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  1. #1
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    red and blue do NOT make purple!

    so my 6 year old son comes home the other day and they have been making a color wheel in art class. In this lesson they learned the primary colors red, blue and yellow and that mixing these gives you the secondaries purple, green and orange. they made me do this same exercise in art class in high-school.

    but red and blue don't make purple. so i told my son that there are 2 real sets of primary colors. CMYK and RGB one for print and one for light. and if you want purple you gotta mix about 75%cyan with about 100% magenta.

    this bug anybody else? fight the lie! : )


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    You can explain colors with more ways than just CMYK and RGB. "Red and blue make purple" is true in a lot of these ways.

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    well if you go for subtractive mixing (red yellow blue), like acrylics, red and blue make a dark purple.

    if you look at additive mixing (red green blue), red and blue make magenta

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    red and blue makes a nice dark muddy violet mabe, but that's not what they teach you with the color wheel. they show you a nice pretty purple and tell you that if you mix red and blue you'll get that. it's crap. the problem is that red has yellow in it already. so you pollute the mix. pink and light blue sure. red and dark blue, nope.

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    make sure they start him up on calculus this year too, you're never too young for the full truth.

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  10. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craig D View Post
    make sure they start him up on calculus this year too, you're never too young for the full truth.
    Haha, this is exactly what I thought.
    Dude, he's six. "Red and blue make purple" is pretty fair for that age level, I think.

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    I'm in college and I'm bieng tought the same stuff, it's because the teachers themselves don't know any better, because they're misinformed themselves. If you feel so strongly about this situation send a Munsell book or whatever to the teachers, I still doubt they're going to explain wavelenghts and photons to 6 year olds. I actually find it pretty amazing that 6 year olds get this stuff. My first encounter with the colorwheel in a school enviroment was my third year of highschool.
    In other words, it's good to be critical about what you're bieng taught, just don't make a big fuss about it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crawley View Post
    red and blue makes a nice dark muddy violet mabe, but that's not what they teach you with the color wheel. they show you a nice pretty purple and tell you that if you mix red and blue you'll get that. it's crap. the problem is that red has yellow in it already. so you pollute the mix. pink and light blue sure. red and dark blue, nope.
    As someone said he's six, give him a break.

    Also you seem a bit misinformed yourself. It depends on the KIND of red you're using Cadmium red would have more of a "Warm/yellow" red to it. If you used an Alizarin crimson you'll get a better combination of purple. It doesn't need to be Pink per say, but closer to the color range of the compliment you're trying to get.

    Of course color is relative, if you add a color that's close to compliment you're trying to get like dark saturated reds, to a desaturated yellow, the combination that works on your eye ...it reads as "Green"

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    i'm not really that indignant about it. i just wonder where that concept came from and why it's so pervasive. mix equal parts "red and blue and you will get purple jonny" then the kid mixes them gets muddy dark bluish grey and thinks.. gee i guess i did that wrong. i wondered it myself my freshman year when we did the same thing with acrylic paint.

    what suprised me was people on here defending it. maybe it's just because i work with the color so much here at lisa frank? i'm a wierdo, i know.

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    Because if someone talked you in Paint names when you were learning just basic colors you'd be going "buh?"

    I still remember kids going "Buh" if you asked them to hand over a crayola color. These kids only remember the name of the color if it's "pretty" not for mixing. So it's dumbed down for a six year old.

    Now if you're paying for an art education on the other hand, I feel you have every right to bitch and moan about it.

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    wait.. this is news to me that red and blue dont make purple.... they dont???

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    Depends on your definition of "red," "blue," and "purple."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crawley View Post
    ... mix equal parts "red and blue and you will get purple jonny" then the kid mixes them gets muddy dark bluish grey and thinks.. gee i guess i did that wrong. i wondered it myself my freshman year when we did the same thing with acrylic paint.
    Yeah I remember the same thing - they told me it would work and it didn't, I was so dissapointed!

    Though I believe that by definition, red and blue do make purple, which is a fake violet that appears that way because our eyes/brain can't handle it properly (Check out "Vision and Art - The biology of Seeing" by Margaret Livingstone):


    From Wikipedia:
    ***
    Pure violet cannot be reproduced by a Red-Green-Blue (RGB) color system, but it can be approximated by mixing blue and red. The resulting color has the same hue but a lower saturation than pure violet.
    ...
    There is no such thing as the "wavelength of purple light"; it only exists as a combination.[3]
    ...
    Some common confusion exists concerning the color names "purple" and "violet". Purple is a mixture of red and blue light, whereas violet is a spectral color.

    ***

    In terms of paint, some tube violets are real violet - some are just crappy old purple

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    unless what you call red is actually pink it's not going to give you that nice purple they promise. it's like an art myth.

