Where the primary colors of light come together in the center (red, green, and blue), it creates white light. When just two colors overlap, a new color is created. Red and green light make yellow. Green and blue light make cyan. Blue and red light make magenta. These are called the secondary colors, because they are each a mix of the two primaries. To expand further, you can mix secondary colors with primaries again, and in different amounts, to create even more colors.
both red and green photoreceptors are firing off in your eyes, and as the
red and green receptors combine to make yellow, your brain is telling you
The gray bar in the center of the picture appears to be lighter at one end and darker at the other. But, place your fingers over the middle of the bar and you will find that the bar is a solid color - only the background is different in shade.
The center squares appear to be different shades of gray, but are actually one in the same shade. Different shades in the background squares create the optical illusion that the center squares are all different.
effect with colors.
effect with a solid color on gradients can be found here.
Stare at the small dot in the center of the flag for 20 Mississippi's, then look at a blank wall or white piece of paper. Your color receptors start to fatigue after staring at the image, and start to slow down the signals being sent to your brain. After finally looking away, you see the exact opposite (or complimentary) color!
There's no square in the picture above, but your brain sure sees one! That's pattern recognition in the brain for you, always trying to connect the dots.
Try these links also for even more optical illusions! A big list of optical illusions at Distractify, and 10 more at Psychology.com.
Next post we will look at a little history behind color systems and the color wheel, because parts of color theory are based in using these tools. Until then, do you know RoyG. Biv?