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Color Paintbox

Did you know that you are able to make all of the colors of the COLORCUBE with just cyan, magenta, yellow, and white? Mixing paint can be great fun and an educational experience!

Related Article:
Color Mixing

Have more fun with:
Optical Illusions
3D Screensavers
Dimensions of Color

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Click on any of the colored buttons below to add a drop of new paint to the paint bucket. Track the moving circle on the the COLORCUBE image to see where the new color you've just mixed lies in the cube.

You can also add in the secondary colors red, green and blue to the paint bucket. Red is made up of yellow and magenta. Green is made up of yellow and cyan. Blue is made up of cyan and magenta.

Adding black (equal quantities of cyan, magenta and yellow) darkens the current color. Adding white lightens the current color.

Hitting the reset button allows you to force the paint bucket color to one of the 8 outer vertices of the COLORCUBE.


When adding a new drop of color to the bucket, the simulation first removes 10% of the paint, and then adds back in an equal quantity of new paint. This is also how you would normally mix paint on a painters palette, grabbing an existing quantity of color, then adding in additional paint.

It requires a lot of additional paint to get the paint color back to a pure primary color.

If you add an opposite secondary color to a primary color, you will get black. Red is the opposite secondary color to cyan. Green is the opposite secondary color to magenta. Blue is the opposite secondary color to yellow.

Historically it has been taught that the primary colors are red, yellow, and blue. However, you can make red from yellow and magenta, and you can make blue from cyan and magenta.

The reason cyan, magenta and yellow combined makes black is that when mixed together, they absorb all of the spectral colors. Cyan absorbs red, magenta absorbs green, and yellow absorbs blue.

Magenta is a unique primary color, in that it does not exist in the spectrum!

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