The RYB (red, yellow, blue) color model is a subtractive color model that describes colors used in painting and traditional color mixing. It is one of the most traditional and well-known color models. The primary colors in the RYB system are red, yellow, and blue. By mixing these three primary pigments, in theory all other colors can be created. The secondary colors are created by mixing two primary colors, resulting in orange, green, and purple. Tertiary colors are created by mixing primary and secondary colors, resulting in colors like red-orange, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, blue-purple, and red-purple.
What are the primary colors in RYB?
The three primary colors in the RYB color model are:
These primary colors can’t be created by mixing other colors. All other colors are derived from combinations of these 3 primary colors.
What are the secondary colors in RYB?
The three secondary colors in the RYB color model are created by mixing two primary colors in equal proportions. They are:
- Orange (made by mixing red and yellow)
- Green (made by mixing yellow and blue)
- Purple (made by mixing red and blue)
What are the tertiary colors in RYB?
Tertiary colors are made by mixing one primary color with one secondary color in varying proportions. The tertiary colors in RYB are:
For example, red-orange is made by mixing mostly red with a little orange, while yellow-green contains more yellow than green.
How is the RYB color model different from RBG?
The main difference between RYB and RGB color models is:
- RYB is a subtractive color model used in painting and pigments.
- RGB is an additive color model used for light and displays.
In subtractive mixing, colors are created by absorbing/filtering out wavelengths. In additive mixing, colors are created by emitting wavelengths of light.
Some key differences:
|RYB Color Model||RGB Color Model|
|Used for pigments and reflective surfaces||Used for light sources and digital displays|
|Primary colors are red, yellow, blue||Primary colors are red, green, blue|
|Creates colors by absorbing/filtering wavelengths||Creates colors by emitting wavelengths|
|Subtractive color model||Additive color model|
What are the advantages of the RYB color model?
Some advantages of the RYB color model include:
- Intuitive and easy to understand – the primary colors match what is taught in elementary schools.
- Practical for painting and pigments – historically used by artists for mixing paints.
- Allows a wide range of colors to be mixed by artists.
- Primary RYB pigments tend to be more stable and lightfast than RGB pigments.
What are the disadvantages of RYB?
Some disadvantages of RYB include:
- Not as accurate for matching colors scientifically compared to RGB.
- The primary colors are not fully accurate – red, yellow and blue are not technically primary colors.
- Fewer color mixing possibilities compared to RGB.
- Less relevance in digital applications that use RGB model.
How can you convert RYB to RGB?
Converting colors from RYB to RGB is not straightforward because the primary colors do not match up exactly. There are a few different methods to estimate RGB values from RYB:
- Use conversion charts that provide RGB approximations for common RYB mixes.
- Use color conversion calculators online.
- Estimate using RGB primaries that overlap with RYB (red and green).
- Convert RYB mixes to CMYK first, then convert CMYK to RGB.
However, these will only provide approximations. Accurately converting RYB to RGB requires understanding the reflectance spectra of the RYB pigments used and calculating the additive mix.
When is RYB color model used vs RGB?
The general use cases are:
- RYB color model: Used for traditional painting, art, mixing physical pigments, printing, etc.
- RGB color model: Used for digital applications, TV/video displays, phone/computer screens, digital image editing and design, LED lighting, etc.
RYB is best for working with subtractive color mixing of paints, dyes, inks, and other tangible color media. RGB is best for working with light, emitted colors, and nearly all digital color work flows.
The RYB color model is a traditional and intuitive way to understand color mixing using three primary colors – red, yellow and blue. It allows a wide range of colors to be created by mixing paints and pigments. However, it has limitations in scientific color accuracy compared to RGB. RYB is best used for painting and tangible color materials, while RGB is better for digital applications. Converting between RYB and RGB is not always straightforward, but can be estimated using conversion charts, calculators, and an understanding of the different primaries.