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How to Paint by Numbers - Ethan's Tips

How To Paint By Numbers

Paint By Numbers Paradise wanted to hear from one of our loyal customers on how to get started with paint by numbers.

I.Never painted before in your life? You've come to the right place

I had never painted in my life! I started to take an interest in activities that allowed me to reduce my stress and "disconnect". I have a friend who told me about paint-by-numbers which could be a great way to get into art without having any experience. At first, I didn't understand the interest because I'm not very artistic, but I was convinced. It is a creative hobby that anyone can start at any age. There are young people as well as seniors who practice this activity (info Paint By Numbers Paradise: we have clients over 70 years old who practice painting by numbers very regularly).

This creative leisure activity is relaxing, it allows you to find inner peace while developing your creativity and concentration. If I could do it, believe me, you will too!

The canvases are numbered and you have small paint cans each with a number. For example, the color from can 3 should be applied to all areas of the canvas marked 3).

You see? Nothing very complicated!

paint by numbers

II. Choose your level of difficulty

As I told you above, it was a friend who introduced me to paint-by-numbers, I started with very simple models which allowed me to learn gradually without getting discouraged. On the website paint-by-numbers-paradise.com you can find paintings for different levels:

  • Easy
  • Intermediate
  • Difficult

You can see when a paint-by-numbers is easy when it has large areas composed of a single color. On the other hand, a difficult paint by numbers has a lot of small and complicated areas to paint; this will require the painter to pay more attention in order not to go over the areas.

I strongly advise you, if you are a beginner, to start with an easy paint by numbers, at least for your first 2 paintings. As in every activity, you have to learn little by little and don't hesitate to ask for information. This will allow you to be ready to paint more complex works in the future.

III. You receive a paint by numbers kit ready to use

No need to use anything before you start painting. No mixing is needed to prepare the paint. If you want to make some paints a little more liquid, you can add a drop of water, no more! (it is really important not to add too much water).

IV. Clean your brushes regularly: the key to clean, smudge-free paint!

Put a glass of water next to you so you can easily clean your brushes. Clean them after you finish using a color. I also recommend that you reseal the paint cans when you are done with a number. This will help prevent the paint from drying out.

Also, the use of a cloth will be welcome to dry the brush after cleaning it. It is important not to skip these crucial steps as they will allow you to obtain precise and vibrant colors for your paintings. It also allows you to preserve the quality of your material with each use. If you leave dry paint in a brush, it will degrade its effectiveness.

V. Prepare a comfortable area

If you are painting on a rolled canvas format, I recommend working on a table, with good lighting and with all the kit materials at hand. You can also put your canvas on a cardboard surface and tape it at the ends so that it lies flat, without folds and, above all, to prevent it from moving. This method will allow you to avoid dirtying your work surface with possible splashes.

Be aware that you can iron your canvas before starting to paint (on the back of the canvas, not on the printed surface; also be careful of the temperature) in order to remove any folds.

For those who work on a stretched canvas, you can work on an easel comfortably installed on a sofa or in a pleasant space.

You can choose to paint with the help of precision magnifying glasses which are practical to avoid eye strain during the activity. Especially for paint by numbers difficult, there are often small areas to paint. This accessory will be a great help for you.

VI. Act with method

This activity requires to act with a certain methodology in order to have a beautiful result. To do this, I give you a few tips:

  • In order not to have to constantly clean your brushes, I advise you to do more or less one color and one area at a time.
  • Paint from left to right if you are right handed and vice versa if you are left handed. This will ensure that you don't inadvertently spill wet paint with your arm.
  • Paint from top to bottom always for the same reasons.
  • Start with the darker colors and end with the lighter ones.
  • Clean your brushes after each use so that the paint doesn't dry out or contaminate a can of paint with another color.
  • Take breaks if you feel tired or lose focus.