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    This is what happens when you give colours names.
    The truth will set you free,
    but first it's gonna piss you off!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crawley View Post
    so my 6 year old son comes home the other day and they have been making a color wheel in art class. In this lesson they learned the primary colors red, blue and yellow and that mixing these gives you the secondaries purple, green and orange. they made me do this same exercise in art class in high-school.

    but red and blue don't make purple. so i told my son that there are 2 real sets of primary colors. CMYK and RGB one for print and one for light. and if you want purple you gotta mix about 75%cyan with about 100% magenta.

    this bug anybody else? fight the lie! : )
    I'll chime in myself. He's SIX!!!!!! Forgive him for not being Pantone Savvy! Most kids believe red & blue = purple. Who cares what kind of purple? Besides, blue is easier to remember than cyan because cyan is not used in everyday language, same as red as compared to magenta. Who goes around saying, "Hey did you see hot magenta car?" or "I was appreaciating the clear cyan sky?" Skies are not even blue. Its a subtractive mixing of some wierd color that's too complicated for me to formulate. LOL! A % of color A minus a % of color B. ROFL!!!!!! Man I shouldn't have signed in with a beer by my side. Did you know there is no such thing as BLACK colored hair?? Another formula . . .

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    i don't want to throw out the color wheel. it works nicely, especially for talking about color schemes. just the one concept of mixing red and blue to make purple. i don't particularly want zander going around talking about cyan and magenta. is pink too complex of a word. mix pink and blue. start with pink and add blue till you get the color you want. corse pink is another name that could mean anything from almost white to almost red. so ... yeah....

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    the %'s come from working in CMYK for pringting for the last 11 years. still hard to wrap my head around RGB mixes where Red plus Green makes yellow.. that's wild to me.

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    hmmm. ok, so red light and blue light can make purple. that's good to know. not in equal parts equal parts in light make magenta. but full on blue light and about half intensity red light apparently do. - thanks puck

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crawley View Post
    but red and blue don't make purple. so i told my son that there are 2 real sets of primary colors. CMYK and RGB one for print and one for light.
    Primary colors are a complex and problematic concept. And there are more than two "real" sets (if indeed there are any).
    http://www.handprint.com/HP/WCL/color6.html
    http://www.huevaluechroma.com/072.php

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  33. #23
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    Elwell- ah, i didn't realize i said there were only 2, let me eat a few more of my own words. i still say alot of teachers even highschool teachers will give you a tube or red and a tube of blue acrylic paint and expect you to produce a color that you can't. i find that a little odd.

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    Now I know why I always mess up my color wheel assignments.

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    Soylent Purple... IS.... PEOPLE!

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    They should teach the 6 years old kids the difference of fuchsia and process magenta

    Also should explain them the printing methods

    red and blue do NOT make purple!


    and of course the proper name for the colors

    Shades of violet

    Amethyst
    Byzantium
    Eggplant Fuchsia
    Han purple
    Heliotrope
    Indigo
    Lavender (floral)
    Lavender Lilac
    Mauve
    Periwinkle
    Persian indigo
    Purple
    Thistle
    Violet
    Wisteria


    Shades of Pink


    Amaranth
    Amaranth pink
    Brink pink
    Carmine pink
    Carnation pink
    Cerise
    Cerise pink
    Cherry blossom pink
    Coral pink
    Dark pink
    Deep carmine pink
    Deep pink
    French rose
    Fuchsia
    Fuchsia pink
    Hollywood Cerise
    Hot magenta
    Hot pink
    Lavender pink
    Light pink
    Light thulian pink
    Magenta
    Mountbatten pink
    Persian pink
    Persian rose
    Pink Puce
    Rose
    Rose pink
    Salmon pink
    Shocking pink
    Tea rose
    Thulian pink
    Ultra pink
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crawley View Post
    i don't want to throw out the color wheel. it works nicely, especially for talking about color schemes.
    The traditional colour wheel kinda sucks.

    I remember years ago wondering where my flourescent yellow marker pen fitted on that wheel.

    The Munsell blob is far more accurate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kfeeras View Post
    well if you go for subtractive mixing (red yellow blue), like acrylics, red and blue make a dark purple.

    if you look at additive mixing (red green blue), red and blue make magenta
    Yeah, whenever I'm using acrylics, I pretty much ALWAYS use red and blue to make purple, then add some light or dark colors to it depending on the purple I want. Ex: White to make it paler.

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    My dad is good at math. When I was little he’d look at my math homework and be upset because he thought the teacher was teaching everything incorrectly. He would tell me to use his own complicated formulas instead. I told him that wasn’t how we were taught to do it, and that wasn’t how the other kids do it, and it he said “the other kids are stupid.” It just made math needlessly complicated and now I hate math. I’m not saying it’s his fault I hate math but he wasn’t helping.

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    Quote Originally Posted by •Lindsay• View Post
    My dad is good at math. When I was little he’d look at my math homework and be upset because he thought the teacher was teaching everything incorrectly. He would tell me to use his own complicated formulas instead. I told him that wasn’t how we were taught to do it, and that wasn’t how the other kids do it, and it he said “the other kids are stupid.” It just made math needlessly complicated and now I hate math. I’m not saying it’s his fault I hate math but he wasn’t helping.
    hahaha I tend to hate what people close to me are obsessed with also

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