Color Week 36 Purple

Quinacrodone Violet

Purple is generally, any color with hue between red and blue. In contemporary times purple is often associated with rarity, royalty, magic and piety. But purple has lots of history:

  • The word actually derives from the name of Tyrian purple dye manufactured from mucus secreted by the spiny dye-murex snail. The dye came from the Phoenician trading city of Tyre. An incredible amount of mucus was needed to yield a tiny amount of dye.
  • Laws were actually introduced to protect the color’s use. It was used exclusively for the imperial classes in Rome, Egypt and Persia.
  • In 1547 when Henry Howard, the Earl of Surrey was tried for high treason against Henry VIII the evidence against him included that he had been seen wearing purple which only the king was allowed to wear.
  • In 1856, an18 year old chemist accidentally created a synthetic purple compound while attempting to synthesize quintine, an anti malaria drug.
  • Purple hues in painting were made from mixing cobalt blue with madder.
  • Purple has been a regal color used by royalty, it was used by the Women’s Suffrage movement as one of their colors and purple was associated with the psychedelic drug culture of the 1960s – ‘Purple Haze’
  • And not least, purple was a favorite color of Waneta, my mother. She would have reached 100 years next week…so we celebrate her color here

It seems the color purple has certainly been on a remarkable journey

arts and collections

MIxing a purple watercolor includes a


A few cool warm color results

OR you can purchase a Purple such as Quinacrodone Violet shown at the top of this post and compared with mixed colors here

That generic purple is a watercolor pan that was included in a set of colors from years ago!

Some purple from the garden and a sketch.

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