Beyond the Color Wheel – Lesson 2


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Beyond the Color Wheel
Taught By: Luiza Budea

Lesson 2:  Why is the Yellow the Brightest Primary Color?

For centuries artists have designated RED, YELLOW, and BLUE as the primary colors, and that is still how art is taught by default, without bothering to explain why. But today the traditional primaries are being upended by new developments. This lesson will present the combination of factors that led to the choice of red, yellow, and blue as the three primary colors, with a special focus on the science behind our sense of sight and the basic optical principles of reflectivity.

  • RGB, CMY, RYB – why is each one used, how is it suited to its purpose?
  • Additive vs. subtractive color
  • What happens when we mix paints?
  • Why are RED, YELLOW, BLUE the primary colors for painting?
  • Why do my colors look muddy?  – what creates muddy color and how to avoid it


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