BreakThroughColour

'LEAP' DAY 8: COLOUR MATH

LEAP!Tracy HolmesComment

Three flavours, eight cones. Three colours, eight corners. Once you get a taste of how it works, Colour Math is as easy as eating ice cream . . .

 
 

3 PRIMARY COLOURS... BUT WHICH 3?

When I was a kid in primary school, I learned there were three ‘primary’ colours from which all other colours could be made: Red, Yellow, and Blue. You too?

Today, sitting at my computer, the screen glows with an almost infinite interaction of Red, Green, and Blue

In the printer behind me, the colour ink cartridges are Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow.

RYB, RGB, or CMY? Why? Why are there three different trios of 'primary colours'? And there are other trios other than these. And some aren't just trios, but sets of four, or more. And never mind colours, how do Black and White fit in to the mix? And if White is 'W' and Yellow is 'Y,' why is Black 'K'?

There are lots of answers to all those questions, and we'll get to them all eventually. But for now, you know what? It doesn't matter. Y? B-cause, G whiz, R you ready? BTC has them all!

No matter how you spin your wheel (even if it isn't a wheel), or make your way from ROY to G to BIV, or run the digits up and down to crack the codes in a BTC deck of 216 Colour Cards, from White to Black and everything in between, BreakThroughColour has it covered, corner to corner to corner...

THE POWER OF THREE

In 'Leap' Week 1, we leapt from 6 Basics Corner Hues, to 12, to 48. We found some same-and-almost-same versions and variations in the bigger BTC deck. We even met the Greys, a rather drab and dreary bunch by colour standards, but surprisingly influential as valuable members of our colour community.

There are 280 distinctly different Colour Cards in the BreakThroughColour collection (so far), but they all have something in common: the power of three. No matter what your primary trio, there's something to be said for how math-a-magically 3 becomes 8, as we learned during our recent visit to the ice cream parlour. BTC uses CMY – CyanMagenta, and Yellow – as its primary 'flavours.' Let's re-do yesterday's lesson and scoop ourselves some colour.

COLOUR BY THE SCOOP

They're not as tasty as Lupe's homemade helados, but here are BTC's starter scoops:

Pure and simple as primary elements (element primaries?), Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow keep their names as our first three Corner Hues.

Here's how those simple singles double up to give us our three other Corner Hues:

You can see by the sum that each of these Hues is the sum of two primary parts. But in BreakThroughColour, think of them as primaries too (primary twos?). It's important to know their ingredients as colour compounds, but call them by their new Hue names: Red, Green, and Blue, rather than M+Y, or C+Y, or C+M (or "Can you pass the NaCl?" or "Would you like a glass of H2O?").

Finally, to complete the power of three, here's empty White and flavourful, colour-full, triple-scoop Black:

WK scoops.jpg

COLOUR LAB

Three flavours = eight cones. Three colours = eight corners. Once you get a taste of how it works, Colour Math (with a little bit of Colour Chemistry thrown in) is as easy as eating ice cream. Get to know these eight basic equations, forwards and backwards if you can. Whether you're mixing in theoretical parts, portions, or percentages, by drop, dollop, square, slice, or scoop, if you learn these primary elements and compound combos, you'll have colour licked!
"R, G, and B have two scoops.
C, M, and Y have one.
Black sums them up with three scoops.
And White, all alone, has none."

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