Rainbow Roses Tutorial

By Melissa Pierce

My first time coloring these rainbow roses was on a drawing by artist Ian de Jesus in the August 2017 issue of Color On! Magazine, so it is only fitting that I use a rose from another of his drawings in that issue for this tutorial.

In this tutorial, I will show you step-by-step how to color multicolored or rainbow roses. I will be using watercolor brush tip markers and water brushes. My first attempt at doing these was on watercolor paper, but I have since also done them on card stock and this set of examples are being done on card stock. With using card stock, you have to be more mindful of the paper buckling and even wrinkling or tearing where using watercolor paper prevents that. The larger the area to be colored, the more likely the paper will get over saturated and buckle or wrinkle and tear with card stock. Placing a heavy book on the picture as it dries will help with any buckling that may occur from wetting the card stock.

Materials Used:

Zig Clean Color Brush Markers:

  • 25 Pink
  • 82 Purple
  • 42 Turquoise Green
  • 32 Persian Blue

Arteza Waterbrush: Small round head

Prismacolor Pencil: Black (PC 935)

Prismacolor Colorless Blending Pencil: (PC 1077)

To start, pick four colors that go well together. The colors will mix when overlapped, so choose colors that, when mixed, make colors you like. I use pink, purple, blue, and green or teal. I have colored rainbow roses in both pastel and jewel tone shades of these four colors. When using lighter or pastel colors, I recommend leaving some white space on the petals. I will be using the brighter jewel tones for this tutorial.

You can add the color petal by petal or do larger swipes of color across multiple petals at a time. I have done both and will be demonstrating putting it across multiple petals at a time in this tutorial.

Step One: I begin with No. 42 Turquoise Green, as it is my favorite of the colors and will be the most used. I start by randomly putting the first color around the rose, leaving plenty of white space behind for adding the other colors.


Step Two: The next color I will be using is the No. 32 Persian Blue. Again, randomly place the blue color around the white spaces in the rose leaving white space open for the next two colors as well.

Step Three: The third color I will be using is the No. 25 Pink. I again randomly place color around in the remaining white spaces leaving some white exposed for the last color.

Step Four: Finally take the No. 82 Purple and fill in the remaining white spaces with color. Feel free to overlap color where needed and don’t worry if it looks like there are large spaces of one solid color as they will bleed and blend. Later,  we will be adding black to outline the petals which  will add a separation in the large spaces.


Step Five: Now that the rose is completely filled with the four chosen colors, it is time to blend with the water brush. I use the Arteza Water Brush with the smallest tip. I start with the green and dab at the color with the tip. Do not swipe like painting with the brush but dab or dot it all over the color, wetting it completely.

Step Six: Next do the same thing with the pink, making sure to completely wet each pink area. You will start to see the lines disappear and the colors look like they bloom or spread out and mix.

Step Seven: Once you have gone over the colors individually, dab over the entire rose again to really pick up and blend and move the color around. This is how you get the mixed color parts. After this step, allow pic to dry completely. The colors will lighten and brighten as they dry.

Step Eight: Once the watercolor is completely dry, take the Prismacolor Black (PC 935) and outline the entire rose with it. If the rose is big with really large open space petals, then outline it with thick lines that go over both sides of the lines a little. If it is a smaller space that you are working in, stay right on the line, but outline it completely.

This example is from a different rose I did for practice that was already dry. It is done with the same colors, so you can see how they lighten as they dry.  The steps are the same but shows how the random color placement makes every rose end up looking unique.

Step Nine: Take the Prismacolor Colorless Blender Pencil (PC 1077) and go over all of the lines kind of scribbling so it pushes the black to both sides of the lines on all except the very outside lines that go into the background space. On those just push the color into the petals. The thicker the black pencil outline, the more black pencil that gets pushed onto the petals.


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