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Digital Printer

The rules for printing color images are different than capturing them. Color printing is a subtractive process. You start with a white sheet of paper that reflects all the colors. Ink is used to remove colors you don't want. Most color printers use inks with the colors of Magenta, Yellow, Cyan & Black. Cyan is used to remove the color Red. Magenta is used to remove the color Green. Yellow is used to remove the color Blue. Since the mixture of these three inks do not completely remove all the colors, Black is also used. This is know as the four color process.

Excellent results can be obtained with a color dot-matrix printing running in a high resolution mode and printing on glossy photo paper. Glossy photo paper gives more contrast then ordinary paper because ink stays on the surface rather than soaking into the paper. Also fade resistant inks are available for pictures to be displayed for long periods.

There are some printers that use more than the four inks to make a better print. The use of light magenta and light cyan can make a picture that is less grainy.

Sedona Arizona




Mona Lisa


Painting with Oil

Unlike printing with only 4 inks, those painting in oil (or acrylic) have a wide assortment of colors. It is essential that the artist's assortment include colors that cannot be duplicated by combinations of other colors. This includes the printing inks of cyan [7], yellow [3], magenta [11] plus white. In addition, the artist needs black. Note that cyan may be known as turquoise or sky blue. Magenta may called violet or be replaced with rose madder. Because of limitations of mixing, the artist should have a royal or cobalt blue, an emerald green and a ruby red. [Note that a CRT cannot correctly repoduce these colors.] And no collection of pigments is complete without a few shades of brown such as burnt umber and raw sienna. With a large selection of pigments, oil painting offers a wider selection of color then can be obtained with 4 color printing or pictures on a CRT.

As of interest is the color wheel shown below. Opposite colors are complementary. Cyan reflects blue and green but not red. Yellow reflects green and red but not blue. Magenta reflects red and blue but not green.

Color Wheel




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