VII. Take your time!

Don't be in a hurry, this is not a race. When you start painting your canvas, be comfortable and if possible without other distractions nearby. Personally, I usually paint for about 2 hours each session. For people who have a very busy schedule, this activity is recommended in the evenings and on weekends, it will put you in a perfect situation to relax and clear your mind. To me, this is very similar to meditation in art or art therapy. Clearly all the bad stress and accumulated mental fatigue disappears after a while.

It is a magical moment to see the complete work appear little by little and it is often a pleasant feeling to see your painting come to life. Don't hesitate to take a step back and visualize what you are doing, it will motivate you even more.

VIII. Your brushstroke will improve little by little

I made more than 30 paintings over a period of 12 months. Without realizing it, I became more and more skilled with my brushes. If you start with easy paint-by-numbers you can gradually take on more and more complex paintings. This will allow you to gradually take on new challenges.

IX. A wide choice of dimensions

I have made paint by numbers of all sizes. To begin with, standard 40x50cm canvases are perfect, especially since Paint By Numbers Paradise has a very large selection.

Personally, thanks to the experience I have gained, I like to make large paint by numbers. If you have vision problems, the larger sizes are also ideal because the areas to be painted are larger, although it takes longer to complete.

X. Simply follow the numbered areas

Generally, you can follow the numbers on paint-by-numbers canvases to the letter, at least on your first few paintings. With time, experience and lots of practice, you can innovate by, for example, softening the color lines. You can try the "Zig Zag" technique which allows you to paint at the ends of 2 areas in order to mix the colors and thus make the change of colors very natural.

how to paint by numbers

XI. Add several layers of paint if necessary

Always allow the paint to dry before applying another coat to the same area. The canvas absorbs the paint progressively so it is necessary to wait to see how the paint looks once it is dry and to apply another coat only if necessary. Sometimes for light colors the numbers can still be visible so reapplying a new coat will make them disappear. Be careful not to use too much paint on an area, you may not have enough to finish the canvas.

Personally, the color I find the most difficult is strangely the red, I regularly use several layers.

XII. Choose between a rolled or stretched canvas

Frankly after so much experience in paint by numbers my choice is not yet clear. It depends on the canvas I paint and my feeling.

Generally I paint my canvases without stretcher first for those that I will have framed at a local craftsman.

But you can also buy a wooden stretcher or canvas stretched on a frame (very nice and ideal to offer) if you want a 100% ready to paint kit.

If you are going to hang your canvas with the wooden stretcher directly, you can paint the margins of the canvas with the colors of the nearby areas and this will give a unique touch to your paintings, so that the edges don't stay white.

XIII. Add a coat of varnish to your painting once the work is finished

Not mandatory but I still recommend it, add a coat of varnish with a solution like liquitex. Very easy to apply, it takes only 2 minutes and will keep your paintings very long with bright colors.

XIV. Choose patterns you like

Beyond the level of difficulty, choose patterns that you like. Art is personal, we all have different tastes, I am sure that like me you will find models that attract you by looking at the collections offered by Paint By Numbers Paradise. This store offers a wide range of paint by numbers.

Personally, I buy most often paint by numbers animals because I am very close to animals by my job.

XV. Hang your masterpieces on your walls or give them as gifts

What is practical with this activity is that you can choose your paintings. Indeed, when you choose your painting by number, you should already think about its second life. Personally I use them to decorate the walls of my house and my office. As I often do it allows me to vary the decorations of my living space.

Moreover, it is always a personal satisfaction to see a painting and to say to oneself that "it is me who made it".

You can offer it to your friends, they will be a personalized and unique gift. You can offer for example a paint by numbers personalized with a photo of you both during an unforgettable day for example. 

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XVI. A positive and addictive hobby

It is well known that it is important to have a healthy lifestyle. Painting by numbers is an integral part of my daily routine. I take the Paint By Numbers Paradise kits with me everywhere, even on vacation.

It allows me to relax and clear my mind, I couldn't live without it!

What do you think? If you have any other tips after completing your painting, please contact us!  We'd love to share your story with our entire Paint By Numbers Paradise community.

Still haven't figured it all out? Want to see how it's done?

The video below will give you a better idea of the activity.

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