Paint Your Numbers

13 Tips for Choosing the Right Photo for Your Paint by Numbers Kit

The most important step when ordering custom paint by numbers is selecting the appropriate image. However, how can you ensure your chosen picture is the best?

When it comes to custom kits, you can choose any favorite photo. However, before submitting a photograph, you should consider a few factors, including image quality, pictures with comparatively elemental compositions, simple backgrounds, good lighting, and aspect ratio.

Whether you're an experienced painter, an interested beginner, or just an art fan eager to produce a physical masterpiece, the process starts with choosing the ideal photo. 

This choice is the key that opens the doors to creative fulfillment and a sense of accomplishment.

In this article, we'll unveil some tips for choosing the right photo for your Paint by Numbers kit. 

Whether you're inclined toward complex portraits, vivid landscapes, or endearing still-life pieces, these insights will give you the confidence to embark on your artistic voyage.

Let’s dive right in!

1. Choose a photo that is clear and has a high resolution

Choose a photo that is clear and has a high resolution

Well, first things first! One of the most critical factors in a bespoke paint-by-number photo is the image quality. No tool can instantly transform a poor-quality image into a high-quality one. 

Maybe in the future, as we can always hope for the best, right?

If you use a poor-quality photo for custom paint by number, the outcome will disappoint you.

Now for a few technical specifics!

The bespoke paint-by-number kit comes in a standard dimension of 40x50 cm (16x20 inches). The image resolution for a 72 PPI image should be 1152 x 1440 pixels. PPI and DPI stand for pixels per inch and dots per inch, respectively.

The image's resolution should be 1536x1920px if it has 96 dots per inch.

2. Opt for photos with relatively simple compositions

It's preferable to pick a photo with minimal composition, whether of your pet or a group of friends. In addition to being difficult to paint many details if you are new to painting, it will communicate poorly through painting. 

To simplify your first paint-by-number experience, pick the image with the most uncomplicated composition to draw.

3. Choose a photo with good lighting

It can be challenging for beginners to avoid adding too much or too little light to a painting because producing shadows and highlights requires a lot of mixing.

Therefore, choose a shot that best captures the subject's lighting, and if you must modify it before submission, try to avoid over-adjusting the brightness and shadows.

You may also like: 7 Drawing Exercises To Pass The Time

4. Pick a photo that has fewer filters

It is good to keep in mind that a hand-made painting might look different from one captured with a digital camera. 

Therefore, ensure that the image you choose is not overly filtered. This will make it simpler to mix and match the colors for your kit.

5. Choose an image that is less pixilated

Usually, resizing your photos ends up distorting their clarity. Therefore, if you want to adjust the size of your photograph, seek professional guidance. 

Professionally edited images will guarantee that your kit's final product will look fantastic and that your chosen image will be crystal clear.

6. Pick an image with more shading and colors

Pick an image with more shading and colors

Choosing images with vibrant, high-contrast colors is essential because they will give you an excellent painting instead of a mediocre one. 

The finished painting will also be more detailed and in-depth if you use more colors.

Consider how crucial color contrasts are. If the majority of your kit is one color, it might turn out poorly. 

The best kits have subjects with clearly distinguishable backgrounds. As a result, the subject will command more attention than the background of the picture. 

Additionally, avoid 'white' because it creates an optical illusion.

7. Focus on the main subject

Focus on the main subject

Your image should occupy the majority of the image space. To guarantee that the subject matter is the major focus of your image and takes up at least 70% of the details, you should crop off all excess background before developing a bespoke kit.

8. Choose an image with the same aspect ratio as your kit

Choose an image with the same aspect ratio as your kit

The canvas you ordered should have the same aspect ratio as the image used to create your kit. What would happen if you ordered a painting that was 40x50cm and accompanied it with a square-sized photograph?

Can a square picture be framed in a rectangle? In the same way, a 40x50cm bespoke paint-by-number kit won't fit a square photograph.

What will you do with the photo, then?

Examine the original photo to see if you can clip a few extra details without changing the subject.

If possible, crop the image to fit the proportions of the commissioned custom painting, and you will solve the problem.

Read also: 17 Proven Painting Exercises for Beginners (Practical Tips).

9. Select an inspiring image

Select an inspiring image

Images that represent a particular occasion or special someone, such as a wedding, graduation, family, or pet photo, are the finest to use as inspiration for paintings. 

Since the possibilities are unlimited, you only need to choose a picture you'll want to look at repeatedly.

10. Select a close-up photo

It might be less enjoyable to paint distant scenes. A close-up photograph guarantees you'll have more details to fill in and will be super clear once your finished painting is ready for display.

11. Keep the background simple

Keep the background simple

Having a simple background that is less busy and chaotic is a good idea. The reason for this is that your photo only has 24 colors when it is converted to a PBN file. 

Your main subject will undoubtedly lose some of its details if the background is too noisy.

Additionally, select a picture with fewer subjects. For example, 4-5 individuals are sufficient for a clear and detailed PBN image if you want a photograph of your friends together or a family reunion.

It is advised that the image you select have a background that is either blurred or has few details and colors to prevent overshadowing the subject.

12. Choose a simpler picture, mainly if it is your first time with Paint by Numbers

Choose a simpler picture, mainly if it is your first time with Paint by Numbers

It is best to start by painting a simpler picture if you are a beginner. This is because simpler pictures require fewer colors and less detail, making them easier to complete. 

Simpler pictures will also make the painting process more enjoyable since they are less likely to frustrate you. To help you choose a simple picture to paint, here are some tips:

  • Look for images that have sizable patches of solid color.
  • Refrain from using detailed images.
  • Select photos that feature fewer subjects.
  • Consult a friend or member of your family if you are unsure whether a picture is too challenging.

After selecting a design, start painting, but take your time to enjoy the process!

13. Pick an image with the right size

The size of an image is as crucial as its contents. Choose a photo with at least a 4:5 ratio since most customized kits on the market measure 40 by 50 centimeters (16 by 20 inches). 

This will help you ensure that no portions of it are cropped. 

Takeaway: Choose the right image for your paint-by-numbers kit

Following the aforementioned tips, you are undoubtedly prepared to create an amazing masterpiece! 

Before purchasing a custom kit, ensure your images have been painstakingly optimized!  

Once you pick the best and favorite picture for your personalized paint-by-numbers, it's time to let your creativity run free. Unwind and find peace in painting. 

Get a Custom Paint by Numbers Kit today to start enjoying the transformative power of this beautiful creative endeavor.