Blue -- The absence of blue

Is blue the absence of blue? Does this have something to do with additive and subtractive colors?

Is beer the absence of beer? I dunno, ask Descartes maybe.


Blue is the reflection of blue. The colour that an object has is the effect of the reflected radiation from that object on the retina. I think orange is the absence of blue.
Yes. There have been quite a few threads on this in the past.

Not quite. Yellow is the opposite of blue.

Orange is the absence of rhyme,
But it looks silver to me.

But is it the absence of blue?

Really? But orange is directly opposite from blue on the colour wheel.

There are several different ways of expressing color. The way the eye views it is with the light primaries, red, green and blue.

If that’s what we’re talking about, first, turn the Red Green and Blue channels on - you get white.

Then turn off the blue channel (100% red, 100% green, 0% blue): this is what you get.

Traditionally in art:

Yellow is the opposite of purple.
Orange is the opposite of blue.
Green is the opposite of red.

We can be a bit more precise with cyan, magenta and yellow, but this is generally the color theory used by artists for who knows how long.

Actually, the term should “complement” rather than “opposite.” Those are the pairs of complementary colors. In traditional art color theory, the primaries are: red, yellow, and blue. These are not true additive or subractive primaries. Those are red, green, blue and cyan, magenta, yellow – respectively.

Hence, with the red-yellow-blue system.

Complement of red = yellow+blue = green
Complement of yellow = red+blue = purple/violet
Completement of blue = red+yellow = orange

Green, purple and orange are known as secondary colors in traditional color theory.

Imbibo ergo sum.

I’m not expert on this but I do know that mixing pigments is a whole nother thing from mixing light. The artists color wheel is based on pigments. For pigment, primaries are red, yellow, blue, and printers use magenta, yellow, and cyan, IIRC. If you mix them all you get a kind of yucky brown. Your monitor uses red, blue, & green, and when you mix them all you’ve got white.