Lets Talk about the colour Purple

Lets Talk about the colour Purple

Because purple is derived from the mixing of a strong warm primary colour (Red) and strong primary cool colour (Blue) it has both warm and cool properties. This intriguing colour is seen as one of mystery and has a special, almost sacred place in nature: lavender, orchid, lilac, and violet flowers are often delicate and considered precious.


A purple room can boost a child's imagination or an artist's creativity. Too much purple though, can result in moodiness and depression so probably not a good choice for your studio walls!.

Interestingly, Purple is the colour of mourning for widows in Thailand, it was the favorite colour of Egypt's Cleopatra and the 1980’s pop-star Prince with it featuring a lot in his career and wardrobe probably because Purple is seen to be the colour of royalty, nobility and spirituality (How surprising really as  Prince saw himself as a prince and well  Cleo, she was actually a Queen!). Purple robes were worn by royalty and people of authority or high rank.


In art purple is the colour on the colour wheel between magenta and violet and its tints and shades. In colour theory purple is defined as any non-spectral colour between violet and red (excluding violet and red themselves). The spectral colours violet and indigo are not purples according to colour theory but they are purples according to common English usage since they are between red and blue. Royal purple or the dark violet colour known as vulgar purple is the common layman's idea of purple, but professional artists, following Munsell colour system (introduced in 1905 and widely accepted by 1930), regard purple as being synonymous with a more red-violet colour, in order to clearly distinguish purple from violet and thus have access to a larger palette of colours. This red-violet colour, called artist's purple by artists, is the pigment colour that would be on a pigment colour colour wheel between pigment violet and pigment magenta. In the Munsell colour system, this colour at the maximum chroma of 12 is called Red-Purple.

I try to keep a basic colour chart with me when working on commissions as often the colour you thought would work for something could have morphed into an entirely different shade. his happens to me with purple, it often turns into a burgundy colour but that could be reflected in a nice red wine! Its still purple though isn't it!


 A deep or bright purple suggests riches while lighter purples like mauve are more romantic and delicate. Use redder purples for a warmer colour scheme or the bluer purples to cool down.

A deep eggplant purple with neutral tans or beige is an earthy, conservative colour combination with a touch of the mystery that purple provides. Green and purple together can be a striking combination in deep or bright jewel tones or try using lighter shades for a cheerful, spring like feel. Pink and purple has feminine appeal and work really well together.I think my friend Brya should invest in a purple toaster to go with her new pink fridge!

Posted: Wednesday 3 February 2010


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