Mixing a Nice Purple

Mixing a Nice Purple


It’s been a while since I’ve painted some still lifes. In college and for a while after, I almost exclusively painted still lifes. I enjoyed painting them, but didn’t have an audience for them at the time. I’m ready for another go though. My still life project was originally going to be a 30 in 30 challenge, but I was so excited to finish these paintings perfectly that I didn’t want to subject them to the rush of the challenge. I suppose that is part of the challenge though. Letting go of perfection. Next time. I promise. 😉

Overall, I’m happy with this painting. However, the purple I mixed up is really muddy and not at all what I was going for. I need to up my purple game. It appears I’m good at making and using really dark purples and purposfully muddy purples, but I failed to create a nice bright purple. The problem appears to be using reds and/or blues containing yellow. I have a very warm purple, but not the bright purple I was aiming for.


After my initial failure to mix a nice purple, I messed around with just mixing paint for a while. I found that the best combination for a nice purple from the paint currently in my stash is French ultramarine blue and permanent rose.

20170112-IMG_7210-2Sometimes, I like to convert images of my art to black and white before I finish them. It can really emphasize where the values need to be adjusted. For instance, I can see a couple of areas that need adjustment. On the onion, the reflected light on the right and the shadow on the lower right and around the stem need to be darkened. The table mid right could also be lightened. This next week, I will repaint this using (hopefully) a much brighter and prettier purple and adjust my values where needed.



4 thoughts on “Mixing a Nice Purple”

    • Thank you! I’m still working out all of the kinks since moving over to self hosted. It makes sense why I haven’t been getting very many likes ;). Thank you for bringing this to my attention.

  • Hi Amber, Thats a nice idea of converting the painting to black and white to check the values of your colours. I have started painting a few months ago and I really struggle with colour mixing. I can never seem to get the colour I want. Guess it comes with practice. Really like your paintings.

    • Thank you! When I was first getting back into painting I had a really hard time mixing colors I wanted. I ended up making some color charts that I could use as cheat sheets when I got stuck. It really helped.

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