Mix of Yellow and Purple: What These 2 Colors Make? Surprising results

Last Updated on April 17, 2024 by Masha Eretnova

When you see a yellow and purple combination, you might think how pop and fun these two combinations are! How exciting it would be to discover the mix of purple and yellow make.

Mix of Yellow and Purple

The mix of yellow and purple create brown color. There are different shades of brown you can get from these two colors depending on the amount of the color you’ll use. This color combination is good to use in playful areas like children’s rooms.

The color you’ll get by mixing purple and yellow make will surprise you in many ways. So here are some essential keys you might need to know in exploring these two exciting colors!

Color wheel and color theory

color wheel

In the RYB color wheel, yellow is part of the primary colors together with other primary colors like red and blue.

Then if we mix these primary colors, we will get secondary colors. Purple is one of the secondary colors, we get it when we mix red and blue.

Mixing these secondary colors will give us tertiary colors composed of the following:

  • yellow-green
  • red-orange
  • yellow-orange
  • blue-green
  • blue-violet
  • red-violet

On the color wheel, purple and yellow are both placed on the opposite side. Any two colors placed on the opposite side of the color wheel are called complementary colors. If you mix any complementary colors you will get a shade of brown color.

However, in the RYB color wheel, there’s no brown color, though it’s known as a neutral color. You can create a brown shade by mixing the three primary colors (red, yellow, and blue).

In a color theory, complementary colors are supposed to give balance to each other, so vibrant colors like purple and yellow give an exciting challenge!

Read also: Violet vs Purple: The Difference You Should Know

Purple and yellow make what color?

Mix of Yellow and Purple
Primary Yellow Amsterdam + Purple MontMarte = Brown

Mixing yellow and purple will give you a brown shade depending on the amount you’ll use and the shades of the two complementary colors. 

If you are using different yellows and purples, your results may vary.

Purple and yellow make what color

Aside from brown hues, you can get a grey with an undertone of purple if you’ll use a light purple shade like a mauve color.

what does yellow and purple make

If you ever run out of yellow and purple, you can get these two colors from:

  • mixing shades like cadmium red and ultramarine blue can give you a purple shade
  • mixing white and shade like pale orange to get a shade of yellow. However, it might be difficult to get a bright yellow from this mixture so it’s recommended to just buy yellow paints or just mix an equal proportion of red and green shades like cadmium red and lime green.

Read also: What do Blue and Brown make?

Light purple and yellow

If you’ll mix purple using a lighter shade like the following: 

  • mauve
  • pale violet
  • lavender

and mix light purple with lighter shades of yellow such as the following:

  • lemon yellow
  • canary yellow
  • light yellow 

you can get a light brown color like sandy brown, and beige. Depending on the amount you used between the two colors, at the very least you will get a grey shade.

Mix of Yellow and Purple
3 different shades of Yellow with the same purple give us 3 different shades of brown.

Quality also plays a role. Easier to mix with better acrylics like Amsterdam or Winsor & Newton in my case, or Liquitex. My last case is Reeves and the paint itself is quite lumpy and it mixes more difficult.

Read also: What Color Does Green And Purple Make? Surprising Results!

Alternative ways to mix brown and grey

If you want to get different shades of brown, mixing complementary colors and the three primary colors will give you the brown shade that you desire depending on the amount of paint you put in.

On the other hand, mixing white and a pinch of black is commonly used to adjust how light and dark the shades you want for gray color. 

Both brown and grey are neutral colors that help in creating tones, tints, and shades of colors.

If you’re curious what color you can get if you mix brown and grey, the answer is a brownish grey shade like taupe color.

You can also make brown by mixing red and green.

How to make brown and grey darker or lighter

For lighter brown shade, you can start by adding a little amount of white paint to the color brown. The more white paint you add, the lighter brown you’ll get. Adding white is a common method used in creating lighter versions of colors or known as tints.

On the other hand, you can add a touch of black paint to brown and grey if you want a darker color or called shades.

If you get warm brown paint, adding grey can tone down the color. If you add more yellow, you’ll get a lighter brown shade. For grey, you can get different shades depending on the amount of white and black you add. If you add more purple to the mixture, you can get a dark grey shade.

White, black, brown, and grey are actually neutral colors that use to change the tone, tint, and shade of a color, so these four colors are commonly used for making lighter and darker shades.

Adding more yellow to the mix

If you add more yellow like cadmium yellow to the mixture of purple and yellow, you’ll get a lighter and yellowish brown shade like a buff color. Since yellow is a warm color, it’ll give you a warmer shade.

Adding more purple to the mix

Adding more purple like cobalt violet will give a distinct and rich deep shade of brown or purple.

If the purple color has a greater ratio than yellow, it will give you a darker and purplish shade like the dioxazine purple color. Since purple is a cool color, it’ll give a cooler shade.

Mixing in more purple with yellow I rarely get darker brown, but I do get darker purple. So I would go with black to make brown darker.

Mix of yellow and purple with other colors

Since there are different shades you can use in painting, every amount of purple color you mix will give you a richer and deeper shade of brown paint. For example, mixing cadmium yellow with cobalt violet will give you the following shades:

  • yellow ochre
  • golden yellow
  • canary yellow
  • red-orange
  • magenta

Mixing yellow with the primary colors blue and red will give you beautiful shades of brown paint as well. 

Since there are no true primary colors in paints, mixing ultramarine blue and alizarin crimson red to cadmium yellow will give you the following colors: 

  • yellow ochre
  • red-orange
  • burgundy
  • maroon

Mixing yellow and purple gives you different shades of brown depending on the amount of paint you used, but going beyond and exploring mixing other colors will surprise you even more.

Blue, yellow and purple make what color?

