How to paint by numbers
How to do a paint by numbers?
Practical tips from Robert, our loyal customer, to get started with paint by numbers
1/ YOU'VE NEVER PAINTED BEFORE: YOU'VE COME TO THE RIGHT PLACE!"
I had never painted either! Painting by numbers is an excellent way to get into art without experience. It is a creative hobby that anyone can start, there is clearly no age limit. Young people and seniors do it (Info Figured'Art: we have clients over 90 years old who practice painting by numbers every day).
This creative leisure activity is relaxing, it allows you to find inner peace while developing your creativity. If I could do it, believe me, you can too!
The canvases are numbered in accordance with the numbering of the small paint pots. (for example, the colour of pot number 5 should be applied to all areas of the canvas with the number 5)
You see? Nothing very complicated!
2/ CHOOSE YOUR LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY
My wife introduced me to painting by numbers. I started with very simple models which allowed me to learn progressively without getting discouraged. On each collection page on figuredart.com, you can filter by level of difficulty:
I highly recommend doing the same by choosing "Easy" designs, at least for your first 2 painting by numbers. As with any activity, it is important to learn gradually. This will prepare you to paint more complex works in the future.
3/ THE KITS ARE 100% READY TO USE
No need to use anything before starting to paint. No mixing necessary for the paint pots. If you want to give a little more fluidity to certain paintings you can add a drop of water (really no more).
The 3 brushes are enough. Personally, I don't buy my own brushes, I use the ones provided in each Figured'Art paint by numbers kit and it works very well for me.
Make sure the canvas is placed on a flat surface and that the paint pots are within reach to start well. Also have a glass of water available to easily clean your brushes when changing colours.
4/ CLEANING THE BRUSH: THE KEY TO A CLEAN AND PRECISE PAINTING!
Take a glass of water to easily clean your brush. Clean the brush after you have finished using a colour. The use of a cloth will be welcome to dry the brush after cleaning it. Do not skip these crucial steps as they will allow you to achieve precise and vibrant colours for your canvases!
A good cleaning of your brush for a sparkling paint by numbers!
5/ WORK COMFORTABLY
If you are painting on a rolled canvas, I suggest working on a table with all the kit materials within reach. You can also put your canvas on a cardboard surface and tape the edges so it is flat and wrinkle-free. Keep in mind that you can iron your canvas before starting to paint (on the back, not on the printed surface) to remove any small wrinkles.
For your information, you also have precision magnifying glasses that are useful for not straining your eyes during your creations. There are regularly small areas to be done allowing an exceptional result in the end.
6/ BE METHODICAL
To avoid constantly cleaning your brushes, I suggest doing one colour and one area at a time. Start at one end and complete all the areas of a specific number. For large areas to paint, start by painting the intersections and then fill in completely. When you have finished painting a specific colour, clean your brushes and move on to the next area. Each kit contains 3 brushes, for small areas use the smallest brush and for large areas the larger brushes are perfect.
7) TAKE YOUR TIME
Don't rush. When you start painting your paint by numbers, be comfortably seated and if possible, without distraction. On my end, I usually paint during 2-hour sessions. For people with a very active lifestyle, this activity is recommended in the evening and on weekends, it will put you in the perfect situation to relax and clear your mind. For me, it's a lot like meditation through art. Clearly all the bad stress and accumulated fatigue disappear after some time.
It takes time to make the complete work appear and it's often a magical moment to see your painting come to life. Don't hesitate to step back and visually see what you're doing, it will motivate you even more.
8/ YOUR PAINTING TECHNIQUE WILL IMPROVE EFFORTLESSLY
I completed over 30 paintings over a period of 12 months. Without even realising it, I became more and more skilled with my brushes. If you start with simple paintings and gradually start trying to paint more complicated works, it will happen naturally.
9/ STANDARD SIZE AND LARGE SIZE
I have completed paint by numbers of all sizes. To start, the standard 40x50cm canvases are perfect, especially since Figured'Art has stock available for 48-hour delivery on over 300 models. Personally, with experience, I like to complete large formats. If you have vision problems, large sizes are also ideal because the areas to paint are larger, although it takes more time to complete.
10/ FOLLOW THE NUMBERED AREAS
Typically, you can follow the numbers indicated on paint by number canvases closely, at least on your first few creations. Of course, you are free to innovate and particularly if you wish to soften colour demarcations. You can try the "ZigZag" technique, which involves painting the edges of two areas to blend colours and make the colour change appear more natural.
11/ ADD MULTIPLE LAYERS OF PAINT IF NECESSARY
Always let the paint dry before applying another layer in the same area. The canvas gradually absorbs the paint, so it's necessary to wait and see how the paint looks once it's dry, and only add another layer if necessary. Sometimes for light colours, the numbers may still be visible, so adding another layer will make them disappear.
Personally, the colour that I find the most difficult to work with is, oddly, red. I often have to apply multiple layers.
12/ PAINT ON A ROLLED CANVAS OR PRE-STRETCHED CANVAS, YOUR CHOICE
I like to have a unique style for my paintings, so it depends on personal preference. Generally, I paint my canvases first without frame and then have them framed by a local artisan. But you can also buy canvases that are already stretched on wooden frames (super nice and ideal to give as a gift) if you want a 100% ready-to-paint kit. If you plan to hang your canvas directly with the wooden frame, you have the option of painting the margins of the canvas with the colours of the nearby areas. This will give a unique touch to your paintings and avoid the edges being white.
13/ 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 only takes 2 minutes and it will preserve your paintings for decades while keeping the colours bright.
14/ CHOOSE MODELS THAT YOU LIKE
Beyond the level of difficulty, choose models that you like. Art is personal, we all have different tastes, and I'm sure that like me you will find models that appeal to you by looking at the Figured'Art collection.
15/ A POSITIVE AND ADDICTIVE HOBBY
What do you think? If you have any other advice to give after completing your painting, do not hesitate to contact us! We will be happy to share your feedback with the entire Figured'Art community.
Still have questions? Watch this video to see how it works! You can also refer to our other articles and check our Customer Feedback page to see how beautiful your paintings can become.