Get started in painting from photos with a custom paint by numbers kit

A custom paint by numbers kit is a great way to start painting life portraits or scenes if you don’t have a lot of artistic experience!

This approach enables you to use the right colours in the right areas to bring your vision to life, and once it’s finished no-one will be able to tell that you had any help.

Numeral Paint allows you to do this from your own photos as well. You need to get started here:

What is paint by numbers?

Paint by numbers is a technique that involves being given a set of paints, labelled with numbers, and a canvas with light outlines of the different regions to be painted, with numbers inside the regions corresponding to the colour that should be used. Essentially it can be thought of as colouring in with paint – and being told exactly which shade to use.

The custom kit from Numeral Paint allows you to send in a photo of whatever you want to paint (it could be yourself, a partner, an event, a pet or anything else you like) and then be sent the canvas (with outlines and numbers) and paints you need to create a great portrait!

What can you paint?

If you can get a photo of it, you can paint it. As a part of this article you can see how photos of your dog (the main picture) or wedding (below) can be turned into a great portrait, but there really is no limit to what you can do for your art. Common themes are self-portraits, family shots and pets in familiar poses, but some people will opt for their family home or a stunning scenic shot.

Wedding portrait painting
Source: Supplied by Numeral Paint

You should keep in mind that the more detailed or intricate you want your picture to be the more difficult it will be to paint – even with the outlines already drawn for you and the numbers telling you which colour and shade to use. However, if you are confident in your ability and prepared to put the time into getting leaves (or jewellery or whatever you are painting) right, then go for it!

How long does it take?

The process will be a lot less time consuming than trying to paint from scratch, but that doesn’t mean it will be done in just an hour or two. You will need to be very careful to stay within the lines, while also making sure that the outlines are covered and the sections meet up smoothly. This is much harder than it sounds, especially if you haven’t practiced in a while!

A custom paint by numbers kit will generally take as long as you are prepared to spend on it. If you want a masterpiece you can spend hours making sure every detail is right and the colours are in the exact perfect spot. If you have less patience, you can take less care and finish faster – and still have a recognisable portrait thanks to the paint options generally being in the right place and you roughly following the directions you are given.

Larger canvases will also, naturally, take longer to paint. You will also spend longer on more detailed pictures, or ones that require more colours to be used in smaller areas. Painting hair is particularly time-consuming, oddly enough, because you need to use different shades of the same colour in quite small areas to make it look realistic.

Even black and white pictures can take a long time, because you are still using different shades of grey everywhere in the image. It is a bit easier than colour painting, but not by as much as you may think. If you are just getting started with the paint by numbers technique then a black and white picture may be the best place to start, because it will be less obvious if the divide between paint shades is a bit blurred.

So there you go – everything you need to know about painting by numbers! If you want to get started, Numeral Paints has a great custom paint by numbers kit available, which lets you send in your own photos as the basis for the canvas and paints.

Christian Woods
Christian Woods
Christian is a morning reporter and technology columnist for Best in Australia. Christian has worked in the media since 2000, in a range of locations. He joined Best in Australia in 2018, and began working in Melbourne in 2019.
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