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Blue is both a dominant color and one of the three primary colors. Blue is very popular with painters and is seen on the palette more often than any other color. It will therefore benefit you to know how to make blue in different shades and equip yourself with the knowledge to blend colors, and of course what colors make blue.
Table of Contents
- 1 The Psychology of the Color Blue
- 2 So, What Colors Make Blue?
- 3 What Colors Make Dark Blue Paint?
- 4 Differences Between Various Shades of Blue
- 5 Tips When Mixing Different Shades of Blue
- 6 Conclusion
- 7 Frequently Asked Questions
- 7.1 Which Color Can Be Combined With Brilliant Blue to Create Dark Sea Blue?
- 7.2 When Combining Ocean Blue and Dark Forest Green, What Color Will You Create?
- 7.3 What Colors Make Light Blue?
- 7.4 Can You Create Green Color Without Using Any Blue Color?
- 7.5 What Color Will I Create When Blending Ice Blue and Black?
- 7.6 How to Make Blue Paint, Can I Use Orange?
- 7.7 What Colors Make Dark Blue Paint, Must I Add Black or Combine Other Colors?
The Psychology of the Color Blue
All the rainbow colors are stunning, but thanks to the gorgeous rich tones of the color blue, it catches your eye. The color creates feelings of calmness, peace, and tranquility. That being said, blue can also cause you to feel icy cold, and heighten your alertness. All human beings are drawn to the color blue in some way or other, whether it is staring into the pool of fresh sparkling water, or daydreaming about the blue sky.
What feelings does the color blue evoke in you? Research has shown that certain colors can prompt a range of different emotions and moods. Blue is known to create feelings of serenity and calm, possibly stemming from the bright blue sky and cool waters found in the natural world.
The research around the color blue has found that the color can change your physiology. Not only does blue make us feel calm, but it physically decreases your body’s stress response, including lowering your temperature and calming your heart rate. Research has shown that while blue is considered a popular color it is also thought of as the least appealing and enticing color. This is the reason that it is highly recommended when you are trying to lose weight to eat from a blue plate, as it only is found in nature in the form of plums and berries. We all do our best to avoid any foods that may be poisonous, and food that has blue coloring is a telltale sign of poisonous or spoilt food.
Blue has been found to encourage productivity so many offices paint their spaces blue. Additionally, blue is known for its calming impact which can be directly linked to peacefulness, tranquility, serenity, and orderliness.
The color blue is also seen as a symbol of stability and reliability which means a lot of corporations use blue in their advertising campaigns and marketing. At the same time, the color blue can also evoke feelings of sadness, which is seen in the works of Picasso during his ‘blue period’ that evoke feelings of loneliness and sadness. Blue as a color is considered benign. These melancholy feelings that we associate with blue show themselves in a few common phrases in the English language, where the misery of a Monday is called a ‘blue Monday’ and when we are feeling low we tend to say that we have ‘the blues.’
So, What Colors Make Blue?
There are a variety of tints, hues, and shades of blue, such as warm blues, dark blue, muted blues, and light blues, just to name a few. With so much variety, it can be difficult to know where to start with mixing your own blue paint. According to traditional color theory, blue is one of the primary shades, meaning it cannot be made by combining other shades. However, this is not strictly true. There are new ways of understanding color, and there are some color combinations that you can use to make blue from scratch. You can also easily adjust any shade of blue to find your ideal shade.
What two colors make blue when mixed? Magenta (purplish-red) and cyan (greenish-blue) can be mixed to achieve true blue. Once you have made true blue you can create an assortment of different shades of blue which can be used to paint the sky or the ocean.
You will be able to make colors such as turquoise, aquamarine, or cobalt blue easily. This can be done by looking at certain characteristics found in the colors on the color wheel, and subsequently creating shades of blue.
Here are some of the most popular shades of blue and some technical information for how to make them.
|Type of Blue||Blue Shade||What Colors You Can Mix to Create It||Percentage of RGB||Hex Code|
|Turquoise||Green, White, and Blue||18.8% Red|
|Cobalt||Ultramarine and Turquoise||0% Red|
|Cerulean||Cobalt and White||16.47% Red|
|Teal||Blue and Green||0% Red|
|Royal Blue||Black, Purple, and Blue||25.5% Red|
|Navy Blue||Black, Blue, and Orange||0% Red|
|Cornflower||Blue and Gray||57.65% Red|
|Powder Blue||Royal Blue and White||69% Red|
|Indigo||Blue and Red||29.41% Red|
What Colors Make Light Blue?
