Paint Your Numbers

How to Make Paint by Numbers More Realistic

Unleashing your inner artist is just a few brush strokes away with paint-by-numbers. Even if you're new to painting, the easy step-by-step process will have you creating stunning works of art in no time. But don't limit yourself there - you can take it one step further and use various techniques to make each piece truly unique.

With the right know-how, you can use a paint-by-numbers set to unleash your inner artist and create professional-grade artwork. 

From landscapes to still life paintings, this tried, and true technique lets you express yourself while honing essential painting skills.

This article will explore the best ways to make paint-by-numbers more realistic and professional-looking.

1. Invest in the best paint-by-numbers sets

Investing in premium painting sets is essential for achieving stellar results with your masterpiece. High-quality materials guarantee exceptionally vibrant colors and hues that stand the test of time. A sturdy canvas will provide support through layers of paint without succumbing to wear and tear.

Look for paint-by-numbers sets that come with pre-printed canvases. These canvases usually come with numbered sections that match the colors of the paints included in the set. This makes it easier to stay within your painting lines and paint more accurately.

Ensuring a professional-quality result means considering all factors, including the canvas frame. 

A solid frame ensures your canvas stays crease- and crinkle-free while providing more comfort as you work. It keeps everything nice and secure, so the perfect finish line is within reach.

When choosing a paint-by-numbers set, don't just think of the fun designs and patterns that come with it - opt for quality acrylic paints. 

These reliable colors will make your art pop off the canvas while lasting well into the future. Get creative; explore hundreds of stunning shades to craft masterpieces you'll be proud to hang up or give away as gifts.

2. Study color theory

Study Color Theory

Color is the secret ingredient to taking your creativity to the next level. With a knowledge of color theory, you can mix hues and tones for captivating gradients that transform ordinary projects into works of art.

Spice up your design by layering different tints and tones of the same color. For an extra vibrant touch, use complementary hues to create a truly three-dimensional look.

Working with tones of the same hue can be a great way to bring your art alive. For example, try creating an ethereal look by adding varying shades of blue from top to bottom when painting a mountain to give off the illusion that mist is drifting over its peak.

Exploring color combinations and gaining a better understanding of how colors interact with one another is the secret to creating standout art. 

A paint color wheel can be an invaluable tool for visualizing which hues work harmoniously together, giving you the power to create dynamism in your paintings.

3. Cover up the lines and numbers on your paint-by-number sets

Paint-by-number sets often come with numbers and lines indicating where to paint. Despite making your painting process easier, these lines may be visible in the final result and can be distracting and make your painting look amateurish.

Achieve a flawless canvas for your artwork by prepping the numbers in advance. 

Use white paint markers to cover up any existing lines and digits, ensuring that each brush stroke you make is beautifully uninterrupted. Go over these areas multiple times to guarantee complete coverage.

If your canvas has many numbers and lines, you can get at least two markers to avoid running out of paint mid-way through. Always plan ahead and get enough supplies to ensure you have enough for the whole project.

You can also use white acrylic paint to conceal the lines and numbers. Although it takes a little longer, it can be a worthwhile method to improve your painting abilities and add more creativity to the job.

4. Thin the acrylic paint with water

Thin acrylic paints with some water for easy application and drying time. A few drops of water per tablespoon of paint should allow you to work swiftly and efficiently. This step is critical if you're using a thicker brush size, as it will make maneuvering the brush easier.

Acrylic paint is thick in texture, making it challenging to apply a thin, even layer. It's also prone to cracking as it dries and can take a long time to set.

Thinned paint will appear less opaque, giving you more control over how light or dark certain areas are. And since acrylic paint dries fast, you can work on different sections of the painting without worrying about your colors mixing and becoming muddy.

For photorealistic portraits, thinning your paint and using a small brush is essential. Thinner paints allow for more precise control of the smaller details required in creating life-like works.

5. Add extra coats of paint

Add extra coats of paint

Don't be afraid to pile on the paint for an ultra-polished look in your paintings. A few additional layers can mask imperfections and give you a showroom-ready appearance.

Applying multiple layers of paint allows you to explore a range of opacity, from the deepest shades to barely-there tints. Experimenting with each layer and allowing it to dry will create stunning variations in your artwork.

After finishing your painting, give it a layer of varnish to preserve its beauty and vibrancy for years. This protective coating will help remove dust and dirt while ensuring that each brush stroke stays pristine with frequent handling.

Note that you should never mix water with your finished painting, as this can damage the artwork and ruin all the hard work you've done. You can, however, use a damp cloth to clean up any smudges once the painting is finished.

6. Blend the colors for a smoother look

Creating a beautiful, realistic painting requires more than just filling in the right spaces - color blending plays an important role! Paint-by-numbers kits provide convenience by taking away the need to mix hues.

