It is easy to be confused as to why we call the color system we use when painting a subtractive color system. After all, we are adding different colored paints to each other in order to get a desired color and it seems natural to want to think of it as an additive method of creating color. The trick in understanding why it is subtractive is to look at the characteristics of light. In doing this we will understand we are relying on the subtractive qualities of the paint to get our desired color.
Today, we are going to look at how light is affected by the pigments in the paint to better understand the subtractive color system.