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What colors mixed together will make blue?

what colors make blue

What colors mixed together will make blue?

Everyone else here is saying that you can’t mix together any colors to get blue. They’re also saying that the three primary colors are red, yellow, and blue. They’re wrong on both counts.

True blue is a primary color and cannot be made by mixing any other colors together. However, a shade, tint, or color leaning from primary blue can be made by mixing black, white, or another color to it. Always be aware that whenever you mix all three primaries together in any combination you will get a color grey. There are several blues that cannot be made by mixing colors together. Blues such as cerulean/azure, royal blue and turquoise are chemically created to be chromatically pure versions of that particular blue.

In additive color (think your phone, TV, and computer screen, as well as the sun and light bulbs), the three primary colors are red, green, and blue, not red, yellow, and blue. So in additive color, you cannot mix colors together to get blue. In the subtractive color space (think things that reflect light, like an apple, a sheet of paper, you, and your clothes live), the three primary colors are cyan, magenta, and yellow.

When you go to the store to buy color ink for your printer, you see three colors of ink on the package (or you buy three separate ink cartridges instead of one). Look closely at the colors. They’re not red, yellow, and blue! The “red” color looks more like a pink color with a hint of blue in it. This is the magenta ink. The yellow one is actually yellow, and the “blue” color is a green-blue, which is called cyan. Cyan is blue and green and can be thought of as “minus red” since it absorbs red but reflects blue and green. Yellow absorbs blue but reflects red and green light and can be thought of as “minus blue.” Magenta absorbs green but reflects red and blue and can be thought of as “minus green.”

In subtractive color, we start with white light and subtract colors from it. Remember, light is additive color, and the three additive primaries are red, green, and blue. So to get blue, we need to subtract red and green. The two pigments, dyes, and inks we need to make blue need to subtract red and green, so if we mix the cyan and magenta inks together, the cyan will subtract red, and the magenta will subtract green, leaving only blue. 

This is exactly what your printer does. It’s also how you get the blue color in the Sunday comics. Next Sunday, buy a newspaper, get out a magnifying lens, and look closely at the Sunday comics. You’ll see that “red” is actually magenta+yellow ink, “green” is actually cyan+yellow ink, and “blue” is actually magenta-cyan ink.

What colors mixed together will make blue?

None! ‘blue’ is one of the pure “primary colours” along with pure ‘red, and pure yellow’. These ARE the only ones discovered that can’t be made out of mixing the other colours to produce them. They ARE the basis of making the rest of the rainbow, except for white and gray. Secondary colours are: blue + red=purple, red + yellow=orange, and then finally, blue + yellow=green. Which any good artist, or colourist can make ALL colours of the rainbow with these 5 (five) hues! Black is resulted in mixing all of them together, or by placing an extra percentage (amount) more blue into orange. Try it!

“Pure” colours are the total less contaiminated, absolute hue shade of colour that doesn’t lean towads, say bluish, or redish in tone. Different manufactures produce what minerals, earths ground, stones, bones (for whites) are their grades, or standards are Manufacturer B has other ideas and say, put their yellows in a more orangy tinge range to make it’s colour of yellow, for example.

Grays are, of course, are mixing of black and white (tints & tones), percentage amounts more of white, less of the black, and the eventual shade hue as the result. It gives the different grades of what artist call, “gradations” into their works. Believe it or not, there are more grays in nature than you probably realize. As children, we are told by our teachers that for shadows, you NEED to put in a little black for representing the dark shadows. Actually, the shadows are MORE of a gradation of tone of that particular colour (darker shade). Pure black represents total as darkness or absence of light (represented in pigment as white or yellow).

What two colors can be mixed to get a sky blue color?

There are only two basic blue pigments : ultramarine and phtalocyanine (which makes, with white, the primary blue). None of them can make a credible sky blue color : adding white, you get quasi-lavender with ultramarine, and quasi-turkish blue with phtalo. You have to mix them, and add a lot of white. And correct the mix till you get the right hue and brightness.
There is a more expensive pigment that you can find in high-end paintings, is indanthrene blue, that make a really beautiful sky blue.Choosing the right white (personnaly, I prefer, with blues, zinc white to titanium white) can also make the difference. Prussian blue is not at all appropriate.

