4 Main Painting by Number Techniques: Simple and Efficient!
If you are new to painting by numbers and have little experience in creating such artworks, it’s best that you follow the instructions that are available in each paint-by-number kit. When you master the most common techniques, you’ll be able to develop your own unique tips and tricks.
There are 4 main principles for painting a numbered canvas. They are incredibly simple, practical and easy to remember as they are prompted by convenience and common sense.
1. Light to Dark
Starting with light colors, such as white, pink, pale blue or yellow, will allow you to avoid accidental mistakes – it is much easier to remove a pastel paint or cover it with another color, as compared to a brighter or darker paint.
2. Large to Small
If you start with filling in the largest areas of your painting, you’ll not only avoid errors and smudges, but will also be able to highlight and outline the smaller details. This way, it will be much easier to compare them with the main elements of the painting’ composition – for example, after completing a vase and three largest flowers in it, it will be much more convenient to work on smaller flower buds and leaves.
3. Center to Edges
Moving from the center of the painting to the edges of the canvas will definitely prevent ruining the completed areas with your sleeve or elbow. Besides, the main image is usually placed in the middle of a painting, be it a hut in a pastoral landscape or a fruit vase in a tempting still life.
4. Top to Bottom
This movement direction also allows to keep the painted areas intact – the paints will be drying up in the process and the top areas of the canvas will be almost dry when you reach the bottom.
Holding the Brush and Making Brush Strokes
The best and most convenient way to hold the brush when painting is as if you are holding a ballpoint pen, with your hand being supported. As a result, your hand won’t get tired and the neatness of your painting won’t be affected. You should master regular brush strokes first – just try filling in each numbered area as evenly as possible, making smooth brush movements from left to right (if you are right-handed) and applying the paint in equal layers without going over the borders of the area you are filling in.
Once you’ve perfected this technique, you can experiment with paint layer thickness, hatching or even pointillism, if that is what communicates your artistic concept. For example, if you are painting a heavy rain cloud, you can depict its dark rough bottom with a multitude of small dots, and the rain streaks can be perfectly imitated with short diagonal strokes.
Mixing the Paints
With Crafting Spark/Wizardi paint-by-number kits, color mixing is not required – all the colors you need are already available in numbered paint pots. However, if you run out of a certain color in the process, you can try mixing a few paints to get the color you need. Light colors usually tend to run short faster, because there are usually more light spots on a painting compared to dark ones. So, in this case all you should do is pick a color that is as close to the one you need as possible and mix it with some white paint. Make sure to do that on a color mixing tray or a piece of cardboard rather than in the paint pot itself to avoid ruining the entire paint.
Blurring the Lines
It's amazing how emphasizing or blurring the lines can give your painting a more profound, expressive and professional look. To figure out which areas should have a sharp or blurred outline, use the reproduction your painting by number is based on as a reference.