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Most experienced artists will happily explain that the [[ShapedLikeItself only thing that is actually black is a black hole]] and that even at the bottom of a sealed mineshaft you will probably find some faint phosphorescence. [[MindScrew Even black pigments are not black]] but dark grey. And yes, pigment'''s'''. plural. Black comes in different colors. There are [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_black#Pigment three charcoal blacks]], [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rich_black six standard black printing ink mixtures]], and dozens of [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shades_of_black off-black pigments]]. A standard HB (#2) graphite pencil has an HSV value of approximately 50% black- also known as ''middle grey'', and a high quality black inking pen tops out at about 60-70% black. If you're reading this on a really good monitor with zero glare[[note]]and not currently reading this in Night Vision mode[[/note]], this rectangle: █ is probably a 95% black. A more typical monitor in average lighting? 80%-90% black.

Done [[IRejectYourReality trying to prove this wrong]]? Okay, let's continue.

Every physical object that is not a black hole reflects light to some degree. [[CaptainObvious That's how we can see things.]] The closest thing to pure black pigment is the recently invented nanoparticle coating [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vantablack Vantablack]], and the images in that article demonstrate perfectly what it would look like if black things actually looked black: that's not a pile of vantablack sitting on aluminum foil, nor is it a real life [[PortableHole portable hole]]. That is crumpled aluminum foil coated in vantablack. There are no depth cues, highlights, shadows, or reflections. Just a flat meaningless black blob that might be making your brain freak out a little bit just looking at it, and probably has a goth or two {{squee}}ing because someone actually made a color darker than their favorite outfit. No light, no form, no image. That'd make for pretty boring [[CastingAShadow shadow magic]].


to:

Most experienced artists will happily explain that the [[ShapedLikeItself only thing that is actually black is a black hole]] hole and that even at the bottom of a sealed mineshaft you will probably find some faint phosphorescence. [[MindScrew Even black pigments are not black]] but dark grey. And yes, pigment'''s'''. plural. Black comes in different colors. There are [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_black#Pigment three charcoal blacks]], [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rich_black six standard black printing ink mixtures]], and dozens of [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shades_of_black off-black pigments]]. A standard HB (#2) graphite pencil has an HSV value of approximately 50% black- also known as ''middle grey'', and a high quality black inking pen tops out at about 60-70% black. If you're reading this on a really good monitor with zero glare[[note]]and not currently reading this in Night Vision mode[[/note]], this rectangle: █ is probably a 95% black. A more typical monitor in average lighting? 80%-90% black.

Done [[IRejectYourReality trying to prove this wrong]]? Okay, let's continue.

Every physical object that is not a black hole reflects light to some degree. [[CaptainObvious That's how we can see things.]] things. The closest thing to pure black pigment is the recently invented nanoparticle coating [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vantablack Vantablack]], Vantablack]] invented in 2014, and the images in that article demonstrate perfectly what it would look like if black things actually looked black: that's not a pile of vantablack sitting on aluminum foil, nor is it a real life [[PortableHole portable hole]].{{portable hole}}. That is crumpled aluminum foil coated in vantablack. There are no depth cues, highlights, shadows, or reflections. Just a flat meaningless black blob that might be making your brain freak out a little bit just looking at it, and probably has a goth or two {{squee}}ing because someone actually made a color darker than their favorite outfit. No light, no form, no image. That'd make for pretty boring [[CastingAShadow shadow magic]].

magic]].



Begin to understand why artists go [[MadArtist mad]]?

to:

Begin to understand why artists go [[MadArtist mad]]?{{mad|Artist}}?


Lastly, there is the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_constancy the color constancy effect]], the ultimate MindScrew of painting: Colors aren't always the colors they are. A pale tone of a color next to an intense tone of that same color tends to look like the complementary color. That purple object might just be pale yellow- it only looks purple because it's next to an intense yellow. Since lighting is almost always yellow, this tends to make all dark pale things look purple. Conversely, by making the darkest parts of an image blue-purple, you automatically imply that the brightest parts are orange-yellow and the brain will do the same effect in reverse.

to:

Lastly, there is the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_constancy the color constancy effect]], the ultimate MindScrew of painting: Colors aren't always the colors they are. A pale tone of a color next to an intense tone of that same color tends to look like the complementary color. That purple object might just be pale yellow- it only looks purple because it's next to an intense yellow. Since lighting is almost always yellow, this tends to make all dark pale things look purple. Conversely, by making the darkest parts of an image blue-purple, you automatically imply that the brightest parts are orange-yellow and the brain will do the same effect in reverse.


Additionally, the choice of purple isn't arbitrary- its actually rooted in the science of physics and human perception:

to:

Additionally, the choice of purple isn't arbitrary- its it's actually rooted in the science of physics and human perception:


Done [[IRejectYourReality trying to prove this wrong]]? Okay, lets continue.

to:

Done [[IRejectYourReality trying to prove this wrong]]? Okay, lets let's continue.



