If black and white are not colors then why do people refer to them as colors?




The First Dragon

Well, it depends on your definitions. From the point of view of everyday life, of course, black and white are colors. Physicists though, do not consider these to be colors. Physicists define color based on the wavelength of light. There is no truly black light. The light we call "black" is ultraviolet - a light frequency invisible to humans. Some birds can see part of the ultraviolet spectrum though. The color we call "black" is really the absence of visible light. What we call "white" light is actually a balanced combination of all visible light frequencies. Gray is actually a dim white. Brown is a mixture of colors including enough yellow, green, and red to look "brown." There is no "brown" light. Every other color can be represented by a single light frequency. More often, in ordinary life, every color is produced by a combination of light frequencies.

Mr. Smartypants

Have you ever used Photoshop or another graphics program? Colors on the computer are specified by three numbers, the amount of Red, Green and Blue. From 0 to 255. So 30, 130, 60 is one color, 20, 200, 1 is another. Colors don't have names, you specify them by the actual mixture of primary color. 255,0,0 is bright red. 0,0,255 is bright green. So black and white are in this color scheme! Black is 0,0,0. White is 255,255,255. IOW, black and white are colors because there's a specification for them. They can be quantified, even if the quantities are zero or 'all of it'.


It is good for an artist to understand color theory more or less. But when it comes down to it, even simpler than Smartypants - you have a box of crayons. One crayon color is black, and another crayon color is white.


Well in technical terms they aren’t colours, however people refer to them as colours due to the fact that they hold a very important place on our colour spectrum. They are also important for creating art work, thus it makes a lot of sense to categorize them in with our colours


False premise -- they ARE colors.