Chemistry of Artists’ Colors

light is (2 things)
a particle and a wave
height of a wave
rhythmic succession
crest to crest distance
frequency =

speed of light (c) divided by the wavelength (y)


speed of light

300 million meters per second


3.0 x 108 m/s

destructive interference
one wave is going down, when the other is rising, they cancel each other
constructive interference
one wave is rising as the other is rising, we have an additive situation–the resulting wave would be huge!
interference colors
color changes in the light–most commonly observed when oil is floating on water. The rainbow of colors is from the constructive and destructive interference of light waves of differing wavelengths (some colors get wiped out and some colors get amplified)
specular reflection
when glossy surfaces reflect light all in one direction
diffuse reflection
bumpy or gritty surfaces reflect the incident light in many directions
when light enteres a denser substance it is bent into that substance
wavelength of blue light
wavelength of red light
additive color primaries
red, green, and blue (RGB)
red + green + blue =
red + green =
blue + green =
blue + red =
subtractive color primaries for paints
blue, yellow, and red

blue + yellow + red =



blue + yellow =



blue + red =



yellow + red =


printer subtractive primary colors
cyan, magenta, yellow, and black
L.A.B. color system

L=Luminance (brightness) channel

A=red-green channel

B=blue-green channel

What are atoms made up of?
three types of subatomic particles called protons, neutrons, and electrons. Protons bear a positive charge, neutrons have no charge, and electrons bear a negative charge.
number of protons =
number of electrons
atomic number
number of protons
mass number
number of protons and neutrons
each horizontal row on the periodic table
vertical columns of elements in the periodic table
negatively charged ions (have one or more extra electra electrons added which results in a net negative charge on the atom)
positively charged (have one or more electrons removed from the valence shell resulting in a net positive charge on that atom)
substance which releases protons (H+ions) into a water solution
substance which releases hydroxide ions (OHions) into a water solution
slaked-lime–Ca(OH)2–is a basic substance because it will produce hydroxide ions when mixed with water
glass is made-up of silicon atoms bonded to oxygen atoms in a tetrahedral arrangement to create a giant network.
terra cotta pottery
primitive, porous and low firing
common dinnerware, higher firing and non-porous, suitable for holding water
pocelain china
made from very pure kaolin clay (china clay), very high firing and non-porous, the high kaolin content makes for a very white finish 
bone china
variation on porcelain where bone dust is mixed into the kaolin clay to produce a creamy coloration, a glaze is also applied to produce fine china
glaze and enamel composition
similar to glass, usually ccontain more components, formulated to melt at lower temperatures
What is granite made of?
Feldspar, Mica, Quartz
stages of firing clay

(1) drying

(2)  Dehydroxylation and Oxidation

(3) Vitrification