine blue and permanent rose to mix the color purple.

See, here the blue contains a red hue in its shade, so it has no yellow or green hue in it. So, when you mix two of the colors, it gives you a nice outcome of bright purple.

Whereas, other shades might show you magenta or some ashy shades of purple that you definitely do not expect. Now, ‘how do you make purple with paint?’ isn’t a big question for you, is it?

What Color Do Red and Blue Make in RGB and CMY Color Models?

What Color Does Red and Blue Make in RGB and CMY Color Models?

Before we proceed with the answer, let us describe the RGB and CMY color models at first.

RGB is an additive-type color model that is mainly used in digital prints. It has a wide array of color ranges and those are very vibrant in nature. The primary colors in this model are red, blue, and green, hence, the abbreviation RGB.

This model uses light for showing the colors.

When you mix all the colors in this scheme, you get an output of white color. RGB color model is usually used in logos, digital graphics photos for websites, apps, social media, etc.

On the other hand, CMY is a subtractive type color model that is mainly used in print media. It has a smaller color range than RGB and colors are not so vibrant either.

The primary colors in this model are cyan, magenta, and yellow, hence, the abbreviation CMY. This model uses ink to show the colors and gives you an output of black when mixing all the colors.

CMY color model is mainly used in making brochures, business cards, posters, stickers, etc. It is also called the CMYK color model.
So, when you mix the colors in the RGB model, that means, if you put them together with blue and red lights, you get magenta color. You can easily perform the experiment by combining red and blue light on a white background.

Then in the CMY model, you can’t find red or blue in the primary color set. You will find red, green, and blue by combining the primary color set. Then you can use those secondary blue and red colors to make purple. Here, purple will be the tertiary color.

But here you have to keep in mind the color bias theory again to get the perfect shade of purple you are looking for.

Choose the right shade of blue and red with the right hue or try to pick out the natural primary shade of them to bring out the perfect purple shade.

How to Make Purple with Acrylic Paint?

We have already mentioned how hard it can be to achieve the perfect shade of purple for your painting. So, to save you from all the confusion, we decided to help you figure out how to make purple with acrylic paint.

Before mixing the colors, here are a few things you need to know about some fundamental factors:

  • You need to choose the primary red and blue shade that has no color bias. To test the color bias, you can mix them with white color. If you find the perfect pink and sky blue after mixing the white, then there is no color bias.
  • If you don’t have the perfect primary shades of blue, then choose a blue with red color bias and red with blue color bias. And if you pick out a shade with a yellow or green color bias then you will end up getting dark purple, magenta, or grayish shade of purple.

Now let’s see what two colors make purple with acrylic paint.

  • Choose a shade between ultramarine blue or cobalt and permanent rose or quinacridone magenta.
  • Now mix them in equal amounts to get an outcome of a purple shade.
  • In case you want a lighter shade of purple, you can add some white color to it.

How to Get a Cooler Shade of Purple:

How to Get a Cooler Shade of Purple
  • To get a cooler shade of purple, you can add a little blue to your purple. It’s wise to use the same blue that you used to make your purple.
  • Always add the extra blue in a little amount. Otherwise, there is a chance that your purple shade might get muddy because of not handling the color ratio well.

How to Get a Warmer Shade of Purple:

How to Get a Warmer Shade of Purple
  • To make your purple shade warmer, add a little red to your purple. Just like cooler shade, use the same shade of cool-toned red that you used in your base purple color.
  • And obviously, add the red little by little so that your purple doesn’t get muddy.

In this way, you can easily achieve the purple shade you are looking for. Make sure to add equal amounts of red and blue to get the perfect shade of purple.


How can I make purple with watercolor?

Mix a shade of cool red and a shade of warm blue to get the purple shade.

How do I realize if my red color has a yellow bias?

If you get a peach color after mixing your red with white color, then your color has a yellow bias.

Can I use cerulean blue with permanent rose to get a purple shade?

No, the color cerulean blue has a yellow bias. So, your outcome will be a brownish shade of purple.


Thank you for reading the whole article with such patience. Hope we could help you figure out what color red and blue make. Now you can make your desired shade of purple without any doubt.

Just make sure you choose the right shade of blue and red to get your choice of purple. Otherwise, your outcome will be as disappointing as before. Now pick your brushes and paint the town red.

Leave a Comment