What color you will get depends on ratio and shades (and even brand!) of blue, yellow and purple you will use. The results can be dramatically different. I have seen people saying you will get copper, I’ve never managed to mix it with these combinations.

Depending on the amount of paint you put, mixing purple with blue and yellow shades like ultramarine blue and cadmium yellow can give you shades like the following: 

  • navy
  • copper penny
  • maroon color combinations

Mix purple, primary yellow, and primary cyan. I got a dark navy-greyish color

Mixing lemon yellow, cerulean blue, and purple, I have dark grey-blue

Mixing cadmium yellow, purple, and ultramarine I got a shade of dark green-brown.

What color do orange, yellow, and purple make?

Mixing purple with orange-yellow shades can give you a richer and deep shade of orange-brown like burnt orange and squash. Though it still depends on what color you’ll give more proportion.

What color does orange yellow and purple make

Read also: What Color does Orange and Blue make?

Yellow and purple meaning

Yellow paint is a warm color. Usually, when we see yellow we get to feel how bright this color is. To better understand the impression of yellow, you can check the table below:

Positivehappy vibe, hope, and enthusiasm
Negativetimidity and trickery
Personalityrepresent cheerfulness and always excited to learn new things.

On the other hand, purple paint is a cool color. It holds different impressions that you can check below:

Positiverepresents wisdom, royalty, creativity, and luxury
Negativearrogance, deceit, egotism, and grief
PersonalityPeople who like purple are believed to be creative and intuitive people who love talking about spirituality, and they are mostly good at character judgement.

Purple and yellow are both pop colors that can hold different meanings depending on the shades as well. These meanings are helpful to highlight and give an impression to your artwork and interior designs.

Yellow and purple mix in painting

Mixing purple and yellow paint can give you different shades from brown to grey. If you mix an equal amount of purple and cadmium yellow then you will get a brown shade. Purple and yellow are complementary colors so they can cancel one color when you mix them.

If you use a pale purple like the mauve shade you can get a grey color. So it all depends on how lighter and darker shades of purple and yellow paint you use. 

More yellow will give a yellowish color of browns like buff and amber shades, while more purple will give a reddish and dark brown color like a mauve shade. For painting mediums, I use and recommend Liquitex products, Winsor & Newton, and Amsterdam.

How to use brown and grey in painting

How to use brown and grey in painting
Portrait of a Young Man, Painting by Raphael

Grey is best to use as shadows in black-and-white theme paintings. It’s also commonly used to create the atmosphere portrays in drawing or painting.

Meanwhile, brown is good to highlight the good features of people’s faces. This kind of technique can be usually seen in giving skin tones a more natural look using different shades of brown. Brown is usually used in painting or drawing mountains, wooden trees, and deserts as well.

Brown and grey are both neutral colors so they are good to use to give other colors more tints, shades, and tones. As neutral colors, brown and grey are also commonly used for lighting shadows.

Yellow and purple in design

Yellow and purple in design

Purple and yellow paint give fun color combinations so they are popular to use in kids’ bedrooms, living rooms, and playrooms. You might also use other colors to complement both purple and yellow such as the following: 

  • pink
  • blue
  • mint
  • teal
  • green
  • neutral colors (brown, grey, white)

Read also: What Color does Pink and Yellow make?

Neutral colors are good to balance purple and yellow. If you would like to pair blue with purple and yellow, we recommend using dark shades of blue like navy blue since it’s near to a muted color that can balance the two bright colors.

If you’re looking for a cozy and cute atmosphere, you can use pastel shades like pale lilac and warm yellow. 

Using these lighter shades creates a relaxing mood and balances purple and yellow colors well since they are both in lighter colors. I recommend Rust-Oleum products for your interior furniture.

Brown and grey in design

Brown and grey are both neutral colors that are best to use in living rooms because they tone down and balance other colors. The brown-grey color scheme is best for a minimal and clean style for your interior design. 

The rich and deep tone of brown can be used to highlight and contrast the pale shades of grey. You can use a brown sofa, tables, or lamps and match it with grey wall paint.

Brown and grey are good to match with other neutral colors (white, black, beige) to add depth and subdue the overwhelming feeling if you use strong shades.

Brown colors are popular use in furniture and home decor as well for they give a natural highlight to the room. If you’ll use deep grey and brown, it’s best to match them with pastel or lighter colors like the following: 

  • mint
  • pink
  • turquoise
  • cream

For home projects it is important to consider the gloss level of the paint and the room/furniture you are planning to paint. I have a few guides to help you decide:

What Color Do Purple and Yellow Make in Ink?

When you mix magenta and yellow inks you’ll get a red-orange shade like vermillion. Magenta and yellow are part of the primary colors of the CMYK color model.

CMYK color model is used for printing making. It’s a subtractive color model, the opposite of the RYB color wheel. In this color model, If you mix the three primary colors, you will only get black ink.


Are purple and yellow complementary colors?

Yes, purple and yellow are both complementary colors, and like any other complementary colors, mixing purple and yellow with an equal amount will give you a shade of brown. Depending on the shades of purple and yellow, the brown shade can vary as well.

Do yellow and purple make green?

No, only shades of brown, orange, red-brown, and grey are the only colors that purple and yellow make when mixed.

What color do you add to yellow to make purple?

If you want to make a color purple, you can add ultramarine blue and alizarin crimson to create a purple shade. With the mixture of yellow, you can get a light purple depending on the amount of yellow you also mix.

Wrap Up

The color combination of purple mixed with a yellow color ranges from brown to grey shades. Since there are different shades of purple and yellow, there’s an unending discovery of what shades from brown to grey you can get.

So don’t be afraid to go beyond and explore different shades for more exciting color mixing. Have a good day everyone!