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How To Paint By Numbers?

“When you want to make the main color pure and bright, don’t just keep adding bright colors on it. Just make the colors around the spot darker and dull. It will give the scene dramatical effects. I think life is the same.” Hiroko Sakai

 Who doesn’t want to enjoy the art? Sometimes you are unable to perceive the idea of the artist because you can’t apprehend the language of the art. But what is that, you can’t stop yourself from admiring the panting you are standing in front of. It is your innate desire to appreciate, whether it is the amalgamation of colors or the strokes of the brush that takes you somewhere deep in your unconsciousness. There can be another reason. You would not be an inborn artist but you have that aesthetic sense that urges on applauding when came across a Piece of Art. To appease this hanker, Dan Robbins invented Paint by Numbers Kit. 

There are some privileged people who are awarded with natural proclivity to painting. Thousands of moments, they can spend in painting something without getting tired. And this quality is called Talent .others do not bother to consider the effort that artist is investing to polish this skill, once Michelangelo said:

“If people knew how hard I worked t get my mastery it wouldn’t seem so wonderful after all” 

Like other skills, painting can also be learnt. Although, many people in the art world reacted badly against the Paint by Number Kits, considering it as an underrated work of art. But Robbins wrote in his memoir—-

“I never claim that painting by number is art. It is the experience of art, and it brings that experience to the individual who would normally not pick up a brush, not dip it in paint. That’s what it does.”

What is paint by Numbers?

Paint  by Numbers is a line of action that works for those who have no knowledge of painting but they want to paint and create masterpieces themselves.  It divides the picture in different sections and the painter needs to understand the correlation between numbers and colors and paint in correspondence that will ultimately emerge as a beautiful piece of art.

How to paint by Numbers?

If you are not sure how to paint by numbers? Read this article till the end.

There is not any one word answer to the question. Some defined elements are included in painting a unique piece of art. Composition and colors are subject to a successful painting. Harmonious and well-executed work gives a pleasant sight to the viewers. 

Which paint is suitable? 

Give it a try and ask yourself. What kind of work are you aiming to create? 

Acrylic paints have ability to experiment, light fastness and quick dry quality. If you prefer to complete the painting without periodical break

If you want the colors stay the same, bright and original. And

If you want to experiment with colors, Acrylic can be the best bet.

Oil paints take a good time of two to three days for drying up. They change colors with the passage of time. That’s the reason; old pictures give a yellowish tinge after a time because the color started to fade away. If you are working for enjoyment in flexible hours without any hassle to complete the painting, you can go for oil paints.

Stretch and Fix the canvas

It seems daunting but it is very easy to stretch and fix the canvas. It becomes easier with stretch bars specially designed for this purpose. These are made of soft wood with notches that help in perfect fixing. Spread the canvas and thumbtack through the wood along with the corners and sides of the bars. Make sure that no dangling occurs during the fixation of canvas.

Working Area

Always select a peaceful place that would not be congested to move around freely. You have sufficient space to open and organize the kit.  Be careful as you think you should be while working with liquids because they always find their way. It is necessary to avoid brimfulness. 

Well-lit space

You have to work on details that can be broad to minute. A well lit area or proper availability of light is a “must” for working properly.

Comfortable seat

It is not a game of minutes. You have to stay at one place for hours. The time stretches from hours to hours. It is very important to get a comfortable seat for yourself to avoid any contraction of the back or neck.

Flat and broad surface table

To keep things organized and avoid mess, a flat surface is recommended for the purpose. Flexible changing in position and switching between the articles used in painting should be reachable.

Take digital picture of the canvas

To tackle with the sudden mishaps of spilling or tearing of the canvas, take the precaution measures. Take a digital picture of the canvas before starting work. It will work as references that can be used in any difficult situation.

How to Start?

Your canvas is ready to start the work. How will you start now?

We have important bullet points to help you.

  • Unpack the kit and lay the articles on the table in proper order.
  • A cup of water and some paper towels for cleaning purposes.
  • Match the color with the pre-numbered section and start from there.
  • Start from the dark shades first and then move on the lighter ones gradually.
  • Always start painting from top to downwards. Working from down to upward have the probability of messing up with colors.
  • Always go from left to the right of the canvas. It is for the right handed ones. Left handed can make up to their convenience.
  • Start from the largest part on the canvas and then move to the minor ones. It will give precision to the work.

Tip for Unique Painting

Buy a Mounted canvas Frame

This tip is for beginners. It will be difficult for them to line up the border on the bars. They can opt for the mounted canvas that is specially designed for the beginners to help initiating work without losing interest at first step. 

Keep brush clean

 Make sure to clean the brush before switching between colors. Dip the brush into a cup of water and then dry it on paper cloth. Leave a bit of wetness into the bristles so that they can glide with ease. It is ready to give a neat look to your work. 


Buy professional brushes

We will recommend you to buy a professional set of brushes to avoid ruin and get perfection in work. Not all but some kits do not come with good quality brushes. 

Paint  amount

Start from the middle of the section and do not pour a glob of paint onto the canvas. So much amount can invade into the other areas to destroy the symmetry.


It is an option for those who want to paint with oil colors. As it makes the canvas more absorbent and helps the brush to strike in a flow. 

Use white color to hide unwanted lines

Some lighter shades fail to hide the lines or numbers printed on the canvas. White out or use white pencil to hide these unwanted lines.  

Close paint caps

After every use, close the caps of the painting pots. It averts from spilling or 

Drying up.

Correspondence between number and colors

Prior to every step, it is crucial that you understand the chemistry of numbers and colors given on the side of the canvas. It will avoid confusion and give dexterity in work. 

Kits include;

Three types of kits are available. For beginners, for adult and for children. They included

  • Canvas printed with numbers and color codes
  • An easel, 
  • Paint brushes
  • Acrylic paint pots
  • A sample picture
  • Instruction set


Q no 1. Which one is easy? Work on an easel or on a table.

Switching between the two i.e. the best strategy for long hours of working.

Q no 2. My paints got dry. How can I reuse them?

Acrylic paints are water soluble. Add a little amount of hot water into the pot and get life back into it. And if they get thicker, add flow improver in the cup.

Q no 3. What is the best thing to work in tiny spaces?

 Toothpick can fulfill the need.

Q no 4. How to remove the crease from canvas?

Iron the canvas at the highest temperature. It will release the lines.

Q no 5. Which one is better? White gesso or clear gesso.

If you are working with oil paints, clear gesso is recommended. White one will cover the lines and numbers as well.

Q no 6. From where I can buy these paintings by number kits?

These kits are available online.  You can buy from online stores trusted resellers to ensure the standard quality kit.



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