What color does Purple & Blue make?
Absolutely Beautiful!

If you're a fan of cool colors, then blue and purple must be on your list of favorites. But what happens when you mix these two colors?
What color does Purple & Blue make? Absolutely Beautiful! Thumbnail
What color does Purple & Blue make? Absolutely Beautiful! Thumbnail


Looking at blue and purple side-by-side creates a very cool feeling. If you’ve worked on artworks where cool colors are dominant, you definitely cannot leave purple and blue out of the picture. However, what color do these two amazing colors make together?

Purple and blue are mixed to create indigo. The shades of purple and blue may vary but the resulting color will always be an indigo hue. For instance, using red-violet with sky blue may result in a warmer indigo that leans more toward purple rather than blue.

1. Understanding the Color Wheel and Color Theory

Color wheel containing cool colors on the left and warm colors on the right

Cool colors

Using colors that sit next to each other on the color wheel will always result in an analogous color scheme. 

Some hues of indigo tend to be warm if they have red-violet in the mix rather than a cooler purple. So it would all depend on the type of blue and purple you’re using. However, you can always create tints and shades by adding white or black to the indigo to make it lighter or darker. You could also add grey, but that would slightly tone the indigo instead of making it go light or dark.

Where is indigo on the color wheel?

On the color wheel, you can see blue-violet, which is a form of indigo. Remember though that depending on the quantity of purple or blue, the indigo could lean either toward the blue side or the purple side.

2. Creating hues of Indigo using Blue and Purple

Change the purple you're using and you can turn your indigo around!

Blue and purple with a hint of indigo

Indigo is created by mixing purple and blue. The particular shade of indigo can be using varying hues of purple and blue. The temperature of indigo may vary according to the temperature of the original colors used.

What happens if you add more purple to the mix?

Purple is a very interesting color as it can go both ways. You can have a warm purple or even a cool purple. So if you choose to add a warm one, it will result in a warm and purplish indigo rather than a blue one. 

What happens if you add more blue to the mix?

Adding any shade of blue to the mix will make the brown cooler. It doesn’t matter if you add white or black to lighten or darken the brown, it will portray a cool atmosphere. 

3. The Color Psychology and Effects of Indigo

The effects of indigo may vary slightly according to the dominant color.

An indigo shade

Indigo creates both a calm and mystical charm at the same time.

Although indigo isn’t a neutral color, it’s effects are balanced. It happens due to the mixing of warm purple and comparatively cooler blue. So while there is a sense of serenity, there’s also creativity and some negative traits such as too conforming. 

Positive Traits Negative Traits
Devotion Narrow mindedness
Fairness Conforming
Wisdom Theatrical
Authority Critical
Dignity Fearful
Creativity Idealistic (can be positive too)

4. How is Indigo used in painting?

Dark indigo can add dramatic shadows and contrast to any painting!

Indigo dye

Indigo can add a very cool feeling to any painting. Since it is very dark in nature, it could also be used for an underpainting. The tones and shades created would be very similar to black but less intense.

Shades of indigo can create a cool atmosphere in a painting of any genre. They are needed to create tones, tints, and shades of all the saturated colors you use in your paintings.

Using indigo in various painting media

Acrylic paints:  Some acrylic paint kits already offer a deep indigo shade. You can add a retarder to avoid the paint drying up quickly. Add more orange or blue to the mix and apply it to the support for various warm and cool brown hues.

Oil paints:  With oil paints, you can be a bit more flexible with your brown. Oil paints take time to dry, so you can always add more orange or blue directly to the brown paint on your canvas.

Watercolors:  If you’re using the wet-in-wet technique, you can add orange and blue directly on to the paper. Where the two paints mix, they will create a shade of brown.

Gouache: You can have multiple purple and blue hues in a gouache paint kit. Just be careful to add quantity in little amount and take care of the amount of water you add to the mix. Adding too much water can make your indigo shade lighter!

Creating an underpainting with indigo

What happens if you create an underpainting with indigo? Well, it would set a cool mood for the actual painting for sure. You can start off your underpainting (basic painting sketch or drawing) with darker indigo shades and gradually moving towards lighter. However, understand that the painting medium you use will have a role to play whether you go dark to light or vice versa.

  1. Before beginning your underpainting in shades of indigo, create a drawing on the support you’re using.
  2. Start by blocking in the dark areas using a mixture of brown and black paint.
  3. You can add white for creating lighter shades. In the case of acrylic paint, you can add water to thin the paint and depict light.
  4. Add a bit of orange where you want the brown to be warmer or blue where you want it to be cooler. Remember that for acrylics, it’s best to do color mixing pre-hand on the palette, rather than on the canvas itself!


add more purple or blue

If you want a slightly warmer indigo, add a warm red-violet to the mix. Adding blue would make the indigo cooler.

5. How is indigo used in drawing?

A shade as dark as indigo can work well with grayscale and black monotone drawings.

Blue and purple tones, with a touch of indigo

Since indigo is dark, you can use it to create the darkest shades. It is also best for outlining because of its boldness.

Using indigo in various drawing media

Pastels:  The best way to use indigo in pastels is to blend it with lighter shades of blue and purple.

Ink:  Monotone drawings look stunning in indigo. However, you can create black outlines to make sure all the subjects stand out.

Colored pencils:  To make the most out of using colored pencils, try using the indigo pencil on its own. Vary the pressure of the pencil against the paper and let your hand go light to give expressive strokes.

Markers and brush pens:  Indigo is usually available exclusively in the form of markers and brush pens. And if it isn’t, feel free to experiment with multiple shades of purple and blue. Overlap and dilute the marker and brush pen washes, in case you’re using water-soluble ones.

Are you a fan of hand lettering? Then you definitely shouldn’t miss out on this awesome blue and purple toned set !

Faber-Castell Pitt Artist Pen Hand Lettering Set - 6 Blue Brush Lettering Pens

This blue and purple themed hand lettering set contains blue and purple shades, as well as a perfect indigo!

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6. How is indigo used in design?

Indigo evokes a cool and relaxed feeling.

An indigo-dyed patterned textile piece

Whether indigo is cool or warm, it creates a relaxing and mystical atmosphere like blue and purple respectively. 

  1. Use it in rooms and spaces where dull and neutral colors are all over - black, white, grey, etc.
  2. You can incorporate decorative indigo elements such as vases, bedsheets, etc.
  3. Use the darkest shade of indigo in formal spaces, such as the living room or meeting room.


So, mixing blue and purple gives you a wonderful indigo. You can always go lighter with your indigo by adding more white or by mixing black, grey or brown in case you want a darker shade of indigo. Indigo is a balance of both calmness and creativity, but it can also depict narrow-mindedness. However, in both art and design, it can be used to make a bold statement and breathe life and contrast into any space while remaining inherently dark.

Do you want to learn more about color mixing? Don’t miss this post about what color orange and pink makes when mixed !

What color does Orange & Pink make? Absolutely Beautiful!

Orange and pink are two happy warm colors. So what happens when these two are mixed together? Say hello to this stunning color!

Jimena & Iñigo Picture

By Jimena & Iñigo

The Navarro-Rubios

My husband and I are learning how to draw and paint. We wanted to share this learning process with the world and have fun! That's why we created this blog. We'll have drawing contests every week and you'll decide who won that week! Follow along and learn with us!

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Jimena & Iñigo Picture

Jimena & Iñigo

The Navarro-Rubios

My husband and I are learning how to draw and paint. We wanted to share this learning process with the world and have fun! That's why we created this blog. We'll have drawing contests every week and you'll decide who won that week! Follow along and learn with us!



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