The colour decomposition of your markers

The primary colors are cyan, yellow and magenta. Three colors from which all others derive. One way to find out what the color of the felt-tip pens is made of is to play with water, a coffee filter and use the principle of capillary action.

You will need:
  • Felt-tip pens of various colors
  • Coffee filters
  • Clean glass jars
  • Some water

From 6 years

Difficulty : easy

Let's experiment

Gather all the requested materials

Choose different colors. Ideally, colors that are not blue, red and yellow.

With a felt-tip pen, draw a line at 0.6 in from the edge.

In a glass jar, add water to a height of 0.2 in.

Insert the coffee filter so that the bottom of the filter is in water.

Now watch what’s going on. The color rises in the filter washed away by the water.

Over time, other colors appear. The different colors that make up that of the felt develop on the filter.

Understand the experiment

Why does the color migrate into the coffee filter?

The felt ink rises in the coffee filter thanks to the capillary action. As soon as the water meets the ink, it takes the ink with it. The capillary action is a force that opposes gravity thanks to the presence of very narrow tubes present in the paper. The affinity of water (and ink) for this tube present in the paper induces the capillary effect.

Did you know?

Primary and secondary colors ?

These are colors that cannot be obtained with mixtures. There are three primary colors: yellow, magenta, and cyan. With these, we create secondary colors. For example, mixing blue and yellow gives green.


Test colors like black, brown, gray and observe!

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