To start off this post, let’s first explain what the basic colors of light is. That is namely, red, blue and green.

This is different from the basic components of color which, as we know, are red, blue and yellow.

Now the world of light is different from the world of colors.

In the world of color, red and blue gives purple. red and yellow gives orange, blue and yellow gives green. Sounds all very logical and intuitive. so far so gd.

But in the world of light, everything’s not so intuitive anymore.

Red and Blue light gives Magenta (Purplish color)<–gd gd..

Blue and green light gives Cyan (that’s peacock blue) <– still ok…

But. Red and green light gives you Yellow. <– now tt’s strange dun you think?

How come Red and Green light gives Yellow??

Having said all these, here’s a trivia for you:

let’s go back to colors. Think of your paints. Paints have color not because they emit light but rather because they take away some of the colors from white light.

White light, as most of you should know, contain all the colors of the rainbow: red orange yellow green blue indigo violet.

Because they take away colors from white light, any combination of paint takes away even more colors away from white light. Thus, a combination of paints works differently to a combination of colored lights.


with this in mind, we look at the following combination of paints:

magenta paint reflects red and blue light to the eye (absorbing green)
yellow paint reflects red and green light to the eye (absorbing blue)
Cyan paint reflects blue and green light to the eye (absorbing red)

In this sense, mixing yellow and cyan means blue and red is absorbed, reflecting green light to the eye. i.e. cyan plus yellow = green paint!

interesting rite?

Now you might wonder, isnt it yellow and blue gives you green? Why yellow and cyan?

And anyone with a bit of logic can see for themselves (though i shall kindly point it out to you) that since

yellow paint reflects red and green light to the eye (absorbing blue) and

blue paint reflect only blue and absorb red and green light,

a combination of those two should effectively absorb everything/ reflect everything!

i.e. Yellow paint and Blue paint should in fact give you a hueless black! or grey! or even white. but not green! (or any other color for that matter) <—strange, yes?

But we all know that this does not happen…

Well, believe it or not, wat i just pointed out is correct. Yellow and Blue paint should, by right, give you a hueless color. So, what gives?

oh boy. =)

Dun you just love these mind boggling puzzles? I’ve discovered the answer to this qn quite some time ago… but i shant spoil it for ya all… haf fun thinking it over. ^^ i’ll explain next time. ta~