Here are some tips to help you blend and mix colors for a finished painting:

Blend when the paint is wet

Wet paint helps you craft your masterpiece easily, allowing the most creative painters to blend and manipulate colors seamlessly. Combining hues subtly with soft edges make each area appear as one flawless image - ensuring no artistic detail is left behind.

Start your painting by covering larger areas first and using a smaller brush to follow up with more intricate details around the edges. This way, you can create an eye-catching, finely-finished composition without hard lines or sketchy bits.

Once your finished painting is dry, you can assess areas needing further blending. This is especially essential when painting with light and dark colors, as it helps create a smooth and finished gradation. 

With practice, you can perfect your painting technique and achieve professional-looking finished paintings in no time.

Do not rush

Creating a masterpiece requires more than mere speed - it takes time, patience, and dedication. Don't let the eagerness to finish overwhelm you. Instead, take your sweet time crafting artwork that looks polished and professional.

Taking regular breaks while painting is essential for taking your time to create beautiful, detailed works of art. Resting in between will refresh your eyes and mind so you can dedicate yourself fully to applying the right colors.

As you work on your painting, periodically step back and observe from afar. This will give you an idea of how the piece looks and become instrumental in making subtle adjustments that could make all the difference in its finished appearance.

Use the right brushes

Use the right brushes

Painting brushes come in different shapes, sizes, and materials. They offer different results depending on what type of finished painting you're working on.

Bring your paintings to life with small, thin, high-quality brushes. Ideal for achieving fine lines and delicate brushstrokes, these tools allow you to add intricate details and textures and create breathtaking highlights or shadows that will transform your artwork.

Paintings that need larger sections of blended-out color will benefit from wider brushes, allowing for a polished and professional final product. With bigger brushstrokes, you can create complete artwork with an effortless look.

Stick with smaller areas to start

When starting a finished painting, it's best to focus on smaller areas first. This can help you get used to working with the colors and developing your techniques.

Jump into the creative process and start with a small artistic area of your finished painting. Utilize this space to experiment with colors - blend, mix, and play as you get comfortable using them to create an intriguing final masterpiece.

If you take the time to focus on smaller areas of a painting rather than trying to tackle it all at once, then your creative masterpiece will have fewer mistakes. 

Big or small - everyone makes mistakes during their artistic journey. Start with something manageable for maximum impact in the finished piece.

Use blending for areas that make sense

Blending colors should only be done in areas that make sense. For example, the sky, sea, or distance landscape are all great areas to experiment with blending and mixing colors.

This type of finished painting requires lighter shades for the background and a few darker hues to create a finished painting with depth and texture.

Alternatively, finished paintings with close-up details or intricate textures can benefit from keeping colors separate rather than blending them. 

This will help create a finished painting with more vivid and precise lines since you won't blend the colors into one another.

For finished paintings that require blending, you can use a numbers kit to mix the colors accurately and quickly. This will help achieve a finished painting with even hues and smoother gradations without mixing the colors manually.

7. Add personal touches whenever possible

You can display the artist's signature by personalizing your artwork. The artwork can be given some flare and made genuinely one-of-a-kind by adding a signature or letters. 

Here are more methods to give your artwork a distinct touch and personal touch:

Adding paint marks for individuality

Transform your project into a masterpiece with vibrant, expressive paints. Create captivating textures and eye-catching designs to let your individual style shine through.

Contrasting bright colors against a dark background can unlock the potential of your painting. You'll be rewarded with vivid results that make an eye-catching statement.

Using materials for texture

Add tactile beauty to your artwork with an eclectic mix of sand, gravel, and stones to elevate it into something extraordinary. The gritty textures will bring depth and detail – transforming your painting from ordinary to one-of-a-kind.

You can unlock limitless and stunning possibilities for your painting with textures crafted from diverse materials like sand, glitter, or whatever inspires you. 

Add a captivating sparkle that turns an ordinary canvas into something extraordinary and elevate the artwork to new heights of creativity by incorporating texture.

Incorporating symbols

As an artist, symbols are the perfect way to bring life and meaning into your artwork. Whether through numbers, letters, shapes, or images, infusing a personal touch can help create rich stories in abstract ways that bring delightful surprises for those who appreciate them.

Using symbols to personalize your artwork can add an extra layer of depth and complexity. From numbers to letters, shapes, or images, you can create a meaningful theme for your painting by incorporating symbolic elements into the composition.

Adding fun elements

Incorporating fantastical elements into a painting can make it truly unique, breathing life and personality into the artwork. From animals to characters or even fairy tale creatures, these features will give your painting an eye-catching charm.

Incorporate these intriguing elements into your painting to create a one-of-a-kind masterpiece. Merge them with the colors or let them stand out as an appealing accent. Make it the center of attention so everyone can admire its originality and beauty.

8. Use sealant when it’s done

Use sealant

A sealant is a perfect way to give your painting a polished look and ensure its lasting beauty. It adds shine and provides robust protection from dust and dirt that can dull colors over time, ensuring you enjoy every vibrant hue of your masterpiece for years to come.

