Paint by numbers kits have made it on the list of the top 100 best hobbies of the century. It’s an amazing way to try your hand at painting and dip a toe into the life of an artist. Typically, these kits feature a picture divided into several parts, each marked with a number. Then, you just have to use the numbered paint colors from your kit to match the numbers on the canvas. In no time, a beautiful picture will start to emerge with results that will make you feel like a true artist.
Initially, our paint by number canvases may appear to be a jungle of shapes with barely recognizable lines and numbers. You might be intimidated at first or bored by the black and white design. But hold on! Don’t get overwhelmed; just follow the instructions, and you’ll reap the benefits of your patience with a stunning artwork for your home.
If you’ve already ordered a paint by numbers kit and you want to ensure the best possible outcome for your work, Canvas by Numbers has a variety of canvas painting techniques that can help. With our top tips for painting by numbers, your work will be indistinguishable from the print of an actual master. So follow along for our best tips for paint by numbers on canvas to discover your inner artist!
Even though our kits come with easy guidelines and instructions, you’ll still need a bit of practice in order to master this creative exercise. Painting, even with a guide, is an ongoing learning experience that improves with more practice. You must hone your skills with our canvas painting techniques to become an overall better artist.
Paint by number kits for beginners are a simple way to start practicing your painting. You’ll become familiar with the world of paints and learn in a controlled way that doesn’t completely demoralize you if you mess up. Start with simpler designs to practice our tips for paint by numbers on canvas, and you’ll quickly pick up on the tricks that enhance your painting style.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into our favorite tips for painting by numbers!
1. Choose Your Canvas Carefully
We’ve already mentioned above that it’s easier to start painting when you choose a canvas with a simple design. This simplicity doesn’t just refer to the design but also to the amount of colors, the variation of brushes, and the quality of the canvas. Choose canvases with a smaller amount of colors and minimal variation in section size, so you don’t have to worry about switching brushes and colors too often.
When it comes to the canvas, you should note that it’s tough to apply appropriate canvas painting techniques to a surface that’s flimsy, creased, or rumpled. At Canvas by Numbers, we take great care to ship your canvas safely, pre-stretched, so it’s easy to mount on an easel. You can also order your canvas already in a frame, which can save you time and effort preparing and mounting your workspace. If you do order a rolled canvas, you’ll need to iron, stretch, and mount it before it’s ready for paint application.
2. Take It From The Top
The most challenging thing for an amateur artist is to know where to start painting. Your starting position can make or break your entire experience. There are many approaches to choosing your starting point, but according to our canvas painting techniques, we recommend starting from the top of the canvas and working your way down.
If you’re right-handed, start at the top left corner, and if you’re left-handed, start at the top right corner. In this way, you avoid smearing the paint once applied. The only downside of this tip for painting by numbers on canvas is that you might find yourself switching brushes and colors more frequently, which can be time-consuming.
3. Go From the Largest Area to the Smallest & From the Darkest to Lightest Colors
If you don’t want to worry about switching colors so much, you can combine our top tip for painting by numbers above with another technique: working through one color at a time. With this canvas painting technique, you still start from the top, but you work through the darkest color in your palette first. Then, you return to the top of the canvas with the next darkest color. And so on, until you reach the lightest color. Your brush skills will improve, and your painting will go much faster.
We like this canvas painting technique for beginners, because it cuts down on the time and energy required to clean your brushes and prep them with fresh paint colors. We start with the dark first instead of the light, because dark colors usually end up in the background, so they can help you track the work and understand color placement better.
4. Treat Your Brushes Right
Many budding paint by number artists make the mistake of drowning their brushes in water to moisten them. Unfortunately, too-wet brushes will cause fresh paint to drip down your canvas, mingling with other colors and ruining your previous work. If you need to rewet your brush, the ideal canvas painting technique is just to dip the tip of the brush in water. You’ll minimize running paint and conserve your colors to ensure your supplies last.
5. Cover the Numbers
Some people who use paint by numbers canvases for the first time don’t always apply their coats of paint thick enough, resulting in numbers and lines peeking through the finished work. Our canvas painting technique to prevent this kind of bleedthrough is to cover up the numbers with a white pen before applying your paint. You can also apply a double coat of paint to really guarantee that the numbers won’t be visible.
Using Our Top Tips for Painting by Numbers
Paint by number canvas kits come with instructions, but we couldn't possibly include every canvas painting technique we know! Explore our blog for more tips for paint by numbers canvases, and take a detour to explore the artist inside you. Don’t be afraid to break the rules and experiment. After all, there’s always another canvas to paint!
As you take chances with your canvases, you might find that following the instructions works best for you, or you might be someone who thrives with minimal guidance. Whatever ends up being your preferred path, we’re here to support your artistic journey with canvases from every category and style. Browse everything from landscapes and still life to abstract designs and portraits to find the right paintings for you!
My canvas had deep folds in it. Can I iron it? What temperature?