What color does orange and blue make?

It depends whether you are talking about additive or subtractive colors. If you look at a light through a clear blue glass or celophane sheet, you see blue. Now if you put an orange sheet together with the blue sheet, you see black. The orange sheet doesn’t transmit the blue light passed by the blue sheet, and the the blue sheet doesn’t pass the light passed by the orange sheet: orange (or red and green, depending on what the spectrum of the sheet is that makes it look orange). If you color on a white paper with orange crayon on top of blue (or vice versa), you will get black (or a dark muddy color).

Light is reflected from the white paper and filtered by the blue and orange wax in the same way light was filtered by the colored plastic sheets. This is subtractive color: start with white light and allow pigments to absorb part of the spectrum resulting in colored light. This is the way most of us think of combining colors, at least if we did a lot of coloring in kindergarten or first grade.

On the other hand, if you shine a spotlight through that blue plastic and project a beam of light onto a white surface giving a blue spot, and then project another spotlight through an orange filter onto the same spot, you get both colors adding, so the light has a spectrum which is more or less a linear combination of the two. This is additive colors, where the resultant color is at the midpoint on the color diagram. It is also applicable to the RGB values you can type into Photoshop to generate colors. Try 0,0,255 for blue and 255,127,0 for orange.

Now add half of each of those to get the resultant additive color 127, 63, or 127-unsaturated purple. Scale that up to 255,127,255 for a brighter color the same shade. (PhotoShop 6 uses an integer 0-255 for color values, while the site linked above uses 0-1.000.) So this is the way graphic artists think about mixing colors.

What color do you get when you mix blue and yellow?

Originally Answered: What color do you get when you mix blue and yellow ? I assume we are talking about subtractive colour mixing here – that is, inks and paints etc. There is a problem. You will find images like the one below, that show that red, yellow and blue are the primaries and that yellow and blue make green.

Sometimes this is represented as a colour wheel:

what colors make blue

So some people say yellow and blue make green. And you will find other answers that say that yellow and blue make black. How can this be?

Well, we need to understand a little science to get to the bottom of this. The figure below shows what happens when you mix an ideal yellow pigment with an ideal blue pigment. The blue dye reflects light perfectly in about a third of the spectrum (and absorbs perfectly in the other two thirds). The yellow pigment reflects light perfectly in about two thirds of the spectrum (and absorbs perfectly in the other third).

The problem here is that the blue and yellow pigments (between them) absorb perfectly across the whole spectrum. The people who say that yellow and blue make black are saying so because of this argument. Note that blue is a particularly bad choice of primary because it absorbs so broadly across the spectrum. [Making the blue even purer would only make the problem worse by the way.] Yellow is a good choice of primary because it only absorbs in one third of the spectrum.

The problem is, the people who say that blue and yellow make black are wrong. This is because in practice reflectance spectra for blue and yellow pigments do not look like this. For a start, they are quite smooth. Here is a reflectance spectrum for a real yellow pigment.

Notice that with a real yellow colorant, it does not reflect perfectly in the middle and long wavelengths and it does not absorb perfectly in the short wavelengths It reflects and absorbs to some extent all the wavelengths but it absorbs more the shorter wavelength and absorbs less the middle and longer wavelengths. The same is true of a real blue pigment; it does not absorb perfectly at the middle and longer wavelengths. The consequence of this is that you don’t get black if you mix blue and yellow. You would get black if the pigments were ideal but they are not. We live in the real world. However, you certainly don’t get a lovely bright green as shown in the colour wheel with red, yellow and blue primaries. You get dark desaturated murky dirty greenish colour.

Now let’s see what happens when we mix cyan and yellow. We’ll start with the ideal colours.

