Paint Your Numbers

What are the Best Subjects to Paint for Beginners When Using Paint by Numbers?

Painting by numbers has become a popular activity for both beginners and seasoned artists. It offers a structured way to create beautiful artwork without the stress of starting from scratch. By working with a canvas that is divided into sections, each marked with a number that corresponds to a specific paint color, beginners have a simplistic way to dive into the world of painting, especially those who might feel intimidated by a blank canvas. But what are the easiest subjects for beginners to start with? Let's explore some ideal subject matters to kickstart your artistic journey.

The Beauty of Simplicity

For beginners, the easiest paintings to tackle are often those that are simple yet visually appealing. These subjects usually involve fewer colors and less intricate details, allowing you to focus on learning the basics of painting by numbers. Here are some of the best choices:

1. Flowers and Floral Patterns

Flowers are a perennial favorite for paint-by-numbers enthusiasts. They come in a variety of shapes and colors, making them perfect for experimenting with different shades and techniques. Simple floral patterns, like a single bloom or a small bouquet, are especially suitable for beginners. They typically have larger sections, which makes staying within the lines easier and less frustrating.

For instance, a sunflower with its bright yellow petals and contrasting green leaves is a great starting point. The large, distinct sections of color help build confidence as you get used to the process. As you progress, you can move on to more complex arrangements with multiple flowers and varied backgrounds.

2. Landscapes and Scenery

Landscapes are another excellent option for beginners. They often have large, open areas of color, such as skies, fields, and bodies of water, which are easy to manage. Simple landscapes, like a serene beach scene or a peaceful countryside, provide a calming painting experience without overwhelming details.

One popular choice is a sunset scene. The gradient colors of the sky transitioning from warm oranges and pinks to cool purples and blues are both visually stunning and relatively easy to paint. The larger sections of color help beginners understand color blending and transitions without the pressure of intricate details.

3. Animals

Animals can range from simple to complex, making them versatile subjects for beginners. Start with basic animal designs that have larger sections and clear outlines. Popular choices include cats, dogs, birds, and butterflies. These subjects are not only enjoyable to paint but also help you practice shading and texture techniques.

For example, painting a cute cartoon-style cat or dog can be a fun way to get started. These designs often have fewer details and larger areas to fill, making the process smooth and satisfying. As you become more comfortable, you can try more detailed animal portraits, which offer a rewarding challenge.

 4. Abstract Designs

Abstract designs are perfect for those who want to explore creativity without the constraints of realism. These designs often feature geometric shapes, swirls, and patterns that don't require precise accuracy. The beauty of abstract art is that it allows for personal interpretation, making it a stress-free way to enjoy painting by numbers.

Abstract patterns with bold colors and simple shapes are ideal for beginners. They help you focus on color coordination and brush control without worrying about realistic details. Plus, abstract art can be very forgiving, as there is no "right" or "wrong" way to paint it.

5. Simple Portraits

Portraits can be challenging, but starting with simple designs can make them more approachable. Look for paint-by-numbers kits featuring cartoon-style or minimalist portraits with clear, defined sections. These types of portraits usually have fewer colors and less intricate details, making them easier to manage.

A minimalist portrait of a person or an animal with clean lines and bold colors can be a satisfying project for beginners. As you gain confidence, you can progress to more detailed portraits that require a more nuanced approach to shading and color blending.

Tips for a Successful Start

Choosing the right subject is just the beginning. Here are some additional tips to ensure your paint-by-numbers experience is enjoyable and successful:

  1. Organize Your Workspace: Set up a comfortable and well-lit area to paint. Make sure you have all the necessary supplies, including your paint-by-numbers kit, brushes, water, and paper towels.
  2. Follow the Instructions: Carefully read the instructions that come with your kit. Familiarize yourself with the color chart and the numbering system.
  3. Start with Larger Sections: Begin by painting the larger sections of the canvas. This helps you get used to handling the brush and paint before moving on to smaller, more detailed areas.
  4. Take Your Time: Painting by numbers is meant to be a relaxing and enjoyable activity. Don't rush the process. Take breaks if needed, and enjoy the experience of creating art.
  5. Clean Your Brushes: Regularly clean your brushes to prevent colors from mixing. Use water and paper towels to keep your brushes in good condition.
  6. Embrace Mistakes: Mistakes are part of the learning process. If you paint outside the lines or use the wrong color, don't worry. You can often correct errors by letting the paint dry and then painting over the mistake with the correct color.

Benefits of Painting by Numbers

Painting by numbers is more than just a fun activity. It offers several benefits, especially for beginners:

  1. Reduces Stress: Engaging in creative activities like painting can reduce stress and promote relaxation. It allows you to focus on the task at hand and forget about daily worries.
  2. Improves Focus and Concentration: Painting by numbers requires attention to detail, which helps improve focus and concentration. This can be especially beneficial for children and adults looking to enhance their cognitive skills.
  3. Boosts Confidence: Completing a painting by numbers project provides a sense of accomplishment and boosts confidence. It proves that you can create beautiful artwork, even without prior experience.
  4. Enhances Motor Skills: The repetitive motions involved in painting help improve fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. This is particularly beneficial for young children and older adults.
  5. Provides a Sense of Community: Joining paint-by-numbers groups or forums can connect you with like-minded individuals. Sharing your work and receiving feedback can be a rewarding experience.


Painting by numbers is a fantastic way for beginners to explore the world of art. By choosing simple and visually appealing subjects like flowers, landscapes, animals, abstract designs, and simple portraits, you can build confidence and develop your painting skills. Remember to take your time, enjoy the process, and embrace the therapeutic benefits of creating art. With each completed project, you'll find yourself more skilled and more inspired to take on new artistic challenges.

Happy painting! 😊