On this page we look into what colors make blue on the different color models, and also, how to mix different shades for lighter and darker variations.

RYB color wheel.

The symbolic meaning of blue is trust, confidence, authority, and peacefulness, and it’s generally the world’s number one color in terms of popularity and being a favorite color.

Blue is a primary color on the RGB and RYB color models, and a secondary color on the CMY model. On the RGB model, which is basically known as additive colors of light, blue is the result of our eyes and brain interpreting the short wavelengths of the color spectrum, which is part of the electromagnetic spectrum.

What Colors Make Blue – CMY

On the CMY color model, blue is created by mixing colors cyan and magenta together. This is the standard model used for printer cartridges. The CMY model is the only color model that doesn’t have blue as a primary color. You will also notice that the primary colors on this model are the secondary colors on the RGB model.

What colors make blue.

Mixing Blue with Other Colors.

In school during art classes, we are told that blue can’t be created by mixing other colors. However, this is not actually true. The only reason blue is considered a primary color on the RYB model is because somebody somewhere decided it. The RYB model came to be because all other colors were believed to be created by mixing a combination of red, yellow, and blue.

As already mentioned, blue can be created by mixing cyan and magenta.

Mixing Different Shades of Blue

Once you have your blue, however, you achieve it. Now, if you want to create a light tint of blue, you could add and mix white with your pure blue. The white will lighten and weaken the blue color, creating a pale light blue.

Now, if you want to create a dark shade of blue, you can simply add the color black into the mix. This is the baseline for mixing lighter and darker shades of blue.

There are different shades of black and white, some are more pure than others. This will also influence the final outcome and shade.

Perhaps you are starting off with a different shade, such as navy, or azure blue. You can also experiment by adding black, white and various shades of gray to the mix. Other colors can also be added, for example, small amounts of yellow, red, and purple. Mixing small amounts is always recommended, especially with black and other darker colors. If you mix in too much of these darker colors, you will soon end up with a tone that is too dark.