How to Paint a Rainbow

Exploring your paintbox can be an exciting experience especially if you decide to pick out all the bright and cheerful colors and paint a loose rainbow! Use the resulting splash of color to form the background for an ink drawing and make lovely bookmarks and greetings cards galore! Or use it in your journal as a beautiful feature on a page.

Sometimes you just want to let paint do its own thing, and this is an ideal project for letting it all hang out! You don’t need anything special. Any paper, any brush and any paints will work, and it will be all your own creation. The same technique can be used with more muted colors if you prefer them to the bright rainbow I chose on this particular day.

Sweet Peas

These Sweet Peas were painted using a similar technique to the rainbow but with a bit more structure. However, you could take shades of pink and lilac and do a background in the same way as I have done with the rainbow. There’s a link to the tutorial at the bottom of the page.

Let’s Play!

Why should kids have all the fun? We are here to play too! Choose paper that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg (just an arm will do!) and pick up any brush that fits your paintbox. Preferably you’ll have a half-decent set of paints. There are many Chinese paintboxes out there that are inexpensive and yet quite good. Try to avoid the ones that are very inexpensive and no good at all. I think Kuretake are a good brand. I certainly find their Starry Colors to be excellent value and I recommend this set for general painting at a reasonable price.

How to Paint a Rainbow

I did this little painting on a page of Baohong watercolor paper. It’s ideal for greetings cards or bookmarks, as it is a good 300gsm weight and claims to be 100% cotton. What kind of cotton I couldn’t say. The paper is fairly textured, and it has a good surface for wet in wet. It still allows the white and black ink to show up nicely on the painted areas, which is often not the case with a cheaper paper.

Watch the video of Paint a Rainbow here

I have links below to various other similar papers which would be ideal also for this project. You certainly don’t need a cotton paper for How to Paint a Rainbow. Often the result you get on cellulose will be brighter than on cotton, due to the amount of sizing on the cellulose paper.

Here are three more good choices for paper when you paint your picture.

And here are some options for inexpensive paints as a beginner ideal for How to Paint a Rainbow for you to paint:


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