Complementary color

From Academic Kids

There are two separate but equally valid sets of complementary colors, depending on whether you're referring to additive systems, where light is emitted, or subtractive systems, where (ideally white) light is reflected.

Complementary colors in additive systems

Two colors are called complementary if, when mixed in an additive system, they produce a shade of white. The additive complementary pairs are:

Due to the cytology of the human eye, all perceived colors are based on combinations of red, green, and blue. Cyan light is (ideally) equal parts green and blue. Magenta light is ideally equal parts red and blue. Yellow light is ideally equal parts red and green. (Remember, if in doubt, check additive colors.) Therefore, the complimentary pairs all accomplish the feat of your eye seeing equal parts of the 3 colors it discerns, in which case it perceives a shade of white.

Complementary colors in subtractive systems

In subtractive systems such as paints, pigments, and dyes, two complementary colors mix to produce the color of the illuminant. Because of the limited range of colors that was available throughout most of the history of art, many artists still use a traditional set of complementary pairs, including:

On a color wheel, the complementary colors will be opposite one another. The use of complementary colors is an important aspect of aesthetically pleasing art and graphic design.de:Komplementärfarbe fr:Couleur complémentaire nl:Complementaire kleur

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