Color Mixture

Additive color combinations happen when light sources of different wavelengths are added together. This is how colors are displayed on computer monitors and TVs. Web pages, for example, have codes that allow the author to specify the amount of different colors that can be added together. In the following examples, codes are used to combine different wavelengths of light and produce different colors.

Blue primary: Red=0%, Green=0%, Blue=100% (Hex #0000FF)

Blue

Red primary: Red=100%, Green=0%, Blue=0% (Hex #FF0000)

Red

Green primary: Red=0%, Green=100%, Blue=0% (Hex #00FF00)

Green

Let's start mixing!
If we add equal parts of red and green, we get ...

Red
Yellow
Green

In this case, yellow is Red=100%, Green=100%, and Blue=0% (Hex #FFFF00).

Let's add equal parts of red and blue:

Red
Purple
Blue

The above purple is red=100%, green=0, and blue=100% (Hex #FF00FF).

This is the result if we add equal amounts of blue and green:

Green
Aqua
Blue

The above combination is red=0, green=100%, and blue=100% (Hex #00FFFF)

What happens if we have equal amounts of all three primaries?

White

This one is red=100%, green=100%, and blue=100% (Hex #FFFFFF). Combining equal amounts of all three primaries gives us white.

What would the absence of all three primaries look like?

Black

Black is red=0%, green=0%, and blue=0% (Hex #000000). If we have none of the three primaries, we are left with nothing. This looks black because there is no light coming from it.

Colors on the web are generally expressed in hexidecimal. The first two digits of these codes represent red, the second pair represents green, and the last pair represents blue. 00 is an absence of a particular primary color, whereas FF is the maximal value for a particular primary. For example, #FF0000 is red, #00FF00 is green, and #0000FF is blue.