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Nürnberg, Mittelfranken, 2006-11-12 - 4:16 a.m.

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The sense of White - or - All coloured up.

Recently I bought for my printer a set of of different coloured 100 sheets – yellow, green, orange, blue, red – just in case that I ever had the idea to print something on coloured paper.

Later on (because I ever had the idea) I printed something on one of those sheets – I think it was an orange one – it was a document with a picture in it & when I watched the result – I noticed there was something wrong in the picture (a foto) - it looked very orangeish – like shot with a orange filter –

Hmm why ? - & then I got aware of my stupidity, that of course my printer doesn’t’ print white – there’s no white colour in an ink jet bubble printer - & I hadn’t thought about that. In fact I hadn’t thought anything but that my trusty old ink printer could of course print ‘any’ colour –

But he doesn’t print white, because he just leaves the white parts blank & mixes the lighter colours with the white of the paper – so if you use light blue, yellow or pink paper while printing a foto it probably looks like you used a color filter.

If paper usually would be black than there had to be a cartridge with white ink instead of a black cartridge. – Are there printers for black paper available?.- Or all-purpose printers with as well white as also black ink?
Even in our school we had this typical paint box, with a dozen colours to mix, but also a tube of white colour was added there.

There is the subtactive mixing of colours called the CMY- model or CMYK model (with black like in a printer) where the mix of the 3 colours yellow, cyan & magenta result gives all colours

& the additive mixing of colours, the RGB (Red Green Blue) model, on colour displays that shine or made out of light rays – here the mix of red green & blue result in white.

While I justed searched the web for pictures of colour mix circles I was surprised that the good old rules of colour mixing like I once learnt it school – seems to have changed by this CMY model – see here.

I was used that the 3 ground colours are yellow, red & blue – with these you mix orange violett (magenta) & green etc. – so orange is the complementory (countercolour) to blue, violett to yellow & red to green.

But if you watch the new colour scheme like in the picture above it’s more quite than slightly different – you see here turquoise is opposite to red, green to magenta and yellow to blue.

To complemtary colours I found in wikipedia:

A key assumption in Newton's hue circle was that the "fiery" or maximally saturated spectral hues were located on the circumference of the circle, while achromatic white was at the center. Then the saturation of the mixture of two spectral hues was predicted by the straight line between them; the mixture of three colors was predicted by the "center of gravity" or centroid of three triangle points, and so on. A logical consequence of this is that colors exactly opposite one another on the hue circle must be "complementary" colors -- colors that exactly cancel each other's hue to produce an achromatic (white, gray or black) mixture. Newton offered this as a conjecture, but it was demonstrated in the 19th century and is a basic fact of color vision..

According to traditional color theory, which is derived from paint mixtures, yellow mixed with purple, scarlet mixed with blue, or magenta mixed with green, produce an equivalent gray and are the painter's complementary colors. These contrasts form the basis of Chevreul's law of color contrast: colors that appear together will be altered as if mixed with the complementary color of the other color. Thus, a piece of yellow fabric placed on a blue background will appear tinted orange, because orange is the complementary color to blue.

Unfortunately, the artists' primary colors are not the same as complementary colors defined light mixtures, called visual complementary colors. Here the complement of purple is green, and the complement of yellow is blue. This discrepancy becomes important when color theory is applied across media. Digital color management uses a hue circle defined around the additive RGB primary colors, as these are the hues of the phosphors or diodes that create computer pixels, and the colors in a computer monitor are additive mixtures of light, not subtractive mixtures of paints.

I’m not convinced of the new CMY model – it’s a new media invention, used for printers & colour reproduction. – But the traditional painter who mixes his colours on a palette to with oil or aquarell colours, still is guided by the old color wheel like Goethe told in his ‘Farbenlehre’ (colour doctrine), which is derived from paint mixtures.

See here to left the modern CMY circle, – to the right the traditional Goethe’sche color circle.


As old fashioned traditionalist & former painter mixing my many colours of my Schmincke artists paint box - I still prefer the old colour cycle, except I by new cartridges for my printer..

PS: Did you notice that I changed my design a bit - look at the colourful pictures I put to the left & the right of this template - these are excerpts of the few pictures I once painted long time ago - In one of my next entries I will present a little galery of the few pictures I painted in that time..

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