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Re: Primary Colors


From: Woody Duncan (wduncan_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Nov 30 2000 - 19:21:59 PST

It's an old argument that was settled 100 years ago as to using
RYB in art education in the USA. I don't know what the newest
authority might be to change back to MCY. At the elementary
level I'd stick with a basic system like RYB, but using MCY would
work as well. It just might put them in conflict with other teaching
later. Conflict is good, I have it with every science teacher my kids
have. Artists teach art, anyone who is assigned teaches science.
I try to get it into my students head that there are several color
theories, depending on the materials used, and some conflicts arise.
RBG primaries for light (computers and televisions, mixing light) and
RYB primaries for pigments (mixing paints) like in art class, or
MCY primaries for color photography (subtractive) as in the darkroom
or in commercial color printing.
Using MCY for pigment primaries works and it creates some
nice variations on secondary colors. What's most important is to
open the students minds and make them inquisitive. Let them
understand that's it's just a theory and we live in a world of
practice. I'm sure this is like mixing complements, it sure
muddies up things. But it creates such rich vibrant mud.
That's why I don't buy brown paint.
Creating Mud in KC, Woody

menichino wrote:
> Hi all --
> I've recently had it brought to my attention that the current accepted
> primary colors are magenta, cyan, and yellow. I teach elementary art and
> I'm wondering if I really need to point out that fact or if I should
> continue referring to the primary colors the way I always have -- red,
> yellow, and blue!
> Anyone have an opinion?
> Thanks --
> Liz in rural NY

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