Re: physics trick

From: Natasha Vita-More (
Date: Mon Jan 22 2001 - 23:04:32 MST

At 11:34 AM 1/22/01 -0800, Hal wrote:

>As every visual artist knows, mixing paints is a subtractive color
>process. Mix red and green and you will get a dirty brownish gray.
>Putting colors side by side is an additive process, as when you look
>at your color monitor or TV up close. Combining red and green will
>give you a bright yellowish white.

I suppose when thinking of one color eating up another color by dirtying
it, but In painting, we mix and blend primary colors to achieve secondary
colors. We mix red and blue to get the hue of violet; we mix yellow and
blue to get the hue of green; and red and yellow to get the hue of orange
in the visible spectrum. While these are secondary colors, they are colors
and unless we use an intensely magnify the blended color to view the
individual pigments they are achieved by mixing and do appear to be mixed.
And then, of course, the idea of mixing colors may be a romantic illusion.

An exception was George Seurat (1859 - 1891) founder of neoimpressionism
who developed the method of pointilism which was the placement (or
"flicks") of one hue next to another hue (not mixing them) to achieve a
secondary color. These tiny dots of brilliant color were supposed to merge
the viewer's eye and produce intermediary tints of color more luminous than
those obtained by mixing colors on a palette and then apply the mixed color
to the canvas.

In digital pieces, we think we blend pixels, but they are still pixels.

"Lights of red, green, and blue wavelengths may be mixed to produce all
colors. b. Subtractive or colorant primaries magenta, yellow, and cyan.
Substances that reflect light of one of these wavelengths and absorb other
wavelengths may be mixed to produce all colors." (dictionary)


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