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Paint by Number Tips & Techniques (fill me in)

2004_1026PBNPICS0014 (2) Grant

The process of painting by numbers is a relaxing, rewarding experience, and the result is a personal masterpiece. The following tips and techniques provide helpful guidance for beginners from start to finish.

Take a Picture

There is only one number within each paintable space, so a reference guide is essential to have in case a number is painted over.  It is easy to make your own reference guide: Take a picture of the canvas outline before beginning to paint. A camera phone will allow you to zoom in on all the details of the outline.

Getting Started

Acrylic is an easy water-based medium to work with that cleans up easily from most surfaces with soap and warm water. However, it’s a good idea to protect your clothing while painting.

  • Always be sure to choose a well-lit space to work on your canvas, bright natural window light is best.
  • Stir paints thoroughly before using.
  • Paint the smallest detail areas first.
  • Before changing paint colors, rinse your brush gently with water and remove excess water.
  • To prevent paints from thickening, close each cap securely after use.
  • If paint becomes thick, add one drop of clean water at a time until desired consistency.
  • Lighter colors may require additional coats of paint for desired coverage, keep in mind that acrylics dry slightly darker.
  • For a finer brush tip, trim brush fibers to a point using scissors.
  • If a number field is painted with the wrong color, allow the area to dry, then repaint using the correct color.
  • Paint according to the outline guide for optimal results, however it is your painting so you may choose the colors and fill in the details that best suit your style.

Painting Techniques

These techniques may help you fine-tune your artwork. To be sure you get the desired effect, try out the techniques before using them on your canvas.

Go Lightly Painting conservatively in thin layers will preserve the genuine canvas texture.

Highlighting Once dry, select a lighter color than the painted area. Apply color to a dry brush and streak until the paint is tacky. Apply lightly to highlight canvas texture.

Blending  As you complete a number field, use the bristles of a dry brush to blend the wet edge with the adjacent field, softening the contrast.

Streaking  Softly paint fine streaks of a lighter shade over a darker shade. This is a good technique to add texture to hair and backgrounds.

Glossy Finish To saturate colors and add a brilliant shine that protects, add varnish. Brush a Gloss Medium and Varnish over the completely dried painting. Brush one coat horizontally, allow to dry. Brush a second coat vertically, allow to dry. Varnish may be purchased at most craft stores.

Framing

Allow your painting to dry overnight before placing your canvas into a frame.  Glass is not necessary when framing painted canvas pieces. Floating frame kits arrive with canvas pre-mounted, no additional assembly.

Share Your Art

You are welcome to exhibit your final work in the Gallery online and share your final painting with the world. Scan or take a clear picture of your painting and upload it to the Gallery. Thank you for inspiring all of us!

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