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Chapter 7. Color Theory and Practice > The Two Types of Color

The Two Types of Color

Colors in Photoshop can be considered additive or subtractive. Additive colors produce white when all colors are combined (added) at full strength. Subtractive colors produce white by removing (subtracting) all component colors. Conversely, a lack of color in an additive model produces black, while combining all colors in a subtractive model produces black.

Although there are lots of ways to classify color (for example, primary colors, warm and cool colors, earthtones, pastels), for Photoshop the largest determining factor is how colors are reproduced. The resulting color can be similar, but the differences in how additive and subtractive colors are created result in different treatment in Photoshop.



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