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  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Adobe Photoshop

How to Create a Rainbow Gradient in Photoshop

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Final product imageFinal product imageFinal product image
What You'll Be Creating

Today, we will be learning how to create a Pride rainbow gradient as well as a red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet gradient, otherwise known as "ROYGBIV."

If you want to add an instant hint of rainbow to an image instantly, then check out one of the hundreds of rainbow gradients, add-ons, and graphics found on Envato Elements! 

Spectrum Rainbow Photo OverlaysSpectrum Rainbow Photo OverlaysSpectrum Rainbow Photo Overlays

What You'll Learn in This Rainbow Gradient Photoshop Tutorial

  • How to create a rainbow gradient in Photoshop
  • How to create a Pride rainbow in Photoshop 
  • How to save a preset gradient rainbow for Photoshop
  • How to add a rainbow effect to a photo 

What You'll Need

To complete this project, you will need the following resource:

Find more resources on Envato Elements!

1. How to Create a Pride Rainbow Gradient in Photoshop

Step 1

First, locate the Layer Adjustments icon at the bottom of the Layers panel. It's an icon of a circle that's half filled in. 

Select and choose Gradient from the dropdown menu. This will create a Gradient Fill layer. 

create a new gradient fill layer create a new gradient fill layer create a new gradient fill layer

Step 2

Next, select the Gradient window to open the Gradient Editor. A number of premade gradients will appear. 

open the gradient editor open the gradient editor open the gradient editor

Step 3

In the Gradient settings box, double-click the bottom and leftmost anchor point, also called a Stop, to open the Color Picker. 

The rainbow pride colors are: 

  • Red #e40303 
  • Orange #ff8c00
  • Yellow #ffed00
  • Green #008026
  • Blue #004dff 
  • Purple #750787

The leftmost Stop is the beginning of the gradient, so let's set it to Red #e40303.

Click OK. 

add in red color stop add in red color stop add in red color stop

Step 4

Now, select the rightmost Stop, setting it to a Purple #750787 color. 

If the Stop started out as transparent, select the upper left Stop and set the Opacity to 100%.

add in purple color stop add in purple color stop add in purple color stop

Step 5

Click right below the Gradient box to create a new Stop. We want to create four new Stops between the original two. Try to make them evenly spaced by clicking the Stop and dragging. 

addin four more stopsaddin four more stopsaddin four more stops

Step 6

Change the colors of the middle Stops to:

  • Orange #ff8c00
  • Yellow #ffed00
  • Green #008026
  • Blue #004dff 

You can adjust the Stops to further refine your gradient. Click New to save your gradient as a Photoshop preset.

add in pride rainbow colors add in pride rainbow colors add in pride rainbow colors
pride rainbow gradient pride rainbow gradient pride rainbow gradient

Step 7

To create a ROYGBIV rainbow gradient, select the Pride rainbow preset you just created, or repeat the same steps using the colors:

  • Red #ff0000
  • Orange #ffa500
  • Yellow #ffff00
  • Green #00ff00
  • Blue #0000ff
  • Indigo #4b0082
  • Violet #8a2be2 
ROYGBIV gradient settingsROYGBIV gradient settingsROYGBIV gradient settings
ROYGBIV rainbow gradient  ROYGBIV rainbow gradient  ROYGBIV rainbow gradient

2. How to Create a Rainbow Photoshop Effect

Step 1

Select one of the rainbow gradients we created above; I'll be using the Pride rainbow gradient. 

Choose the gradient and press OK.  

Step 2

Adjust the Style, Angle, and Scale to fit your photo. My settings can be seen below, but they will depend on the image you are using and what color you'd like to appear most dominant.  

pride rainbow gradient settings pride rainbow gradient settings pride rainbow gradient settings

Step 3

Finally. set the gradients' layer mode to Screen and a 50% Opacity. 

rainbow gradient photo effect rainbow gradient photo effect rainbow gradient photo effect

That's It! 

That is all there is to creating a rainbow gradient in Photoshop! Input as many colors as you like, or try playing with the different positions of the color Stops to get several different effects. And then you can save each gradient to create your very own custom set of rainbow gradient presets!  

rainbow gradient pride photo effect rainbow gradient pride photo effect rainbow gradient pride photo effect

Find the Best Rainbow Gradient Actions and Add-Ons

Do you need a rainbow gradient effect quickly but still need it to look its best? Check out some of my personal favorite rainbow gradient resources and add-ons!

Unicorn Vector Gradients: Colorful Background (AI, JPG)

Unicorn Vector Gradients - Colorful BackgroundUnicorn Vector Gradients - Colorful BackgroundUnicorn Vector Gradients - Colorful Background

If a pastel rainbow gradient is more your style, try this set of high-resolution pastel gradient backgrounds. The pack contains over 20 different designs and color combos. 

50 Rainbow Light Leak Photo Overlays (JPG)

50 Rainbow Light Leak Photo Overlays50 Rainbow Light Leak Photo Overlays50 Rainbow Light Leak Photo Overlays

This pack of rainbow Photoshop light leaks will add a soft but vibrant streak of rainbow light to any photo. Just drag and drop them onto your photo!

Rainbow Bokeh Backgrounds (JPG)

Rainbow Bokeh BackgroundsRainbow Bokeh BackgroundsRainbow Bokeh Backgrounds

If you're looking for a way to create a realistic rainbow for Photoshop, these 12 rainbow bokeh backgrounds will definitely get the job done! They are high resolution and super easy to use.   

Spectrum Rainbow Photo Overlays (PSD)

Spectrum Rainbow Photo OverlaysSpectrum Rainbow Photo OverlaysSpectrum Rainbow Photo Overlays

Wondering how to create a rainbow gradient in Photoshop fast? Look no further than this set of 16 rainbow photo overlays! Add beautiful shadows, reflections, and lights to portraits, product photos, and more. 

3D Gradient Colorful Text Effect (PSD)

3D gradient colorful tex effect3D gradient colorful tex effect3D gradient colorful tex effect

Why let photos have all the fun? Create an instant rainbow gradient Photoshop text effect using this high-resolution PSD file. You can change both the words, and even the font!  

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