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Subtractive coloring

Subtractive color mixing: adding magenta to yellow yields red; adding all three primary colors together yields black

Subtractive coloring uses dyes, inks, pigments, or filters to absorb some wavelengths of light and not others. The color that a surface displays comes from the parts of the visible spectrum that are not absorbed and therefore remain visible. Without pigments or dye, fabric fibers, paint base and paper are usually made of particles that scatter white light (all colors) well in all directions. When a pigment or ink is added, wavelengths are absorbed or "subtracted" from white light, so light of another color reaches the eye.

If the light is not a pure white source (the case of nearly all forms of artificial lighting), the resulting spectrum will appear a slightly different color. Red paint, viewed under blue light, may appear black. Red paint is red because it scatters only the red components of the spectrum. If red paint is illuminated by blue light, it will be absorbed by the red paint, creating the appearance of a black object.


Color sections
Intro  Physics of color  Perception  Associations  Spectral colors and color reproduction  Additive coloring  Subtractive coloring  Structural color  Mentions of color in social media  Additional terms  See also  References  External links and sources  

Subtractive coloring
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