31 votes

Why are RGB and CMY the primary colors?

TL;DR: The RGB model isn't really a model of how light works. It's a model of how our vision system processes color. Red, green, and blue are like keys that manipulate our vision system; that's what ...
fixer1234's user avatar
  • 11.5k
30 votes
Accepted

Why do pencils offer a larger color variety than watercolors?

The answer is quite simple really: you can mix watercolours (and paints in general), whereas you can't easily mix coloured pencils. For example: If I have two different blues - a light and a dark - ...
walrus's user avatar
  • 2,325
22 votes

Why do pencils offer a larger color variety than watercolors?

Something else that may help to explain the difference is that watercolor painters can be quite picky about which paints they choose for mixing. Each watercolor paint is made from 1 or more pigments, ...
EmKayDee's user avatar
  • 321
13 votes

Are there any downsides when painting with a cyan-magenta-yellow palette instead of the traditional yellow-blue and-red?

Cyan, magenta and yellow are actually the primary colors you should use when painting with inks and paints. (I'm surprised we didn't have this kind of question asked before, because most of us are ...
Elmy's user avatar
  • 13.1k
12 votes

Why are RGB and CMY the primary colors?

I'm the author of this image that was used in the top-voted answer: and I do not endorse that answer. (It's been edited, and I haven't looked at the edit yet.) I made that image to disabuse people of ...
benrg's user avatar
  • 221
9 votes

Dim lighting with colored pencils

If the light is coming from a candle, or group of candles, you're going to have very dramatic chiaroscuro lighting. Shadows should be very black, with not a lot of grey tones. Keep in mind that only ...
Paxwax's user avatar
  • 97
9 votes

Blocking Acrylic Yarn

Unlike natural fibers which can be blocked by simply shaping the item while wet, blocking acrylic requires heat. Many people try to wet-block acrylic the same way they would do wool, and they aren't ...
csk's user avatar
  • 1,781
9 votes
Accepted

How to mix paint given a hex color code?

RGB (Red Green Blue), is the common system for representing primary colors for emitted light. That's the color system used for computer monitors. The hex codes are a way of specifying the RGB values....
fixer1234's user avatar
  • 11.5k
8 votes
Accepted

When working in a visual medium, how do I avoid incorrect color?

As photographers know, the color of light is usually not white, and when working in your home, you're often working under tungsten bulbs (or similar) which have a warm tone to the light or with ...
Joanne C's user avatar
  • 3,423
8 votes
Accepted

Reliably identify the local color of a subject in non-white light?

Unless I am misunderstanding your question, the answer is embedded in the question itself. The purpose of a good gray-scale card is to give you a standardized point of reference for what is true ...
Robert Cartaino's user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

Giving epoxy resin an opaque color

I agree with Chris H's answer, and titanium dioxide powder is one of the best solutions (it's the go-to white pigment in most things; it's what is likely coloring the white acrylic paint, so you would ...
fixer1234's user avatar
  • 11.5k
7 votes

Giving epoxy resin an opaque color

In general, water-based products and epoxy don't mix well, and normal acrylics are water-based. Instead I'd try stirring in titanium dioxide powder (titanium white pigment). You probably wouldn't need ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 6,799
6 votes

Color sequence of a sunset

There are many versions of sunset. What colors will you be using depends on what type of sunset are you planning to paint. It is always the best to go out and observe. As always, I will be talking ...
Asleen's user avatar
  • 306
6 votes

What is a split primary palette?

A split primary palette is one that consists of two shades of each primary color: a "warm" one and a "cool" one. The idea is to produce mixtures that are less muddy by reducing contamination from the ...
Martha's user avatar
  • 1,818
6 votes

Is there such a thing as squeezing your values?

As a non-native English speaker I'm not too familiar with the expression 'pushing values', but I think the intent goes both ways, that is to say, it doesn't mean pushing them in one direction, but in ...
Joachim's user avatar
  • 11k
6 votes

Why are RGB and CMY the primary colors?

As a follow up to fixer's answer, there's no specific wavelength of R, G, and B that have to be used. They are chosen to get the largest possible range of what we can see. Also, as pointed out by ...
Spencer Fleming's user avatar
5 votes

Dim lighting with colored pencils

What helps me most when drawing is to study a couple inspiration images. I take the time to look very carefully at the colours (for example, when drawing and colouring clouds). In a dim lighting scene,...
EmRoBeau's user avatar
  • 1,134
5 votes
Accepted

Can I be a painter as a colorblind person?

You can be a painter, but you should expect to encounter more obstacles and limitations than a person with normal color vision. Have a look at the color wheel: Color wheel If two opposite colors ...
Elmy's user avatar
  • 13.1k
5 votes

What are the differences between different black oil paints?

The answer would be too broad because the different black pigments have all different characteristics as other pigments have in terms of hue/temperature, intensity/tinting, transparency, even value ...
user174174's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

How to mix burnt umber with the 3 primaries and black/white

I see several probable problems here: You use the wrong "primary" colors The quality of your paints might be low You try to replicate a certain pigment without actually using this pigment Let's look ...
Elmy's user avatar
  • 13.1k
5 votes

How to blend black to grey for dark paintings?

The fundamentals of painting and color theory: black is rarely used (of course it can be in certain instances). But when observing with the human eye, shadows or dark colors in general are typically ...
Lyssagal's user avatar
  • 1,771
5 votes

Creating a harmonious color wheel based on a new color system

Color wheels are not an artistic expression, they are a tool to model of how light (RGB, HSV/HSL and other color models) or paints and inks (YMC, the Munsell system and other color systems) are ...
Elmy's user avatar
  • 13.1k
5 votes
Accepted

Can Tea Staining Be Used on Wood That Has Already Had an Oil-Based Stain?

I wouldn't do it. The oil from the first stain will have penetrated the wood grains to a varying degree, and will prevent the tea and vinegar stain from distributing evenly. Now, this may not result ...
Joachim's user avatar
  • 11k
4 votes

When working in a visual medium, how do I avoid incorrect color?

Note: replace North with South if you are in the Southern hemisphere Generally speaking: aim to draw or paint in North light. North light is that which comes from windows facing North. If you're ...
Tom Medley's user avatar
  • 1,798
4 votes

What type of color should I use to color my shoes?

Shoe dye exists, in versions for leather and suede. They should work reasonably well on natural fibres but the effect on synthetic fibres is less reliable (try applying, leaving to dry, then rinsing ...
Chris H's user avatar
  • 6,799
4 votes
Accepted

What are requirements for ballpoint/rollerball colour pens for art-grade drawing?

I can definitely recommend a fine asian gel pen (kind of rollerball). It is precise and very easy to use, unlike many other tools I've tried so far. It's a perfect affordable tool for detailed ...
Mikhail V's user avatar
  • 236

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