Everything You Need to Know About Paint by Numbers - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Everything You Need to Know About Paint by Numbers

Image by Ulrike Leone from Pixabay

Have you ever looked at a painting and marveled at the ability of the artist to recreate an image? The artistry required to combine colors to get just the right effect is a skill which can take a lifetime to perfect, so it’s probably not too surprising that the only time most of us pick up a brush is to give the walls in our home a new coat of paint. 

But, there is another way for even the most artistically limited of us to produce a piece of art which we’d be proud to have on display within our home, and that’s through paint by numbers. If you’re not familiar with this style of painting, you work on a canvas that already has the outline of the image pre-printed. Then, each color is replaced by a number that matches one of the pots of paint, which comes along with the kit. All that you then need to do is to fill in the areas of the canvas with the correspondingly numbered paint.

Paint by numbers removes the need for drawing skills and the eye to pick out the most appropriate shades of paint. Though that said, there is still some room for artistic license by tweaking some of the colors. Prefer the Mona Lisa to be wearing a different colored outfit? Well, you could do that to create your very own unique piece of art! Did you know that Leonardo de Vinci was one of the first known artists to develop a paint by numbers way of working? He would sketch the outline, number it to represent the color to be used, and then delegate the painting to his subordinates!

Coming back to modern times, many of De Vinci’s works are now available in a paint by number form, but he is not the only famous artist whose work is available for you to recreate. Van Gogh’s Scream, Monet’s Poppy Fields, and Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with A Pearl Earring are just a few of those available as paint by number kits. And if the classics are not to your style, you’ll also find urban scenes, landscapes, and movie-themed canvases. 

Top Ten Tips For Beautiful Paint by Number Results

  1. Try to start painting in the top left-hand side if you’re right-handed or the top right-hand side of the canvas if you’re left-handed. That will stop you from accidentally smudging the paint with your hand.
  2. Double-check that you’ve selected the correct color! This sounds very obvious, but it’s still easy to make a mistake. Once you’re sure that you’ve got the right one, fill in all the areas for that shade on the canvas before moving on to the next one.
  3. Remember to close the paint pot when not in use as acrylic paints dry quickly. If you’ve accidentally left the lid off and the paint has dried up, you might be able to revitalize it by mixing in a few drops of warm water.
  4. Wash your brush before moving on to the next color. The smallest amount of residual paint can really affect the tone of the next color.
  5. Just use the tip of the brush to paint with. This will make it much easier to be precise and to complete intricate areas of the painting.
  6. Use the minimum amount of paint on the brush at a time. Too much will make it challenging to keep within the lines and runs the risk of splashes in other areas of the canvas.
  7. When using a light color of paint, it can be challenging to cover the number so that it doesn’t show through. Let the paint dry before adding a second layer to get complete coverage. Alternatively, use a whiteout pen for a quick solution!
  8. Accidently splashed some paint or got paint smudges? Nail polish remover on a cotton wall ball can be a lifesaver.
  9. Iron the canvas before getting started to make it easier to handle and to remove any creases or wrinkles. 
  10. Struggling to be accurate enough in the tiny spaces? Try using a toothpick!

Taking part in art pastimes can be hugely beneficial to our wellbeing. From the opportunity to think about something other than work, through to a growth in confidence in our abilities, taking time to do something creative is the perfect antidote to the modern world. Paint by numbers could be the ideal solution.


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