Paint by numbers in 10 Useful tips!

Here are the top 10 Artist Tips to help you in the creation of your work. These tips are intended primarily for our experienced artist clients who have already painted at least one canvas but you can consider it from the beginning if you wish!


10 - How to avoid seeing the numbers through the painting


White pencil for paint by numbers

 White professional drawing pencils for your paint by numbers.

Mostly, the numbers can not be seen through paint, but this can happen for the very light colours. The magic solution? Colour the numbers with a white pencil!

Find the numbers for your lightest colours on your canvas, and colour those numbers with your white pencil before painting. You will see a great result!


9 - Gesso Transparent: Get a better adhesion of the paint


Gesso Transparent brings an extra degree of roughness to the canvas to allow acrylic or oil paint to stick better.

This fabric preparer is transparent (Clear Gesso or Clear Gesso in English), it optimises the adhesion of the canvas without affecting the visibility of the numbers and areas to paint!

It is therefore ideal to apply it on your canvas, then let everything dry for at least 24 hours.


8 - Fluidifier: Make the paint more liquid or revive dry paint


Some people prefer their paint less thick and easier to handle.

Acrylic paints are soluble in water, so you can usually get by with a few drops of water.

However, for the most complex paints, you can optimise the fluidity of these with a fluidiser. Order your acrylic paint fluidiser now!


7 - Support - How to stabilise your canvas in complete mobility


Drawing boards can also be very useful for painting by numbers! They bring a large flat surface on which you can hold your canvases.

Once placed, fastened or clipped onto the support panel, you can bring your canvas wherever you feel comfortable to paint.

Inside or outside, in your garage or living room, paint where you want!

We offer A3 size drawing boards, A2 drawing boards, and small, easy-to-use easels for organising your canvas and frame.


Drawing board for paint by numbers
Drawing board: The ideal support for your paint by numbers!
Table easel for paint by numbers
Artist table easel: ideal for your paintings by numbers!

6 - Be smart with your extra paint


After finishing your canvas, you often end up with excess paint, most of the time ending up in garbage.

Our paints are non-toxic and harmless for the environment, however we strongly advise not to spoil this painting and to use it between two paint by numbers to train on a blank canvas. This way you can see your progress, and express your creativity without being limited by zones and numbers! Order now your blank stretched canvas ready to use.


How to use your left-over paint for paint by numbers

5 - Digital Solutions: How to optimise your sight


Some customers find the numbers too small, affecting their reading and their painting experience.

However, having paint by numbers with small areas also allows you to obtain a more detailed and beautiful job, so it is difficult to limit our paintings to large areas of color.

Rather than providing a magnifying glass, which would be really impractical, we recommend taking a picture of your canvas before starting the painting.

This way, during your creation, you can return to this photo via your smartphone or tablet, while being able to zoom in on smaller areas!


Zoom in on your paint by numbers

4 - Modeling glasses: Better visibility of the numbers


As noted in the previous tip, some customers find the numbers too small, affecting ease of reading and their paint experience.

However, having paint by numbers with small areas also allows you to obtain a more detailed and beautiful job, so it is difficult to limit our paintings to large areas of colour.

In addition to or as a replacement for the "digital" solution described on Tip 5, we also recommend using our magnifying glasses for paint by numbers with integrated LED lighting.

This is the traditional solution used by craftsmen or model makers doing precision work, and since the dawn of time! Order your pair of prescription glasses!


Brillenlupe mit LED Lampe
Headband Magnifier Glass Magnifying Glasses with Lamp for Paint by Numbers.

3- Pleated canvas: How to smooth the wrinkles of a canvas


The wrinkles on canvas are quite normal, especially after a shipment of rolled or folded canvas.

Fortunately, just like the wrinkles on clothes coming out of the dryer, you can use your iron!

- Ironing the canvas before applying the paint!

- Flip the canvas to iron with the iron against the back of it.

- Gradually increase the temperature of your iron without ever reaching Lin / Cotton (Canvases are usually linen, but the surface to be painted on has a special treatment as well as an impression of numbered areas).

Be careful with the temperature of your iron!


2 - Painting one number at a time: Keeping your paint wet


If you paint a single colour at a time, while making sure to close the jars between each application on the canvas, you will avoid exposing the paints to the air too long and you will avoid drying your paint prematurely.

Before opening paint pots, there is no risk, everything is arranged so that the paint is still fresh when it arrives in your hands.

However after opening, in case of prolonged exposure to air and therefore in case of partial drying of the pots, do not panic! We have the solution !

These paints are acrylic, so you can also use a little water or for even more efficiency, professional acrylic fluids.


1- ZigZag: How to Fade and Manage Transitions


The Zigzag technique is an advanced technique for professional paint by number painters.

The basic concept is to blur the transition areas between each colour area for a more natural and realistic look. Indeed we must not forget that the numbered areas are there to guide you, but it is not mandatory to follow them!

Painting is Art, and therefore there are no rules! Express your creativity, and with practice, think outside the box to improve your work with some personal touches.

This is the idea:

Summary of the shading steps:

Initial step:

Paint by numbers, trying to get a smooth look, without strokes, and with a relatively thin layer of paint. Do not panic if the numbers are still visible through the painting, because additional layers are expected to get the final result.

Final step:

Follow the Zigzag method on transition areas to create realistic and breathtaking gradients!

Explanation of the "Zigzag" technique presented in the video:

The purpose of the maneuver is to blur a transition zones between two colours, by painting a Zigzag shape, crossing both colours.

In the example introduction of the video, it’s a test with green and brown. We begin with brown oblique brush strokes on the green zone, then continue with oblique but opposite green brushstrokes, towards the brown zone.

Using a clean brush, it is then a question of "mixing" the zone of Zigzag delicately in order to gradually create a beautiful blurring. Be careful never to fade through your own brush, too far from the Zigzag area.

Clean your brush regularly with a piece of fabric during this phase of shading for an even more precise result.

Congratulations, you are now a confirmed painter who knows how to master beautiful gradients!

Like any discipline of Art, good results come with training and time.

No need to rush thinking about the results, focusing only on your final canvas. You may not appreciate the moment, won’t be satisfied with your work, and therefore waste your time.

Focus on the process of painting, acquiring technique, and experience, rather than on the outcome.

If you apply yourself and take your time, you will always be satisfied with the incredible result of your hard work.