Less energetic frequencies of light are absorbed far more easily than more energetic freqencies: a dark surface will reflect more blues and violets than reds and yellows, giving it at least a slight grey-blue tint compared to the light source. There is also the phenomenon of structural coloration: some wavelengths of light can actually be filtered and reflected by molecular structures, leading to [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iridescence Iridescence]]. A peacock's feathers are an ideal example of a very dark material which reflects a few shades of color particularly well- the feathers are actually dark brown. Similarly, many birds we consider to be black are actually quite brightly colored in the ultraviolet range, which birds can perceive. Many materials actually do the exact same thing, but we only notice it when the material is a dark color.

to:

Less energetic frequencies of light are absorbed far more easily than more energetic freqencies: frequencies: a dark surface will reflect more blues and violets than reds and yellows, giving it at least a slight grey-blue tint compared to the light source. There is also the phenomenon of structural coloration: some wavelengths of light can actually be filtered and reflected by molecular structures, leading to [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iridescence Iridescence]]. A peacock's feathers are an ideal example of a very dark material which reflects a few shades of color particularly well- the feathers are actually dark brown. Similarly, many birds we consider to be black are actually quite brightly colored in the ultraviolet range, which birds can perceive. Many materials actually do the exact same thing, but we only notice it when the material is a dark color.


!!!Black does not exist.

to:

!!!Black !!Black does not exist.


!!Black does not exist.

to:

!!Black !!!Black does not exist.


Begin to understand why artists go [[MadArtist mad]]?

to:

Begin to understand why artists go [[MadArtist mad]]?mad]]?
----


Less energetic frequencies of light are absorbed far more easily than more energetic freqencies: a dark surface will reflect more blues and violets than reds and yellows, giving it at least a slight grey-blue tint compared to the light source. There is also the phenomenon of structural coloration- longer wavelengths of light can actually be filtered and reflected by molecular structures, leading to [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iridescence Iridescence]]. A peacock's feathers are an ideal example of a very dark material which reflects a few shades of color particularly well- the feathers are actually dark brown. Similarly, many birds we consider to be black are actually quite brightly colored in the ultraviolet range, which birds can perceive. Many materials actually do the exact same thing, but we only notice it when the material is a dark color. So to an extent, dark things naturally tend to look purple because they just reflect that end of the visible spectrum better, and because they tend to display iridescence (which favors longer wavelengths like greens, blues, and violets) more blatantly.

to:

Less energetic frequencies of light are absorbed far more easily than more energetic freqencies: a dark surface will reflect more blues and violets than reds and yellows, giving it at least a slight grey-blue tint compared to the light source. There is also the phenomenon of structural coloration- longer coloration: some wavelengths of light can actually be filtered and reflected by molecular structures, leading to [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iridescence Iridescence]]. A peacock's feathers are an ideal example of a very dark material which reflects a few shades of color particularly well- the feathers are actually dark brown. Similarly, many birds we consider to be black are actually quite brightly colored in the ultraviolet range, which birds can perceive. Many materials actually do the exact same thing, but we only notice it when the material is a dark color. So to an extent, dark things naturally tend to look purple because they just reflect that end of the visible spectrum better, and because they tend to display iridescence (which favors longer wavelengths like greens, blues, and violets) more blatantly.
color.

Added DiffLines:

!!Logic behind this trope


Most experienced artists will happily explain that the [[ShapedLikeItself only thing that is actually black is a black hole]] and that even at the bottom of a sealed mineshaft you will probably find some faint phosphorescence. [[MindScrew Even black pigments are not black]] but dark grey. And yes, pigment'''s'''. plural. Black comes in different colors. There are [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_black#Pigment three charcoal blacks]], [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rich_black six standard black printing ink mixtures]], and dozens of [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shades_of_black off-black pigments]]. A standard HB (#2) graphite pencil has an HSV value of approximately 50% black- also known as ''middle grey'', and a high quality black inking pen tops out at about 60-70% black. If you're reading this on a really good monitor with zero glare, this rectangle: █ is probably a 95% black. A more typical monitor in average lighting? 80%-90% black.

to:

Most experienced artists will happily explain that the [[ShapedLikeItself only thing that is actually black is a black hole]] and that even at the bottom of a sealed mineshaft you will probably find some faint phosphorescence. [[MindScrew Even black pigments are not black]] but dark grey. And yes, pigment'''s'''. plural. Black comes in different colors. There are [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_black#Pigment three charcoal blacks]], [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rich_black six standard black printing ink mixtures]], and dozens of [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shades_of_black off-black pigments]]. A standard HB (#2) graphite pencil has an HSV value of approximately 50% black- also known as ''middle grey'', and a high quality black inking pen tops out at about 60-70% black. If you're reading this on a really good monitor with zero glare, glare[[note]]and not currently reading this in Night Vision mode[[/note]], this rectangle: █ is probably a 95% black. A more typical monitor in average lighting? 80%-90% black.


