Painting by Numbers: What It is and How to Choose a Kit

When she was younger, my sister liked drawing and even wanted to become an architect. I gave her a paint-by-numbers kit on her last birthday. The gift turned out to be perfect. She got so involved in the work, that spent 2 hours on it every day for a week. The result was excellent: the canvas adorns my sister and her husband’s living room now, and their guests say: “That’s beautiful!”

Masterpieces with Instructions

Painting by numbers is an amazingly simple crafty activity. Everybody can do it.
Art sets of this kind usually include:

  • pre-printed textured art canvas – wooden framed or frameless;
  • labeled pots of all the necessary paints;
  • a paper with instructions (some come with a small master copy as an example);
  • 3-6 brushes of different sizes.

A picture is divided into areas, each marked with a figure corresponding to a code for a particular color. You just paint over the shapes, following the numbers.  If an area has two figures, it means colors should be mixed together in equal proportions, but most commonly no blending is required.

Is it a useful exercise for a novice artist? Yes, I think so. While working for fun, he or she unwittingly learns to analyze a subject and understand how a painting is constructed.

Several Tips 

Don’t order a kit in an online store just because the picture looks nice. Carefully read the product description.

What points are important?

  • Type of medium. The product details may say ” Oil Painting”, but there is every chance you’ll get acrylic paints. That isn’t a bad thing, by the way. Acrylic is better as it’s water-soluble and odorless.
  • Size. Creating of large canvas can take about 2 months. The set will include everything that you need – except time.
  • The number of tiny areas of the image. Highly detailed pictures require experience and accuracy: one careless move and the whole painting is ruined.

Look at customer reviews to form a well-founded opinion on the product.

They are really helpful. I found out that when choosing the mentioned above kit for my sister.

For instance, sometimes colors do not match the product photo. People who have bought sets with such defects always write about them in their comments.

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Natalia Usanova
I am a poet and an amateur artist. A few years ago, it seemed to me creating works of art is a much more important occupation than reading books, visiting galleries, or listening to music. Now I don't think so. Let me share with you the masterpieces which have changed my life and can change yours. Follow me on Twitter!

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