What is a secondary color

Secondary colors

Secondary colors are mixed from two primary colors. For this reason, they have their full luminosity or color power, i.e. they are neither brightened by white components, darkened by black components or clouded by complementary components.

The CMY system - the three primary colors and their overlays Interactive display of the subtractive color mixture

When two of the three primary colors (cyan, magenta, yellow) are mixed in equal proportions, the secondary colors red, green and blue are created, which are the primary valences for the light colors.

cyan + yellow = green   
cyan + magenta = blue-violet   
yellow + magenta = red   
       
cyan + magenta + yellow = black

The human eye can distinguish around 160 different color nuances in secondary colors (in tertiary colors more than 100,000 shades). The secondary colors rarely occur in nature. They can be found in the animal world mainly in butterflies and fish and in the plant world in flowers.

See also:

Primary colors

Tertiary colors