In color mixing, a distinction is made between additive and subtractive color mixing. Both color mixing processes use the inertia and limited color resolution of the human eye to create a subjective color impression.
Additive color mixing involves the addition of emitting colored light sources (temperature emitters). In this color mixing, which is used in screens, among other things, several additive primary colors are mixed to form a new color. In monitors, the primary colors red, green and blue are used to produce as many naturally occurring hues as possible.
If the primary colors green, red, blue( RGB) are mixed additively with the same intensity, white is produced. The additive color mixing of two primary colors produces a primary color for subtractive color mixing. The basic color corresponds to the secondary color of the additive color mixing. Thus, the additive mixing of the primary colors green and red produces the secondary color yellow, one of the three primary colors for subtractive color mixing
In subtractive color mixing, certain spectral ranges are excluded from an existing color spectrum by absorption and reflection. This involves the reflection of light at color dots, as is familiar from print media. The printed color becomes visible only because it is illuminated by artificial light or daylight, absorbs most of the colors of the light and reflects only the wavelength of the color tone.
If, for example, a white surface is illuminated with white light, all color components of the light are reflected and the viewer sees the white reflective surface.
If, on the other hand, a blue reflective surface is illuminated with white light, all colors except blue are absorbed; blue is reflected. The observer therefore sees the blue reflective surface.
Subtractive color mixing works with the primary colors cyan (C), magenta (M) and yellow (Y), because most color tones can be produced from these three colors. The subtractive primary colors from the CMY color model form the secondary colors of the RGB color model and vice versa.