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Re: Primary Colors


From: Maggie White (mwhiteaz_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Nov 30 2000 - 18:00:44 PST

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!


The magenta, cyan, and yellow combo--along with black--are used by

I changed my whole outlook on "primary colors" after reading the book
"Blue and Yellow Don't Make Green;" the book's at school so can't
remember the author. In it he explains what those of us who trained as
painters discovered in a hit-or-miss fashion: different types of blues
mixed with different types of yellows don't make the same type of green,
based on their "bias." For instance, a green mixed with cerulean blue
(a cool blue with a green bias) and chrome yellow (a cool yellow with a
green bias) is a very different green than that made with ultramarine
blue (a warm blue with a violet bias) and cadmium yellow (a warm yellow
with an orange bias). It's a great read for any artist working with
color, and I've used his principles in my HS classes, but it may be more
than you'd want to teach to your elementary kids.