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Mixing Colorants, Pigments, Dyes, And Printing

Color fills our world with beauty. We delight in the golden yellow leaves of Autumn and the beauty of Spring flowers. Color can serve as a means of communication, to indicate different teams in sports, or, as in traffic lights, to instruct drivers when to stop and go. Manufacturers, artists, and painters use different methods to produce colors in various objects and materials. The process of mixing of colorants, paints, pigments and dyes is entirely different from the mixing of colored light.

Colorants are chemical substances that give color to such materials as ink, paint, crayons, and chalk. Most colorants consist of fine powders that are mixed with liquids, wax, or other substances that facilitate their application to objects. Dyes dissolve in water. Pigments do not dissolve in water, but they spread through liquids. They are made up of tiny, solid particles, and they do not absorb or reflect specific parts of the spectrum. Pigments reflect a mixture of colors.

When two different colorants are mixed, a third color is produced. When paint with a blue pigment is mixed with paint that has yellow pigments the resulting paint appears green. When light strikes the surface of this paint, it penetrates the paint layer and hits pigment particles. The blue pigment absorbs most of the light. The same color looks different against different background colors. Each pigment subtracts different wavelengths.

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Cluster compound to ConcupiscenceColor - Light And Color, Rainbows, Refraction: The Bending Of Light, Diffraction And Interference, Transparent, Translucent, And Opaque