Less energetic frequencies of light are absorbed far more easily than more energetic freqencies: a dark surface will reflect more blues and violets than reds and yellows, giving it at least a slight grey-blue tint compared to the light source. There is also the phenomenon of structural coloration- longer wavelengths of light can actually be filtered and reflected by molecular structures, leading to [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iridescence Iridescence]]. A peacocks feathers are an ideal example of a very dark material which reflects a few shades of color particularly well- the feathers are actually dark brown. Similarly, many birds we consider to be black are actually quite brightly colored in the ultraviolet range, which birds can perceive. Many materials actually do the exact same thing, but we only notice it when the material is a dark color. So to an extent, dark things naturally tend to look purple because they just reflect that end of the visible spectrum better, and because they tend to display iridescence (which favors longer wavelengths like greens, blues, and violets) more blatantly.

to:

Less energetic frequencies of light are absorbed far more easily than more energetic freqencies: a dark surface will reflect more blues and violets than reds and yellows, giving it at least a slight grey-blue tint compared to the light source. There is also the phenomenon of structural coloration- longer wavelengths of light can actually be filtered and reflected by molecular structures, leading to [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iridescence Iridescence]]. A peacocks peacock's feathers are an ideal example of a very dark material which reflects a few shades of color particularly well- the feathers are actually dark brown. Similarly, many birds we consider to be black are actually quite brightly colored in the ultraviolet range, which birds can perceive. Many materials actually do the exact same thing, but we only notice it when the material is a dark color. So to an extent, dark things naturally tend to look purple because they just reflect that end of the visible spectrum better, and because they tend to display iridescence (which favors longer wavelengths like greens, blues, and violets) more blatantly.


Every physical object that is not a black hole reflects light to some degree. [[CaptainObvious That's how we can see things.]] The closest thing to pure black pigment is the recently invented nanoparticle coating [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vantablack Vantablack]], and the images in that article demonstrate perfectly what it would look like if black things actually looked black: that is not a pile of vantablack sitting on aluminum foil. That is crumpled aluminum foil coated in vantablack. There are no depth cues, highlights, shadows, or reflections. Just a flat meaningless black blob that might be making your brain freak out a little bit just looking at it, and probably has a goth or two {{squee}}ing because someone actually made a color darker than their favorite outfit. No light, no form, no image. That'd make for pretty boring [[CastingAShadow shadow magic]].


to:

Every physical object that is not a black hole reflects light to some degree. [[CaptainObvious That's how we can see things.]] The closest thing to pure black pigment is the recently invented nanoparticle coating [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vantablack Vantablack]], and the images in that article demonstrate perfectly what it would look like if black things actually looked black: that is that's not a pile of vantablack sitting on aluminum foil.foil, nor is it a real life [[PortableHole portable hole]]. That is crumpled aluminum foil coated in vantablack. There are no depth cues, highlights, shadows, or reflections. Just a flat meaningless black blob that might be making your brain freak out a little bit just looking at it, and probably has a goth or two {{squee}}ing because someone actually made a color darker than their favorite outfit. No light, no form, no image. That'd make for pretty boring [[CastingAShadow shadow magic]].



Thankfully, most non-physics bending nanomaterial coated or star eating black objects don't absorb all of the light that hits them. This allows artists to use {{Necessary Weasel}}s like exaggerating ambient lighting and reflections to make the form of a black object understandable.

to:

Thankfully, most non-physics objects not coated in physics bending nanomaterial coated or star eating black objects don't do not absorb all of the light that hits them. This allows artists to use {{Necessary Weasel}}s like exaggerating ambient lighting and reflections to make the form of a black object understandable.


Accept this truth, you must, if to understand art you want. There is no black pigment. There is light, color, and lack of light and color. No black.

to:

Accept this truth, you must, if to understand art you want. There is no black pigment. There is albedo[[note]]ability to reflect flat light, as opposed to shinyness[[/note]], color, and lack of light albedo and color. No black.


Every physical object that is not a black hole reflects light to some degree. That's how we can see things. The closest thing to pure black pigment is the recently invented nanoparticle coating [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vantablack Vantablack]]. The images in that article demonstrate perfectly the problem with trying to make pure black things look realistic: that is not a pile of vantablack sitting on aluminum foil. That is crumpled aluminum foil coated in vantablack. There are no depth cues, highlights, shadows, or reflections. Just a flat meaningless black blob that might be making your brain freak out a little bit just looking at it, and probably has a goth or two {{squee}}ing because someone actually made a color darker than their favorite outfit. No light, no form, no image. That'd make for pretty boring [[CastingAShadow shadow magic]].


to:

Every physical object that is not a black hole reflects light to some degree. [[CaptainObvious That's how we can see things. things.]] The closest thing to pure black pigment is the recently invented nanoparticle coating [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vantablack Vantablack]]. The Vantablack]], and the images in that article demonstrate perfectly the problem with trying to make pure what it would look like if black things look realistic: actually looked black: that is not a pile of vantablack sitting on aluminum foil. That is crumpled aluminum foil coated in vantablack. There are no depth cues, highlights, shadows, or reflections. Just a flat meaningless black blob that might be making your brain freak out a little bit just looking at it, and probably has a goth or two {{squee}}ing because someone actually made a color darker than their favorite outfit. No light, no form, no image. That'd make for pretty boring [[CastingAShadow shadow magic]].

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