Reverse Rainbow

A week ago, I came across this cute article on BBC news. It features kids in the UK painting pictures of rainbows and putting them up on their windows after schools began closing in response to the COVID-19 virus. So sweet I thought the gesture was that I decided to join the bandwagon for fun! And after an unprecedented incident to be explained below, I am now creating a trilogy with this so-called Rainbow Project.

Colouring with Gouache

Recently I began painting with gouache more especially after the Paint Mojo workshop earlier this year. Holbein’s Acryla Gouache is the only one I’ve tried and so far I’ve been quite impressed with their intense colours and velvety matte finish. Since I’m now going to be painting a rainbow, I thought it would be an idea to try them out more and in a wider range of colours. A large and thick paper of 40 x 50 cm and 360 gsm was used here which is what I’ve been using in my art classes and something I’d like to continue at home. After a pencil sketch to plan my ideas, I began painting away!

Prepare and Paint

Uh Oh…

When I completed painting the rainbow, I discovered to my horror that although the order of the colours were correct I had it in reverse! I only realised it, funnily enough, when I went back to look at the photographs of those school children featured in the article. At first I panicked but my boyfriend pointed out that such rainbows in reverse order do in fact exist. I thought he was putting me on to get me to calm down but sure enough he was right! Also known as secondary rainbow, that reverse effect is apparently caused by light being reflected twice inside raindrops. Haha, that would teach me to have listened in class more often! Still, it shows that whatever boo-boo you make in most cases there is always a way around it.

Secondary Rainbow

Sliding Down

Once settled, I continued and began working on Little One and Bunny sliding down the rainbow. A variety of mediums were used including water-soluble wax pastels (Neocolor II by Caran d’Ache) for larger areas like the Bunny, Little One’s face and outfit. For the smaller areas like the Teddy Bear and finer details like the eyes, hair and collar I used India Ink markers (Faber Castell’s Pitt Artists Pens). I then finished the painting by lining the characters with glitter glue (Ranger’s Stickles).


And here is the whole picture! Great to return to making illustrations again, although it took me some time to get accustomed single-layer painting. Much of my work lately have been involving multiple layers which is also fun but it’s good to switch now and again to add some variety. You’ll be seeing more during my Rainbow Project!

And what is this Rainbow Project? Well, after having unintentionally painted a reversed rainbow, I would now like to paint a proper one. My boyfriend has further suggested that I make a third drawing too and draw two opposing rainbows next to each other, thereby creating a trilogy of rainbow paintings. Seeing that I have much more spare time nowadays during the home-isolation, why not?


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