Paint Your Numbers

Adding Cremation Ashes to a Paint by Numbers Artwork for a Special Memorialization

Losing a loved one is undoubtedly one of life's most challenging experiences. In the midst of navigating through the grieving process, many will seek solace by honoring the memory of their loved one. One unique way to create a lasting tribute is through a memorialization painting that is infused with the cremation ashes of your departed loved one. Whether it’s a family member, friend, or a beloved pet, incorporating their cremation ashes into the acrylic paint that comes with a Paint by Numbers painting kit can serve as a tangible representation of the memories, emotions, and the connections that you shared with your loved one. Not only does creating such artwork provide a way to honor their life, celebrate their spirit, and keep their memory alive, it can simultaneously provide a deep source of healing and comfort during the grieving process.

Choosing the Painting  

Whether you decide to use one of our predesigned Paint by Number kits or create your own by uploading a special photo, take some time to reflect on the painting you choose. You might consider a portrait of your loved one. Pet portraits are always a favorite amongst our customers and allow for easy blending of ashes into the painting of noses and fur. Portraits of people may need some consideration of where the blended ashes will complement the color schemes the best. Another choice is a place or a scene that represents a special memory that was dear to your loved one, such as a waterfall, a park, or a church. Gather inspiration if you’re having a difficult time making a decision. Talk to others who knew and cared for the loved one you are memorializing. This can be a wonderful shared experience of healing and remembrance. Consider what you want to convey through your artwork and how it will best represent the essence of your loved one.

Prepare the Cremation Ashes

Prepare the Cremation Ashes 

Acrylic paints are a popular choice for incorporating cremation ashes due to their versatility, durability, and vibrant colors. The acrylic paints that come with a Paint by Numbers painting kit will allow for easy mixing and application when blended with well-prepared cremation ashes. Before adding the ashes to your paints, follow the steps below to ensure the ashes are in a suitable state for mixing with the acrylic paint. Doing so will allow for a seamless integration into your artwork.

  1. The first step is to prepare a clean and organized workspace. This will help maintain the integrity of the ashes and prevent any contamination. Choose a relaxing environment where you can be free from distractions.
  2. The next step is to gently grind the ashes to a fine powder. Using a mortar and pestle, or even the back of a spoon, gently press the cremation ashes making circular motions until the ashes are a fine powder. This helps to create a smooth consistency. Use a soft bristle brush to sweep any ashes off of your tools and back into the container. 
  3. Now you’ll want to pass the ground ashes through a fine sifter to separate any remaining larger particles that may need further pressing. This ensures the ashes have a consistent texture throughout before you move onto the mixing.
  4. This final step is the most important. Handling the remains of your loved one can be a very emotional experience. Remind yourself why you are doing this and try to hold a mindset and a space that welcomes connection with your beloved during this process. Assess how you’re feeling and if you need to take a pause before moving forward to the mixing step. If you find that you need some time after pressing and sifting the ashes, transfer the sifted ashes into a clean, airtight container specially designated for your loved ones cremation ashes. Once you’re ready to continue, you will move on to mixing the ashes with the acrylic paint. 

Mixing the Cremation Ashes with the Acrylic Paint

Once you’re ready to start your painting and you’ve prepared your ashes and a clean and comfortable workspace, it’s time to add the ashes to some of your paint. You can add directly to a paint pod or start with a small amount of paint on a paint palette, and blend the ashes there. You can always return the blended paint back into the appropriate paint pod. Start with a small amount of ashes and gradually add more as needed or as desired, being mindful of the amount of ash used and how it deepens or alters the color.

  1. Start with a small amount of acrylic paint on a palette or mixing surface.
  2. Using a clean paintbrush or a baby spoon, transfer a very small portion of the prepared ashes into the paint. Do so gradually and then adjust according to your desired effect. 
  3. Use a clean brush to thoroughly mix the ashes and paint together so that the mixture is well blended and there are no visible clumps.
  4. You can test the color and texture of the mixed paint on a separate surface if necessary and then make any further adjustments by adding more ashes or more paint. Take your time and experiment with different ratios and color combinations until you achieve the desired outcome.
Applying the Ash-Infused Paint

Applying the Ash-Infused Paint

When applying the ash-infused paint to the canvas, consider some of the following techniques. This will all depend on your level of painting experience as well as your artistic ability. If you are a beginner, you might want to study some of these techniques beforehand. 

  1. Brush application is important for all levels of painting. Use the appropriate sized brush to apply the paint using smooth and even strokes. Smaller sections will require a more detailed brush while bigger sections allow for a larger brush. 
  2. Layering is another technique. Depending on your artistic ability and experience, you can build depth and complexity by layering different colors and textures. 
  3. Blending and Fading are some techniques to create soft transitions between colors or a fading effect. This can evoke a sense of delicacy in the artwork.
  4. Adding some words to your canvas with the ash included can be another unique and personal touch. A meaningful quote or message can enhance the sentimental value and storytelling aspect of the piece. Consider using stencils or calligraphy for a cleaner and professional appearance. 

The Emotional Connection

The creative process of memorializing your loved one through artwork can be an emotional journey. You experience feelings of sadness, but you will likely experience feelings of joy and a sense of togetherness with your loved one. Take the time needed to acknowledge and embrace whatever emotions that arise throughout this time. Allow yourself to feel the sense of connection to your loved one as you infuse their ashes into your artwork, knowing that each stroke of the brush carries their essence and presence. Remember, the creative process is deeply personal, and there are no strict rules. Experiment as you go, trust your instincts, and let your emotions guide you as you create a unique and heartfelt painting and memorialization.

Ideas for Preserving and Displaying Your Memorialization Artwork

Ideas for Preserving and Displaying Your Memorialization Artwork

How you preserve your completed artwork will determine its longevity, but where and how you choose to display it will be a personal decision. We’ve included some tips and suggestions below. 

  1. Consider a finishing varnish. Applying a layer of varnish specifically designed for acrylic paintings will protect the surface from dust, UV rays, and moisture. It will also help prevent fading and maintain the vibrancy of the colors.
  2. Framing your artwork will add to its beauty. You might choose an invisible frame that is placed behind the canvas, a colored visible frame, or a frame that covers the painting with glass or acrylic to provide an additional layer of protection.
  3. Where you place your artwork and how you handle it are important aspects to consider to preserve its longevity. Be mindful of touching the surface of your painting directly to avoid smudging or fingerprints. Place your artwork where it’s away from any direct sunlight and extreme temperatures.
  4. Choosing the perfect location to display your painting is very personal. Displaying it on a prominent wall in your home creates a focal point that can be appreciated by other family members in the home as well as any visitors. However, you might choose a place that is more private and personal to you. You can also create a dedicated space in your home where you display your painting alongside other cherished mementos and photographs. You might even add a candle. Creating an intimate setting like this can serve as a sacral place where you go to reflect on the cherished memories of your loved one.

Losing a loved one is indeed a difficult process that we all face at some point in time. Creating a memorialization painting with a Paint by Numbers kit infused with the cremation ashes can be a deeply personal and meaningful way to honor and remember your loved one. 

We hope this post serves as a source of inspiration for you and provides you the guidance you need on this heartfelt artistic journey. Our deepest condolences, and may you find joy in the process and paint with a happy heart.