How to Make a Rainbow Painting in 3 Easy Steps

Rainbows aren’t just for leprechauns. They’re the perfect place for you favorite elven character to dance or glide. Follow along with artist Barbara Lanza as she shows you how to make your own rainbow painting using acrylic or watercolor paints in just three simple steps.

Gather Your Materials

Surface: Watercolor paper
Brushes: 1/2-inch flat brush and a no. 000 round
Watercolors: Quinacridone Red, Cadmium Orange, Cadmium Yellow, Permanent Sap Green, Cobalt Blue and Winsor Violet (Dioxazine).
Other: clean water and paper towels

Painting a Rainbow

Any artist who can paint a perfect rainbow without holding his or her breath deserves a big pat on the back. Happily, the rest of us can coax a little color into where it’s needed and lift out some that has drifted too far. Have on hand soft tissues, dry brushes and a willingness to try and try again. You’ll be a rainbow painting master in no time with these easy to follow steps.

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Step 1: Grab a pencil and lightly sketch your rainbow. Wet the area with your 1/2-inch flat brush and let this dry briefly. Load the flat with Quinacridone Red and apply your first arc at the rainbow’s top.

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Step 2: Clean the 1/2-inch flat brush. Then while the red is still a little wet, overlap the bottom edge with Cadmium Orange. Let them bleed together just a little to create the blending effect.

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Step 3: Follow steps 1 and 2 to add Cadmium Yellow, Permanent Sap Green, Cobalt Blue and Winsor Violet (Dioxazine). Let this dry briefly, then use the no. 000 round to adjust any areas that need it.

That’s it! Three simple steps gives you a perfectly colorful rainbow painting.

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Find out more about how Barbara made her fairy rainbow painting in her book Enchanting Elves, available now.

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