Painting by Numbers Made Easy!

When were you first exposed to the phrase “paint by numbers?” Maybe it was when you were a child, or maybe it was just recently. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, paint by numbers is a painting method that divides a picture into shapes and assigns a number to each shape that corresponds to the paint color. Aspiring artists fill in each form with the appropriate paint color to create beautiful artwork. Painting by numbers is as simple as it sounds, which is why it became so popular many decades ago and continues to be a popular pastime until today.

A black white and orange graffiti

What does Paint By Numbers mean?

In literal terms, Paint by Numbers means formulaic; showing no original thought or creativity while painting. Max S. Klein, an engineer and owner of the Palmer Paint Company in Michigan, was the first to create paint by numbers kits in 1950. Dan Robbins, a commercial artist, helped develop these kits. Paint by numbers kits was extremely popular, and for good reason: they allowed everyone to create something beautiful. Even though many art critics despised these kits, the general public adored them. Paint by number kits is an American trademark that is still well-loved by people all over the world. 

A photo of various colors of paint pots

Tips for Painting by Numbers Like a Pro

The benefit of the painting by numbers is that it doesn’t require you to be a professional artist or imaginative to make it work. When the instructions are followed, a beautiful piece of art will be produced. The only requirements for painting-by-numbers success are a passion for art and a reasonably steady hand.

Although the paint-by-numbers method is very simple, a few tips will improve the experience and make the finished product more attractive. Here are a few pointers to help you make your art stand out:

  1. Clear a flat area before you begin. To clean brushes, have a cup of water and a paper towel on hand.
  2. When your brushes get clogged, clean them. To avoid drying, make sure the tops of the paint pots are fully closed when you’re done.
  3. Try starting from the top of the canvas to the bottom.
  4. Begin with the darkest color and work your way to the lightest, leaving any segments with a mixed color (double number) to the very last. We recommend starting from dark to light colors (or vice versa) because it will teach you a bit about color tone and chroma.
  5. If you don’t want to use the brushes that come with paint-by-number sets, you can buy your own at a craft store. You may want to have a larger brush on hand, rather than the small ones included in the kits.
  6. Some canvases come wrinkled. Before you start painting, spray a thin mist of water on the canvas and iron the backside with a low setting to remove any wrinkles.
  7. Paint with just one color at a time, starting with the colors with the largest areas.

Benefits of Painting by Numbers

Paint by numbers is more than just a recreational activity. It’s also one with a lot of advantages. Among them are:

      Increased hand-eye coordination

Painting by numbers improves hand-eye coordination. Hand-eye coordination training can lead to faster response times, as well as increased stamina and athleticism. It can also help you develop your typing skills, making you more efficient at work.

      Encourages other artistic endeavors

Some artists may have started out doing paint by numbers. Perhaps, paint by numbers was their first encounter with painting. This painting technique can reveal an interest in art that you didn’t realize you had. Don’t be surprised if painting by numbers inspires you to pursue more serious artistic pursuits. It will, at the very least, be entertaining and provide you with a creative outlet to express yourself.

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