Enrich your painting's colors and texture with sealant! It will safeguard the artwork from environmental wear and tear and provide a glossy finish that reduces regular cleaning needs while preserving its original vibrancy.

Using sealants is key for a painting that will remain as beautiful for years to come. Make sure your masterpiece is pristine before applying - free from dust and entirely dry. Then create an even finish with either brush or roller application.

Before you can proudly display or store your finished masterpiece, ensure the sealant has enough time to dry and fully do its job. Investing in a high-quality product will help keep your painting safe while showcasing its best qualities.

9. Choose the appropriate difficulty level

Paint by numbers kits come in different difficulty levels, from beginner to expert. Choosing the right level ensures you enjoy creating your masterpiece while staying within your comfort zone.

For beginners, look for numbers kits with fewer numbers and larger areas to fill in. This will help you get used to the concept before progressing to more complex kits.

If you want a challenge, look for numbers kits with more numbers and smaller areas to fill in. This will require more concentration and skill but can help you improve your painting skills quickly.

The difficulty level you choose should depend on your experience and comfort level. Don’t be afraid to try something new and challenge yourself – it could be the perfect way to improve your painting skills!

10. Clean your supplies

Clean your supplies

Keep your artistic tools clean and sparkling to guarantee your artwork's gorgeous, vibrant finish. Regular cleaning of supplies such as brushes and palettes helps maintain the lush color palette you need for beautiful paintings.

After each stroke of color on your canvas, give your brush a quick rinse before committing any more colors. This will help protect against unpleasing muddy shades and ensure that every detail you put onto paper stands out vibrantly.

Once you finish painting, clean all your supplies with soap and warm water. Ensure they are ready for use the next time you want to paint.

Use an appropriate cleaner and a soft cloth to clean the numbers boards once you finish your project. This keeps them in excellent condition for future use and maximizes their lifespan.

11. Use clear gesso

Gesso is a blend of plaster, chalk, and pigment that not only serves to prime surfaces for painting but also allows colors to jump off the canvas with vibrant life. A favorite among painters, its application offers stunning results, from ensuring uniformity across various mediums to creating a stunning piece of art.

Gesso and canvas are perfect partners. After applying a layer of gesso, the absorbent properties help the paint to stick better and last longer. At the same time, it creates a protective barrier between color pigments and fabric threads.

Working with numbers kits can be tricky, but clear gesso provides a helping hand. Its super transparent surface gives you the perfect base to paint in those all-important digits without worrying about losing them.

You can apply clear gesso with a brush or roller. It’s a quick and easy way to prepare your numbers boards for painting, ensuring your masterpiece turns out perfectly.

12. Enjoy the process

Enjoy the process

Let painting be your creative escape. Celebrate every step of the journey, from brushstroke to masterpiece. Allow yourself some tranquility as you paint – a chance to appreciate and marvel at each piece's unique beauty.

Painting with numbers kits is a great way to explore your creativity and express yourself through art. Experiment with different colors, techniques, and numbers boards to find what works best.

A paint-by-numbers kit is a fantastic tool to help you easily create beautiful art pieces. With a little practice and patience, you can create stunning numbers paintings you will cherish for years!

13. Store your supplies properly

Proper storage of your numbers kit, paints, and other painting supplies keeps them in optimal condition. After each painting session, return your paint-by-numbers kit to its original box or a sealed plastic bag.

Store the paints in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Make sure the lids are tightly sealed to avoid any spills or leaks.

Protect your art supplies from the cruel heat of radiators and ovens by storing them somewhere safe - this way, they can keep you painting for longer!

Use a sturdy bag or box when carrying your numbers kits and supplies. This will provide extra protection for your items, ensuring they make it to their destination intact and ready for use.

Finally, label each box with the type of numbers kit or supplies it contains to make it easier to locate what you need when you’re ready to paint. You can also use a permanent marker to label the numbers boards with numbers or letters, so you know which one is which.

14. Display or gift your painting

Once your paint-by-numbers kit painting is complete, you can display it at home or give it away as a gift. If displaying it in your home, consider using a wooden frame to protect your painting from dirt, dust, and other elements.

Showcasing your finished painting in a museum or gallery also allows you to inspire countless people with the power of art. Use these outlets to demonstrate how rewarding creating something special with number kits can be.

Takeaway: Transform your paint-by-numbers into a masterpiece

Embark on a journey of self-expression and explore the creative possibilities offered by paint-by-numbers! You can delight in this simple yet rewarding activity with just a few helpful tips.

You can unleash your creativity and transform a blank canvas into a beautiful work of art that only you can create. Make something special for yourself to enjoy or give as a thoughtful present - the possibilities are endless!

Start by looking through our top paint-by-number kits today. We offer various paint-by-number packages for every taste and ability level. We also share all the best painting advice, hints, and instructions.  For more guidance on using paint-by-number kits, visit our website to start drawing.