Here's a puzzle: there are 3 primary colors; red, blue and yellow. . .
Mix them to get the other colors. Now, scientifically, WHITE is made up of all the colors; and BLACK is considered the absence of all color. How, then, when we mix all of the colors in the paint box, we get a muddy dark brown to black mess, instead of white???
The difference between light as an electromagnetic radiation and physicality. You have paint, the color blue. This means that the chemical composition of that mixture allows it to reflect blue only.
Well, you will never get white mixing colors in your paint box. The white color is subtractive, when we speak about paints or printers. There is a way you can get white light. The subtraction can be easily seen while mixing red and white. The result of such a mixture will be pink.
Let say you have 3 light sources (red, green and blue). If you mix them in required intensity, you will get white. That is because when speaking about light sources, the white is additive.
Light is additive in nature: that is, to arrive at white light, you must add red, green and blue light. That is why all the pixels in an LED videoboard are comprised of red, blue and green phosphors. It also explains how a prism is able to 'split' white light into its constituent components, which all 'add up' to white light.
Paints and pigments, however, are subtractive in nature. To get white pigment, you must subtract out all other colors. If you began with black and were able to subtract out the red and the blue, you would end up with yellow. (By the way, the only reason you have found that red + yellow + blue = muddy dark brown is because the pigments you have used are not purely balanced and differentiated. Try the same trick with some precisely varied watercolor tints of red, yellow and blue, and you'll get black. I often do it in my paintings.) The experiments of purple — red = blue, green — yellow = blue, and orange — yellow = red also illustrate that paints and pigments are subtractive.
When speaking of light, Newton described white light as composed of all colors.
Black is the absence, not of color, but of light.
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Why mixing all pigment colors does not equal white - is science wrong. Additive theory vs. subtractive theory - get to know your light colors read more
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