It’s very nice. We get a lovely green colour. Cyan is a great subtractive primary because unlike blue it absorbs in only one third of the spectrum (the red or long wavelengths). Note that it is precisely because the cyan does not look pure that makes it a great primary – that’s why I get so furious about people saying the primaries are pure colours. The cyan looks bluish-green because it reflects in two thirds of the spectrum and only absorbs in the reddish part. Neither the cyan nor the yellow pigment absorb in the middle (green) part of the spectrum and therefore the result of mixing cyan and yellow is a lovely green. Except it is not quite true.

Remember, this is for ideal pigments. Real pigments do not look like that. Refer back to the measured reflectance spectrum for the real yellow pigment. In reality cyan and yellow do make green but the green might be a little less saturated than you may wish for because of the unwanted absorptions by the two pigments in the areas of the spectrum where ideally they would not absorb (it was the great Robert Hunt, who worked for many years at Kodak – for those who know him – who taught be about unwanted absorptions.)

Have you ever seen this happen. Of course, you have. Whenever you use a printer (which typically uses cyan, magenta and yellow primaries) to get a green, the printer is using cyan and yellow to make the green.

Remember those people who say that you can’t make blue because – yawn – it’s a pure colour that can’t be made by mixture? Well, have you ever printed out blue on a printer. Of course, you have. Let’s look again at our ideal primaries and see if we can explain it.

what colors make blue

That’s right. Mixing cyan and magenta makes blue. The cyan absorbs in one third (the red third) and the magenta absorbs in one third (the green third) but neither absorb the short wavelengths.

So finally you can see that the best subtractive primaries are cyan, magenta and yellow because the cyan is red absorbing, the magenta is absorbing and the yellow is blue absorbing. And what is more, you know understand why this is the case (rather than accepting dogma). You also understand why there is a relationship between the CMY of subtractive mixing and the RGB of additive mixing.

But don’t be fooled by this lovely subtractive colour mixing diagram. You might not get such lovely blue, green and red colours when you mix real CMY primaries (either on your printer or with inks/paints). Why not? Because of the unwanted absorptions.

If you want to know more you could do worse that get a copy of Measuring Colour, now in it’s 4th edition, and authored by Hunt and Pointer.

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What color does mixing green and blue make?

It depends on how much of each color you mix together. If blue predominates, it would be a green blue. If green predominates, it would be a blue-green. All colors usually stem from a primary or secondary which would be considered as the base color.

Blue is a primary. Blue becomes purple when added to the primary red and becomes a green when added to the primary yellow. Red and yellow together make orange. Thus purple , green and orange are considered as secondaries. A true secondary is usually created from equal amounts of two primaries,. A secondary may become the base color and is usually altered towards one of the primaries of which it consists.

It all depends on how much of any color is added to a base color. If blue is chosen as the base color, it becomes a greener blue. If green is chosen as the base color it becomes a bluer green. The addition of any amount of the third primary (red) to any blue green combination will tend to move that color to what is referred to as a color grey. Or what is commonly referred to as a “brown.”

The addition of black or white will alter any color into a shade (with black) or a tint (with white) and lower the chroma ( brightness) of the color added to. The addition of a color grey will also tend to dull the chroma (brightness or purity) of any color they are added to.


Blue is one of the primary colors, so it cannot be created by mixing two other colors. Red and yellow are the other two primary colors. The three primary colors, red, yellow, and blue, are the only colors that cannot be created by mixing other colors. Blue mixed with red makes purple; blue mixed with yellow makes green; and yellow mixed with red makes orange.

Purple, green, and orange are considered secondary colors because they are created by mixing only two primary colors. Tertiary colors are created by either mixing two secondary colors or mixing a secondary color with a primary color. That would depend on whether we are talking about light or pigment. In light, we talk about the primary colors being RGB, or red, green, and blue. Most screens and projectors are based on those primary light colors. In ink, we mix Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black, or CMYK.

People often say that blue is a primary colour and therefore cannot be mixed with other colours. This simply isn’t true. Mixing cyan and magenta will create blue. You have done this yourself many times; whenever you use a CMYK printer and print a blue, the printer is using a mixture of cyan and magenta inks to make the blue.

What colors mixed together will make blue?