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The Complete Beginner's Guide to Paint By Numbers

The Complete Beginner's Guide to Paint By Numbers

Just got your very first paint by numbers kit for adults and don't know how to get started? Are you afraid of making mistakes that will ruin your painting?

Don't panic, we're passionate about this topic and know exactly how to help you.

In this article, you will discover:

  • How to start your first paint by numbers
  • What strategy to adopt to paint correctly
  • All the tips to have the paint by numbers

Let's discover together now the paint by numbers tips that will help you to do things right.

        I. Before you start painting

You have just received your paint by numbers kit. Before you start, it is important to get in shape so that everything goes smoothly.

a. Prepare your space and your material

Before you start painting, it is important to get yourself in the right conditions to have a better experience. In this section, you will be given some tips on how to paint in the best conditions.

1. Find a comfortable, well-lit room to paint

You have a wide variety of paint by numbers kits available in our store. However, the more detailed the kit is, the smaller the space will be. That's why we advise you to put yourself in a well-lit room to see all the details of your paint by numbers.

2. Choose a comfortable desk or table to paint on

You will spend many hours painting, so it is important to choose a space where you will be comfortable. It is also important to change your position regularly.

3. Clear an area of anything that should not be damaged (wet or dirty)

Anyone who has ever done painting knows that doing it without getting anything dirty is particularly difficult. That's why we recommend clearing a large area so you don't stain your stuff.

You can also cover the area where you plan to work with old newspapers to keep the work surface clean. This tip will help you avoid being distracted by the possibility of splatter or stains.

4. Take a photo of your blank canvas

Take a picture of the final image of your paint by numbers. It may happen that during the activity you accidentally damage the reference image (it may be misplaced, stained, torn, etc.). With this method you will always have a copy of the image with you. 

In addition, we recommend that you take pictures to record your progress. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing the progress of your project.

5. Take a small amount of water (in a glass) and some tissues

It is important to keep your brushes wet but not too wet so that they don't dry out during the activity.  Also, it is highly recommended to do one color at a time. This will prevent your paint from drying out.

To keep your brush wet and clean, dip it in water and dry the excess with your paper towel. It is important to clean your brush thoroughly with each color change to avoid any mixing.

b. Prepare your paint by numbers canvas

It is best to work on a framed canvas so that the canvas stays still while you work. This will prevent you from creating wrinkles while painting. Most of our kits are sold with or without a frame.

Some more experienced painters may be tempted to use gesso.

1. Is the use of GESSO mandatory?

GESSO is not mandatory for acrylic paints. It depends on your preferences, however we do not recommend its use.

What is GESSO and what is it used for?

It is a preparation that makes the paint more fluid and the canvas more absorbent. However, it is not as necessary for painting with acrylic paints as it is for painting with oil paints.

Traditional oil painting gesso contains a glue that helps bind the paint to the canvas and prevents the paint from corroding. However, all our paint by numbers kits contain acrylic paint. This paint does not corrode which makes gesso much less necessary.

Should I use gesso for my paint by numbers?

This choice is entirely up to you. However, we do not recommend using gesso with our acrylic paint.

Gesso for acrylic paint will make the canvas a little smoother and more absorbent. However, it can stain your numbers and lines and can lead you to make mistakes with your paint by numbers.

      II. How to get started on your paint by numbers

Once you have chosen your workspace and prepared the canvas, it is time to start your masterpiece.

a. Do one number at a time

This activity involves matching each of the paint ports that are numbered with the pre-numbered area on the canvas. We strongly recommend that you use one number at a time to prevent the paints from drying out. Dry paint is no longer usable.

In addition, this method will allow you to reduce the number of times you rinse the brush between each number. For example, going from color 1 to 5 and back to 1 is not recommended.

This method also allows the paint to dry on the canvas before moving on to another color. This avoids mixing two colors that would be too fresh.

b. Start from the top to the bottom

To avoid smudging, we recommend starting your paint by numbers from the top to the bottom of the canvas. For example, when you start with paint number 5, you paint all areas with that number from the top down.

c. Paint from left to right?

We recommend that you paint according to your dominant hand. Indeed, the direction depends on whether you are right or left handed:

  • Right-handed: we advise you to paint from left to right.
  • Left-handed people: we advise you to paint from right to left.

d. What color to start with?

We recommend starting with the darkest colors and ending with the lightest colors.

The darker colors are usually part of the background and will help you create an outline that will give you a general idea of the image you are painting. As soon as you finish the background, continue with the smaller areas.

e. Paint with the tip of your brush

Dip only the tip of your brush. This trick will help you gain precision and help you stay within the lines.

It will also keep the paint in the rest of the brush from drying (in the bristles closest to the handle). This trick will save you paint, so you'll have more left over for touch-ups on your work.

In addition, this technique will allow you to rinse your brush much more easily between each color.

    III. How to go from beginner to expert

In this part, we will give you some tips to increase your level. Below is a non-exhaustive list of tips:

  • Prevent your paint from drying out: Use one number at a time and close the lid whenever you are not painting to prevent it from drying out. Also, only open one can at a time.
  • The can without a number or with a gray dot is the gray or blank area of the canvas.
  • Iron your canvas or put it under a pile of books: It is possible to iron your canvas before painting it. This will remove the wrinkles. However, be careful with the temperature of your iron so as not to damage the canvas. You can also put your canvas under a pile of books for a few hours to remove the wrinkles.
  • Tip for hanging your painting without drilling your wall: If you want to hang your painting but don't want to drill your wall, you can use double-sided tape, glue dots or reusable adhesive tabs.
  • Clean your brushes properly between each color. As we discussed earlier, it's best to use only the tip of the brush. This increases the precision of your gestures while facilitating the cleaning. It is necessary to dip the brush in water, then wipe it with a paper towel and repeat the process until there is almost no color left in the brush.
  • Dampen your brush before putting it in the paint: We recommend dipping the brush in a cup of water, then drying the excess water on a paper towel before dipping the tip into the paint can.
  • Just dip the tip of your brush: This will allow you to make the most accurate strokes possible.
  • Add water when necessary: All of our paints are acrylic and water soluble. Sometimes, if the jar has been left open too long, the paint may dry out a little. You can remedy this by adding a drop or two of warm water to bring it back to life! Be careful not to add too much water. This trick will improve the flow of the paint (flow improver).
  • Use a toothpick: It often happens that there are spaces too small to paint even with a small professional brush. You can use a toothpick to paint these small area.
  • Don't be afraid to make mistakes: If you fill in a number with the wrong color, you don't have to worry. Just wait for the paint to dry and cover the area with the right color. If you still see the wrong color through, try covering it with a new coat of paint.
  • Don't overdo it: You don't need to use a lot of color for each section of your canvas. Don't put on too much paint because the canvas won't be able to absorb it properly. This can cause smudging.
  • Take breaks: If you're a beginner, know that you don't have to finish your paint by numbers kit for adults in one sitting. Do it in installments. Don't be in too much of a hurry.
  • Having trouble removing paint stains? Try cotton or cotton swab and nail polish remover to remove them.

   IV. Conclusion

As you can see, there are a number of tips that will help you paint your canvas in the best way possible.

With this information, you with all the tips and tricks to start your first paint, you can make this activity a real moment of relaxation by avoiding the mistakes of beginners.

That's why we suggest you reread this guide regularly to master the techniques to succeed in your paint by numbers.

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