To understand what colors make light blue, we will assist you in combining different shades of blue so that you can create a lighter blue. Within the category of light blue, there are different tones. The way we lighten blue is by adding a touch of white paint. Depending on the blue you begin with, you can create very different shades of light blue.
You can lighten any shade of blue, but the two blue shades that make the best light blue shades are the following:
- Cobalt blue
- Ultramarine blue
Ultramarine blue is naturally darker than cobalt blue, so it will remain naturally darker when you add white. If you were to further mix either of these light blue shades with some orange you will create a muted color. The cobalt blue creates a light blue color which is cooler and leans further to green. While ultramarine blue creates a light blue color, which is warmer and is closer to purple.
What Color Do Blue and Green Make?
When addressing the questions, what color does blue and green made, you can achieve a lighter form of cyan when combining blue and green. This light cyan color is ideal for use on your color printer.
However, should you wish to use it as paint, it is necessary to darken the color as it is a cool color, and the dark form is necessary to appreciate the whole effect.
What Colors Make Cyan Paint?
So, you want to determine what colors make cyan. You can use the following procedure when working with acrylic paints. To make cyan paint, you need to combine a touch of green and blue acrylic paint. For a lighter cyan, you can add a little white, and you can make it darker by adding more blue.
How to Make Different Dark Blue Hues?
You can make stunning dark colors with the color blue. There are a few different methods that you can use to make your blue paint darker. The best idea is to begin with a blue color that is already quite dark like ultramarine. You can further darken this deep blue shade by adding purple, green, red, and burnt umber.
By combining ultramarine blue with dioxazine purple you can create a stunning dark blue. This combination causes the ultramarine blue to be significantly darker, while also having a slight purple hue to it. If you take the dark blue that you have created using ultramarine blue and dioxazine purple and simply add some phthalo green, you will further darken the blue and add a gentle green tint.
If you combine ultramarine with burnt umber, you can achieve an intense muted dark blue color. This is ideal if you require a dark blue which is not bright blue or saturated. However, if you combine alizarin crimson with pthalo green you will achieve a stunning black color. If you wish to create a stunning rich dark blue color then you can mix alizarin crimson with pthalo green and add some ultramarine blue which will give you an impressive very dark blue color.
Creating Muted Shades of Blue
The majority of painters rarely use true vibrant blue as it is, directly from the tubes. For realism in your paintings, you need to create a blue palette with some less saturated muted blue shades. So, we are going to assist you with the knowledge to create an assortment of muted shades of blue. You will note that complementary colors play a pivotal role when making muted colors.
What is a complementary color you may ask; these are colors which sit directly opposite one another when looking at the color wheel. For example, the color wheel purple is opposite to yellow, meaning they are complementary colors. Orange is the complementary color to blue. Therefore, when combining orange and blue you will achieve muted shades of blue.
When you combine cadmium orange with ultramarine blue, the brightness of the blue gets dulled. This means that the blue becomes less blue and forms a rich blue color which is muted. Be careful you do not add too much of the orange as you will then cause your color to become greener.
When combining burnt umber with cobalt blue or ultramarine blue you will form a blue that has a brownish tint, which is ideal when you wish to use a more muted brownish color.
How to Create Warm Shades of Blue
As you are aware, temperature plays a significant role in terms of color. Blue is thought of as a cool color, but there is a great deal of variety within the shade category. For example, turquoise blue is a relatively cool blue, because it contains a little yellow and therefore looks a little more green. Ultramarine blue is thought of as a warm color because it has a touch of red in it and therefore leans towards purple. This is when you can combine alizarin crimson with ultramarine blue forming a warmer blue color.
You can also combine cobalt blue with cadmium green which will form a warm blue shade. This type of warm color will not be as warm as when you combine alizarin crimson, but it does provide you with a warmer blue shade. If you were to use cobalt blue which is considered cooler than ultramarine blue, using the same combination as mentioned above, the blue you have created will not be the same form of warm blue as when you use ultramarine blue.
