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Primary, Secondary, And Complimentary

Three colorants that can be mixed in different combinations to produce several other colors are the primary colorants. In mixing red, green, and blue paint the result will be a muddy dark brown. Red and green paint do not combine to form yellow as do red and green light. The mixing of paints and dyes is entirely different from the mixing of colored light.

By 1730, a German engraver named J. C. LeBlon discovered the primary colors red, yellow, and blue are primary in the mixture of pigments. Their combinations produce orange, green, and violet. Many different three colored combinations can produce the sensation of white light when they are superimposed. When two primary colors such as red and green are combined, they produce a secondary color. A color wheel is used to show the relationship between primary and secondary colors. The colors in this primary and secondary pair are called complimentary. Each primary color on the wheel is opposite the secondary color formed by the mixture of the two primary colors. And each secondary color produced by mixing two primary colors lies half-way between them on a color wheel. The complimentary colors produce white light when they are combined.

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