What Do You Get When You Mix Red And Blue? (3 Colors of Light)

What Do You Get When You Mix Red And Blue

Have you ever wondered what do you get when you mix red and blue?

There are so many beautiful colors in the rainbow and many of these colors are made by mixing others together. If you’re running low on paint colors, you can make your own shades by mixing certain colors together.

So, what do you get when you mix red and blue?  When you mix red and blue together, you will get purple. However, when getting the exact answer to this question you need to consider if you are mixing pigments or talking about the light spectrum.

When you mix pigment, such as paint, you will get more of a violet shade of purple. However, when you are talking about the visible light spectrum, you will get magenta.

On this page, we’re going to discuss the results of mixing red and blue, as well as everything else you need to know.

Keep reading to find out more.

What do you get when you mix red and blue pigments together?

When you mix red and blue pigment together, you will get purple. Red and blue are primary colors. The only other primary color is yellow. These are the three main colors that are needed to mix other colors.

The colors that primary colors make are known as secondary colors. Primary colors can be mixed to create a secondary color but secondary colors can’t create a primary shade.

Pigments receive color by absorbing particular wavelengths of the color spectrum. This is why when blue and red pigments are mixed, they create a violet purple.

The shade of purple will vary depending on if they mix more blue or red pigments. 

Read also: What Do You Get When You Mix Red And Purple? (Best Tips)

What do you get when you mix red and blue lights together?

Primary colors are different when it comes to the light spectrum. The light spectrum receives color by emitting electromagnetic wavelengths, which is why the shades created are different than pigments.

When mixing red and blue lights together on the color spectrum, you will get a magenta color. 

This is how color is mixed for TV and computer screens. Since it’s made from lights instead of pigment, the results are different. Digital programs will be used to determine how much of each color is necessary to create another shade.

This means that the measurements could also be different for creating a certain color with lights than it is with pigments.

Mixing Red And Blue Color – What Color Do You Get When You Mix Red And Blue >> Check out the video below:


What are neutral colors?

Black, white, and tan are neutral colors. While it’s not common to mix black or tan with primary colors, many artists while use white to create a pastel shade.

If you are mixing red and blue together, and want a pale or creamier shade, you can use white to achieve it. This is how certain shades of purple, like lavender and mauve, are created. 

However, some artists will use a touch of black to darken a shade they are working with. Artists must be very careful when they do this because too much will ruin the shade.

Always start with a very tiny amount and add a bit more as necessary.

Grey is another neutral color that is obtained by mixing black and white. It can also be used to mix with blue and red for a paler shade of purple.

Understanding how we see purple

Blue and red mixed together make purple, but that doesn’t mean they will give you the exact shade of purple you want. There are so many different shades of purple, so you will need to know how to get purple in order to mix the right shade.

 Let’s take a look at how you see purple to get a better understanding of how to create the right purple.

Every object you see reflects color, and your eyes pick up on the colors that are not being absorbed by the light. Anytime you see a shade of purple, it will be a combination of blue light and red light that are not being absorbed.

This is called the visible light spectrum, which is how we see color.

Blue and red both have set nanometers of wavelength. Red is 700 nanometers and blue is 475 nanometers.

This means that anytime you see the color purple, it is absorbing all the wavelengths of light, except for 700 and 475 nanometers.  

Read also: What Colors Make Lavender with Food Coloring? (How To – For Beginners)

What happens when you add yellow to the mix?

While mixing blue and red creates purple, you won’t make the color any nicer by adding yellow to the mix. When all three primary colors are mixed together, it creates the color brown.

In some situations, you can add a very small amount of yellow to slightly lighten purple. However, you need to be careful with the amount because too much will turn the color to brown.

Getting the right mix of color

As mentioned above, just because you mix red and blue doesn’t mean you will get the exact purple that you want.

There are many shades of purple from a soft mauve to a bold mulberry. Depending on the purple you are after, you may need to add more blue than red to the mix or vice versa.

This is where those neutral colors can come in handy. If you want a deep and dark violet purple, you can add a touch of black. This creates a color that can be used for painting a night’s sky.

On the other hand, if you want a nice tint, you can achieve this by mixing pink and blue. Pink is simply the mixture of red and white. 

Is purple a secondary color?

Anytime a color is created by mixing two primary colors, it is considered a secondary color. Purple is one of three primary colors on the color wheel (along with green and orange).

When you take a look at the color wheel, you’ll notice purple is in between red and blue. There will be various shades of purples to see which ones are closer to red or blue. 

The color wheel is a great way to see which shades go together. It can also be used to help you determine if you need more blue or red to achieve the shade of purple that you are after.

When you achieve the purple you wanted, you can also use the color wheel to find complementary colors for the desired purple.

Complementary colors are colors that are direct across from one another on the color wheel. They often look good in fashion and decorating when paired together because they make each other pop.

However, you should avoid mixing complementary colors because it creates brown. Purple’s complementary colors are yellows and gold. 

Use the Color Wheel & Color Harmonies to Choose Colors that Work Well Together >> Check out the video below:

Final thoughts

What do you get when you mix red and blue? These two primary colors create purple when they are mixed together as pigments. However, when they are mixed together on the light spectrum, they create magenta.

The reason why there is a slight difference in colors is that pigments and lights absorb color differently. 

When you are mixing red and blue, you can add different ratios of each color to get a specific color of purple.

You may also need to include a neutral color to achieve the right shade. This is a great way to make purple paint when you are running low on colors.





Lindsey graduated with an MBA in 2009. Since then, Lindsey has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Lindsey is also the head writer and Co-founder of Rvandplaya.com. Lindsey is based in Morgantown, West Virginia.

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