How to Create Turquoise Blue Colors
Turquoise is most often used to create the sky or the ocean in paintings. In the majority of paintings, the color can look a little green because it contains a little yellow. When you combine cobalt blue or ultramarine blue with cadmium green you can create a shade of turquoise blue. If you then add a little white to this mixture you will create a lighter blue that is similar to the true color of turquoise.
Another method for creating a turquoise blue is by adding Veronese green to your blue shade. By combining Veronese green (that is a cool bright green) with either cobalt blue or ultramarine blue you will create a gorgeous turquoise blue. This particular shade of turquoise keeps a lot of the original blue color, meaning it is a very rich color. You can create a light turquoise blue by adding a little white, that keeps its brilliance.
What Colors Make Dark Blue Paint?
You can create a darker blue by adding several different colors to your base blue shade. Learning how to make blue by combining colors will increase your options and ensure you have access to the perfect shade of blue.
Making Dark Blue Color by Adding Black Paint
Black is often used to darken colors, and you can make a very deep dark blue by adding a little black paint. Take your paper plate or palette and put a decent amount of blue paint onto the surface, sufficient paint for you to be able to finish your project. Do not worry if you have made too much paint as you can simply store any excess paint in a container.
Take a paper towel or sponge, wet it, and put it under your paper plate or palette to ensure that your paint does not dry out while you are painting.
Next, add a small quantity of black paint directly next to your blue paint. Ensure that you do not place the black paint on the blue paint, rather put it next to the blue paint. Doing this will allow you to add a tiny bit of black paint at a time allowing you greater control over the shade of dark blue you are creating.
With your paintbrush gently dip it into the black paint and move a tiny amount of the black paint over to the blue paint, black is quite a strong color and will significantly impact your blue. Next, you can combine the colors by folding the black into the blue using either your paintbrush or a mixing tool, at this point you should not mix it thoroughly as it will cause the color to become dull. Combine them just enough that you can determine if it is the correct shade of dark blue that you require.
You can then add further black paint, just a tiny amount at a time until you are happy with the dark blue color. This process can be repeated over and over again by only adding a tiny amount of black paint each time. if you accidentally add too much black, you can just add additional blue paint and even the ratio out.
Making Dark Blue Color by Adding Complementary Paint Colors
The beginning step is to print out a copy of the color wheel. When selecting which color wheel to print out, we recommend a tertiary color wheel that has 12 colors and includes various tints, shades, and hues. Take some of the original blue paint and paint it onto a piece of white paper and allow it time to dry. Consult the color wheel and make an accurate match against your original color. Next, you can select the shade of orange that is found the opposite to your blue and is, therefore, complementary to your shade of blue.
You will use this orange color to darken your blue. An example of this is combining burnt sienna and ultramarine blue, or cadmium orange with cobalt blue.
Take your paper plate or palette and squeeze out enough of the blue paint needed to complete the dark shade of blue. Next, you can add some of the oranges next to the blue paint, and not on top of the blue paint. You will only use a small portion of orange paint so work with care. Move a small portion of the orange paint into the blue paint ensuring you are not taking too much, and then keep adding a little orange paint at a time until you are happy with the shade you have created.
Fold the orange paint into the blue paint little by little using either a palette knife or a paintbrush. By incorporating complementary colors, you will heighten the stunning shade of dark blue. You will dull the paint color if you mix it too much so be careful. If by mistake you have added too much orange paint, just add a little more blue paint to even out the ratio.
Making Dark Blue Color by Adding Analogous Paint Colors
Take your paper plate or palette and squeeze out the blue paint, and then put a bit of purple paint next to the blue paint. Violet or purple are both colors that are analogous as they can be found adjacent to blue on the color wheel. Ensure you have sufficient paint to complete the entire painting. You wish to have more blue paint, as it is the base color than purple paint. Next, you can combine a tiny portion of purple paint with your base blue color using either a palette knife or a paintbrush.
Continue this by incorporating a tiny amount of purple paint, a little at a time, so that you can control your color combination and create a violet-blue color.
You can now try out your combined paint color. Take a little of the new color and apply it to your canvas, and allow it time to dry. Drying time should be roughly 15 minutes (as long as it has not been applied too thickly). You will be able to see the true color of the blended paints that you will be utilizing on your project.
Keep in mind that most forms of paint including acrylic paint, once dried will give a darker shade. If once dried you realize it is not the color you want then go back and add either more black or purple until you are happy with the color shade.
