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Painting by Numbers – The Idea Behind The Great Art Form!

By Colorelaxation October 16, 2019

You must have surely heard about the new fad in the world of art, which is, Paint by Numbers. Have you ever wondered what is it and why has it become so popular? Let us tell you!

Know what Paint by Numbers mean!

Painting by Numbers is a system where a picture is divided into shapes, each marked with a number that corresponds to a particular color. You paint in each shape and ultimately the picture emerges as a finished painting.

Why is it Popular?

The excellent quality, the variety of pictorial formats and compositions, as well as the possibility to create surreal, fantastic, and unique masterpieces using the paint by numbers kits without having to learn the principles, the wide choice of subjects, make it very popular both among the beginners and the great hobby painters.

Dating back to the 1950’s, Paint by Numbers is known as a style of art performed by filling in pre-numbered areas on a canvas or canvas panel with specific matching colors of paint. This popular art form is making a comeback in the market in kit form.

What is the Need to Paint by Numbers?

paint by numbers

Painting with the help of numbers aids to learn to see an array of colors and shapes for yourself, without the aid of a printed diagram. Completing paint by numbers project helps you learn to analyze a subject and observe areas of color. It helps you move away from focusing on what the finished subject will look like to looking at small areas and what color these should be painted.

The paint by numbers approach is often ridiculed as being simplistic, uncreative, and formulaic. On the contrary, it's helpful in getting across the concept that a painting is built up through multiple shapes of color. These shapes often don't make sense individually, nor look like anything "real", but when put together as a group, they create the image.

Painting by Numbers Kit

When you love artwork and creativity but you're not yet confident enough in your skill to paint from scratch, paint by number offers the perfect solution. Combining crafting with painting, each kit offers everything you need to bring a beautiful painting to life. Delight in the process and hang your finished products around the house as part of your home decor.

A Painting by Numbers kit include a brush, little pots of paint in however many colors you'll need, and a printed outline of the picture. It may not look like much paint, but it should be sufficient paint for completing the picture. You can, of course, always use any compatible paint you already have.

It is Easy to start Painting by Numbers!

Here are the few tips you need to follow in order to paint a picture like a pro artist.

  • It's tempting to paint so that you finish a section of the picture at a time, but that will necessitate a lot of brush washing and waste paint. Rather paint one color at a time, from the largest areas of this color to the smallest. 
  • Working from the top of the painting down helps prevent accidentally disturbing wet paint.
  • Paint the smallest areas first, followed by the medium-sized areas, and then the largest areas. 
  • Use enough paint so the numbers don’t show through, but not so much paint that it runs into other areas. 
  • Try to paint with one color at a time if possible, and let areas dry completely before painting neighboring sections.
  • Remember to wash your brush completely when changing to a new color. With acrylic paints, lukewarm water usually works best.

The Invention of Painting by Numbers

Dan Robbins, the man behind the American pastime of paint-by-numbers pictures, died recently on April 1 at the age of 93. Dan Robbins created the first pictures and helped popularize paint-by-numbers kits in the 1950s. 

Robbins' son, Larry, threw some light on how his dad had come up with the idea of painting by numbers. Dan Robbins was working as a package designer for the Palmer Paint Company in Detroit when he came up with the idea for paint-by-numbers in the late 1940s. He worked there as a graphic artist and sold children's paint that was washable. 

The idea for paint-by-numbers started when Robbins' boss asked him to come up with an item that could be geared towards adults. Robbins got inspiration for the product from Leonardo da Vinci. The famous artist would hand out numbered designs to apprentices. Robbins took that concept and evolved it into paint-by-numbers.

To create each kit, Robbins first painted an original artwork, and then placed a plastic sheet over it and outlined the shapes for each hue and shade. Each segment was then given a number and corresponding color. After trial and error, Robbins’ Paint-by-Numbers kits were born, and were introduced to the public with packaging that proclaimed, “Every man a Rembrandt.” Post-war, they were launched during a time when American people had more time for pursuing leisurely activities, and the concept quickly became a cultural phenomenon.

Before computers were involved, the artists creating the pictures had to paint the image and then use a piece of acetate or clear plastic over the original to create the areas for each number. Beginner kits started with 20 colors and the number of colors increased with the level of difficulty.


If you are not a professional, but like painting or DIY, paint by numbers will be a great choice for you. Without drawing the whole frame, you can complete a wonderful piece of oil painting. What’s more, paint by numbers is a great DIY project, no matter for the adults or kids, it can help to express the stress and develop the attention ability. If you like it, why not take action now? If you are doing paint by numbers, hope you can enjoy your time to transform blank outline into something amazing and wonderful with the customized kits from Colorelaxation.

Checkout more about what is diamond painting at

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