Why does mixing blue and yellow create green?

In summary: Is this something that can be simulated or is there a way to measure the absorption spectra of these mixtures?
  • #1
Zalajbeg
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I am curious about how mixing paints works. If I mix an ideal paint A and an ideal paint B what is the product mixture C? Is it (Option 1) a mixture absorbs all the range A absorbs and absorbs all the range B absorbs OR is it (Option 2) a mixture with original A and B pigments therefore some pigments reflecting what A reflects and some pigments reflecting what B reflects.

If the Option 1 is true then it would not be possible to get a colour like orange with cyan-magenta-yellow model as mixing magenta and yellow would create something absorbs both green and blue. The product would be red.

If the Option 2 is true then I wonder how is it possible to get a red colour. As in this option mixing magenta and yellow would create a mixture with pigments reflecting blue & red and pigments reflecting green & red. The product must be something like (R:255, G:128, B:128), as all the pigments are reflecting red, half of them reflecting blue and half of them reflecting green.

Also from my childhood I remember mixing yellow and blue and getting a greenish colour. When I study the subtractive model it does not make sense.

If we consider the Option 1 is true then it means mixing yellow (absorbs blue) and blue (absorbs red and green) should make it black. If Option 2 is true I should have something reflecting all the primary colours and get a white or gray. Why mixing blue and yellow makes green? Is it because the pigments are not ideal?
 
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  • #2
  • #3
kuruman said:

Thanks for the link. I agree that full level of yellow and a partial level of magenta creates orange. However my problem is rather on the mechanisms of the paint mixing.

My questions are basically:

* How do I get orange by mixing yellow and magenta, in other words if magenta absorbs the green light how does the mixture reflects some?
* How do I get red by mixing yellow and magenta, what makes the mixture absorbing all the green light?
 
  • #4
I think subtractive absorption seems to be simply placing bandpass filters in series. These filters are very broad and imperfect. It is difficult to talk through results unless we have the response curves for the filters and the wavelengths being applied. The colour printing experts seem to have been able to work it all out.
 

Related to Why does mixing blue and yellow create green?

What is the purpose of mixing paints?

The purpose of mixing paints is to create new colors or shades by combining different colors together. This allows artists to have a wider range of colors to work with and to achieve the desired color for their artwork.

How do you mix paints?

To mix paints, you can use a palette or a mixing tray. Start by placing a small amount of each color you want to mix on the palette. Then, use a paintbrush or palette knife to blend the colors together until you achieve the desired color. You can also mix paints directly on the canvas by layering different colors on top of each other.

What are primary colors and why are they important in mixing paints?

Primary colors are red, blue, and yellow. They are important in mixing paints because they cannot be created by mixing other colors together. Instead, they are used to create all other colors. By mixing primary colors together, you can create secondary and tertiary colors.

How does the color wheel help with mixing paints?

The color wheel is a tool that shows the relationship between different colors. It is divided into primary, secondary, and tertiary colors. By using the color wheel, you can easily determine which colors to mix to create a specific color. For example, to create orange, you can mix equal parts of red and yellow.

Are there any rules for mixing paints?

There are no strict rules for mixing paints, as it is a form of art and creativity. However, there are some guidelines that can help you achieve better results. For example, it is recommended to start with lighter colors and gradually add darker colors to avoid making the color too dark. It is also important to mix enough paint to cover your entire surface to ensure consistency in color.

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