Differences Between Various Shades of Blue
As you find out more about the color blue you will discover that each shade has its own unique characteristics. We will look in more detail at three particular shades of blue, namely cobalt blue, navy blue, and royal blue.
Cobalt blue is a gorgeous rich shade that is medium gray-blue. Cobalt blue is a very well-known shade that has been used by corporate businesses for several years. Cobalt blue evokes feelings of trust and reliability, as well as providing a serene and calming influence.
Cobalt blue is often used for dresses and school uniforms, as well as glassware, television graphics, and ceramics.
Royal blue provides you with a deep blue shade that includes traces of red and purple. The color signifies excellence, honesty, fidelity, and royalty and has been associated with royal families for many years. Royal blue is often used for interiors and is very common in restaurant logos, interiors, and menus.
Navy blue is a dark, almost black, shade of blue which has been linked to the military and navy for many years. It evokes feelings of authority and commanding influence while also portraying confidence. Navy Blue is often used for household and office interiors.
Navy blue is also often used for sheets and pillows, and robes for monks and traditional leaders in Africa.
Tips When Mixing Different Shades of Blue
There are many available options when you create different blue shades, centered on how you want shadows and light to appear in your work. There are a handful of tricks that can assist you in creating the exact blue tone you require without any mistakes.
There are some basic rules to follow when you are making different shades of blue:
- If you want your blue to be closer to green, simply add a little yellow.
- To achieve a closer match to purple, you can add some red to your blue.
- When adding additional colors try not to overdo it, just add a tiny portion of paint at a time, so you can see the impact it has on your painting.
- You can simply add white to make the color lighter.
- If you wish for your blue to appear deeper, then you will have to add black or gray.
- The medium you utilize will dictate the ratios you need to achieve the correct color you want, based on elements such as absorption and texture.
You will pick up quickly that learning how what colors make blue can be perfected through experimenting and practicing. Once you have selected the colors you want to utilize to create the ideal color, be careful, as blending too much of the paint will result in your color becoming dull.
The ideal mix will bring out the gorgeous aspects of your original blue base color.
Keep in mind that the ratios you use to create the assortment of shades of blue are greatly linked to the type of materials you are using. So, if you were using acrylic paint and you want to create a particular shade of blue the ratio would be quite different to that of if you were using a material such as watercolors. This is because watercolors blend easier and thoroughly in comparison with more solid paints. At the end of the day the primary color, true blue, can be made into any shade you require as long as you begin by using magenta and cyan.
We hope the above article not only assists you in making the color blue and many gorgeous shades of blue but that it also has provided you with a better understanding of the color blue as a whole.
View our How To Make Blue web story here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which Color Can Be Combined With Brilliant Blue to Create Dark Sea Blue?
By adding black (but only a very tiny amount) you will be able to create dark sea blue. You may also need a tiny portion of green to achieve the dark sea blue. Remember that when experimenting you should document your findings so you know for any future painting projects.
When Combining Ocean Blue and Dark Forest Green, What Color Will You Create?
What color do blue and green make? Both of these colors when combined properly will provide you with a stunning dark green color. However, if you incorrectly combine too much of each color you will not achieve a dark green color. We recommend you begin with the lighter color and then carefully add in the darker color until you are happy with the shade you have created.
What Colors Make Light Blue?
If you wish to lighten blue or any other color, you simply have to add some white. However, take care when adding white paint to do it in small quantities. Always start with the lighter color and add the darker color in smaller quantities when mixing colors.
Can You Create Green Color Without Using Any Blue Color?
You can create green by adding a little yellow paint to black paint. If you are looking to create a lighter green you can then add some white paint to this combination. However, this is not the best option and it is much better to use blue paint when creating green paint. Combining yellow, black, and white paint will create green paint as a backup option if you do not have access to the blue paint.
What Color Will I Create When Blending Ice Blue and Black?
Depending on the quantity of each color you use, you can create anything from grey-blue to blue-black.
How to Make Blue Paint, Can I Use Orange?
Unfortunately, when looking at how to make blue paint this is not possible, you can, however, mix orange paint with blue paint and it will give you a dark blue color.
What Colors Make Dark Blue Paint, Must I Add Black or Combine Other Colors?
Though adding black paint to your blue paint, you will create a darker blue color. However, should you add purple, or orange, you can achieve the same results. You can attempt both methods to see which is the one you prefer.