How to Draw a Shiny Black Vase With an Iridescent Rainbow in Color Pencil

Written by greg turin
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How to Draw a Shiny Black Vase With an Iridescent Rainbow in Color Pencil
Rainbows emanating from black vases are popular in folklore. (Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

The magic of a black vase emitting a rainbow can be a fun and challenging subject to draw. It is an artefact of legend and folklore, conjuring ideas of treasure and fantastic beings and places. The shiny surface of a black vase contrasted with the vibrant colours of a rainbow makes for a visually stunning subject.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Colour pencil set
  • Drawing paper

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  1. 1

    Sketch lightly the basic shape of the vase and rainbow. Professional artists often sketch first in a light blue colour because it is the least visually distracting and easy to draw over in later stages. Use basic shapes to sculpt the contours of the vase, indicating its round and rimmed sections. It can be as simple or as complicated as you choose. Use the light blue pencil to sketch the long arc of the rainbow. Consider whether you want to show the entire rainbow or just an arc of it emanating from the vase.

  2. 2

    Draw the colours of the rainbow. A real rainbow spectrum follows this colour pattern: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. Begin by shading the colours in lightly. A real rainbow is translucent, meaning that you can see through it, so consider shading the colours such that you can still see some of the white of the paper underneath them. This will give them a more realistic, ethereal colour. If you want them to be more bold and cartoon-like, apply more pressure with the pencils to make them opaque. When they are opaque, they do not show any of the white underneath them.

  3. 3

    Draw black shapes on the vase. A shiny surface reflects the objects around it, so to make the vase realistic, it will not be coloured totally in black. Draw curved black shapes on it. Using reference objects or pictures of curved black metallic surfaces can be helpful for you to understand how they visually work. Most reflections on curved objects have hard edges and are not faded. The black shapes you draw can enhance the look of the curves. Leave some white areas.

  4. 4

    Draw some of the colours of the rainbow on the vase. Because the vase reflects its surroundings, some of the colours of the rainbow will be shown on it. These add interesting textures and curves to the vase and visually connect the vase and rainbow together. Curve the coloured lines so that they follow the contours of the vase's shape. This can be fun and expressive where the colours dance and flow over its surface.

Tips and warnings

  • Experiment with different opacities of colour. More opacity creates more saturated, thick colours whereas less opacity creates lighter, more ethereal colours. They can be used to add wonderful variations in texture.
  • Reflective and shiny surfaces can be very challenging to draw. Use reference material to study them.

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