Painting by numbers

by Mar 16, 2021Art Supplies

Painting by numbers and why is it so popular


Today Jane talks about Painting by Numbers.

You might think that Jane, as an accomplished artist, would consider using a template like a painting by numbers image as ‘not art’ or ‘cheating’ or ‘something less than a real artist might produce’.

But that isn’t the case. Read on to find out why not.

What is Painting by numbers

Painting by numbers are printed images on board or canvas, they come with the paint colours you will be needing to complete the painting, and you are also supplied with a brush.

Each part of the image printed on board or canvas will have a number that corresponds with a paint colour. All you have to do is fill in each shape with the called for paint colour until all the spaces are filled and a the picture has emerged.

Range of images available

There are many different designs to choose from. Some are more complicated than others. So your choice will depend on how advanced or adventurous you feel.

Who is it suitable for

All ages and abilities! Everyone can do painting by numbers. The pictures available are classified by age ranges.

For beginners who want to have a go it’s good to start with nothing too complicated – see how you get on. It’s a great way of creating a painting to keep the mind occupied especially through the trying times in which we all find ourselves.

For the more skilled and those who have completed many there are now some really great designs available.

Is it Cheating?

People may say painting by numbers is cheating. Frankly, no it’s not.

It’s an artistic process to be able to complete a painting by numbers. Cheating only becomes a possibility if there’s a competition with set rules. If you’re doing it as a hobby or want to learn about painting and colour this is a great approach.

Compare it to Cross Stitch

With cross-stitch / embroidery you can:

  • buy a blank canvas, a needle and some thread and embroider your own design or,
  • you can get a pattern and buy your colours separately. Or,
  • like millions of contented people, you can buy a kit. The material, colours and pattern to follow are all provided for you.

In each case you provide the skill, the labour and the care to make the finished article look great.

Painting by numbers is no different from a Cross Stitch kit.

painting by numbers dog
painting by numbers horse
painting-by-numbers geese
painting by numbers windmill on the river

Learning and improving

Painting by numbers may be simple but it isn’t easy to do well. There is a vast difference between a finished picture that someone has rushed and taken little care over and one where a practiced ‘painter-by-numbers’ has plied their skill.

If you give it a go and do two or three pictures you will readily be able to see the improvements you have achieved.

This picture shows the printed image of the horse on the cover of the pack, here it shows the small pots of paint that comes with the pack and, of course, a paint brush.

painting-by-numbers horses head

Feel you are not ‘Arty’

If you feel you are not ‘arty’ but want to have a go at painting then completing a painting by numbers will teach you that colours aren’t just individual things but that they all work together.

A colour on its own will look very different when you’ve painted another colour next to it. So, it’s the perfect way to study those effects and how colours work together.

Acrylic Paints

The paint that you get with the painting by numbers is acrylic paint. This is an opaque paint which gives great coverage and it’s permanent when dry.

Proud of the end result

We have had many customers bring in a painting by numbers that they have completed and wanted to frame.

Through this pandemic, but afterwards too, we all need a release – something to take our minds off the current situation.

Painting, by numbers or otherwise is a great release.

ship leaving harbour

Gadsby’s sell a great range of painting by numbers kits including (subject to stock availability) those shown in this article.

You have to supply the artistic talent and dedication to make the pieces you love. It is hard work, but it is amazing fun too.

Jane is a member of the Gadsby’s team. She has a wide knowledge of the arts & crafts products and materials sold by Gadsby’s both from the perspective of an advisor in the shop and, for many of the products, from personal use too.

Please note that this is not a service that Gadsbys offer to clients – just an example of the private work done by one of the highly skilled and knowledgable Gadsby’s team shown for your interest.


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