Secondary Colors

  • 07 Apr 2008 13:16
  • 68

What are Secondary Colors?

Understanding secondary colors is essential for both art and design. Artists deal with pigments by using the subtractive model. This allows you to have a set primary colors, from which you can create secondary colors. The additive color model is used for computer graphics and light. This is because colors become darker when mixed with color pigments. However, if you mix light colors, they get lighter. These terms are now discussed in greater detail below.

Secondary colors Definition

Secondary colors are not possible to create, unlike primary colors. How do you make secondary colors? The secondary colors for artists working with paint pigments are green, purple and orange. For designers working with the light spectrum magenta yellow and cyan are secondary colors. All other colors are derived directly from these secondary colors.

Create Secondary Colors from Paint Pigments

To create secondary colors using paint pigments, artists must start with the primary colors red, yellow and blue. You can take two primary colors, such as blue and yellow, and combine them to make the color green. You can create purple by blending red and blue. Or, to make orange, you can blend red with yellow. These secondary colors include green, purple, or orange. Mixing primary colors requires that you use equal amounts of each color, creating a pure hue which can be altered later. This can be done by changing the hue to lighter or darker, and then adding black, gray or white.

Through the blending of color pigments, the primary colors of red, yellow, and blue create secondary colors of green and purple.

Create Secondary Colors from Light

Using pigments, you can create secondary color. Visible light is another way to create secondary colors. This can be seen on the screen of your TV or cell phone. The three primary colors that you should use in this instance are red, blue, and green (RGB).

You can create yellow by mixing green and red, or magenta and blue together, or cyan and green combined. These secondary colors are created using visible light, not pigments.


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Sherry Peterson By, Sherry Peterson
Sherry Peterson is an editor for Sanford. She has a passion for home gadgets and beautiful design and loves to share her finds with others. Sherry has been working in the publishing industry for over 10 years and is excited to bring her expertise to Sanford's readers.
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