How to paint by numbers

Painting by numbers is a very good introduction to painting, with all the hard work taken out of the process. The kits which are available on the market have different levels of ability, and from the small child embarking on painting for the first time to the adult looking for a hobby, painting by numbers can fit the bill. Often these days the complexity of painting by numbers has been enhanced so that much is left to the imagination of the painter, using the numbers as guidelines to create their own work of art.


Step 1

Set out your colors.

Each color in a painting by numbers kit has a number corresponding with the numbers shown on the painting itself. It is important to remember what these numbers are. If you can create a cardboard holder for your paints, or if the kit supplies one, try to keep all the paint pots in their corresponding number slot so as to avoid confusion.

Step 2

Medium for washing brushes between colors.

Depending upon whether your kit is oil or water based, have appropriate medium available to wash your brush. For water based paints, a small jar of water is sufficient. For oil based paints, you will need a small amount of white spirit.

Step 3

Starting the painting.

Don’t be tempted to paint little areas all over the picture, as it is very easy to put your hands into wet areas. Starting from one corner work your way across the picture in a logical fashion.

Step 4

Practice brush strokes.

Try your brush on a small area of paper to see how fine you can paint. This is important as it helps you to get it right when you start painting the picture itself. Decide at this stage if you need finer paintbrushes.

Step 5

Color cautions.

Be aware that two adjacent areas in different colors may run if you paint them when the paint in the adjoining area is wet. Try to work so that one color is worked on at a time.

Step 6

How to paint with paint by numbers.

Each area on the painting is marked with a number. Some of these will be hard to see and the use of a magnifying glass may be necessary. That number corresponds with the paint used for that particular area. Start to paint and keep your painting within the lines drawn on the picture, as each area needs to clearly be in that one color, and if you go over the lines, you may obscure numbers for other areas.

Step 7

Tackling difficult areas.

If there are areas which are too small for the paintbrush use a smaller paintbrush. This helps you to stay within the lines drawn.

Step 8

Leaving to dry.

When you have finished your painting for the day, leave the painting to dry in a safe place.

Step 9

Learning from painting by numbers.

Painting by numbers helps a new artist to appreciate how color is used to create atmosphere, shadowed areas, natural elements and colors themselves in a painting and is a first class way for a beginning painter to start their experience.

You will Need
• A surface protected from paint spills.
• Paint brush.
• Painting by number board.
• Original picture for guidance.
• Glasses (if needed to aid eyesight)
• Water or white spirit.

Tips & Warnings
• Work little by little rather than being overly ambitious.
• Keep pots closed between use to conserve paint.


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