I am always looking for unique bucket list ideas, especially when they are fun things to do at home—with no traveling required! And completing an adult paint by numbers kit is one of them. The best part about them is that you don’t need to be an artist in order to be painting a masterpiece. It’s true.

Painting by numbers is an activity includes a kit and a canvas with a printed framework for your future painting. Every color is given its own number. You simply follow the pattern, and you’ll be surprised at how elaborate your work of art will be.


The Best Adult Paint by Numbers Kits


#1. Colorful Cow {buy here}

The first recommended adult painting by numbers piece is the one that I completed myself—this colorful cow! The entire process took about fifteen hours and two weeks to finish. Though it wasn’t necessarily hard to complete, seeing all the tiny numbers was tricky. In the end, my painting turned out looking pretty close to the original.

#2. Eiffel Tower Adult Paint by Numbers {buy here}

#3. Colorful Cat {buy here}

#4. Magic Cat & Lady {buy here}

#5. Wild Flowers in a Pot {buy here}

#6. Santorini Paint by Numbers {buy here}

#7. Colorful Moon {buy here}

#8. Butterfly Beauty Girl {buy here}

#9. Roses in Glass Dome {buy here}

#10. Romantic Love Autumn {buy here}

 


8 Tips for Painting by Numbers

Here are some tips to get most of this relaxing experience (these are not hard and fast rules, though): 

#Tip 1. Iron Your Canvas

Imagine that you have an interview at a prestigious company and you didn’t have time to iron your shirt. Is it a big deal? You bet. And all good artists know that taking care of their supplies is very important. They wipe brushes, put the lids back to avoid drying out and iron their canvas to get rid of creases and wrinkles from fabric. Some people iron canvases before painting, some of them after. You should be very careful not to burn the canvas. A tea towel can be used to cover the surface entirely.  

#Tip 2. Consider Buying a Kit with Frame

Everything in this world has content and shape. If this balance is ruined the chaos comes! That’s why you should consider buying a kit with a frame so you avoid any disorder and enjoy your painting. The frame is very helpful in many situations. First of all, it keeps your canvas tight and it can’t slip. Secondly, you can easily paint small and bigger pictures without going beyond the edges. Finally, your work is beautifully highlighted with any frame, which adds a special elegance to your picture. 

#Tip 3. Keep the Work Area Clean

‘Creative mess’ is normally accepted for people of artistic mindset, but is it suitable for everyone? If you are concentrating on some tasks anything else can distract you. It is useful to cover your working area with an old newspaper, to close the paint cups, and to keep the brushes in order. Taking this precaution, you can avoid stains or splashes. Keep the location clean and focus on your work in a peaceful inspirational environment.

#Tip 4. Start from the Top

Smudging can be an unpleasant problem while painting by numbers. We can suddenly touch the painted area that is still wet and smudge it all. You can be patient and let the first part dry and then move to another. Or if you want to protect your work from stains, start it from the top. This may take more time to finish the canvas. And you might need to either use more brushes or wash them more often (since you’ll be using more colors). But the end you’ll be satisfied with a clean piece of art. 

I’m a lefty, so I worked one color at a time, from top to bottom and right to left. It proved to be a great system!

#Tip 5. Start from the Background

It is always hard to start painting. Where to start? What colors go first? If you start from the background you’ll definitely ease your work. Starting with darker colors gives you the opportunity to get the general idea of the picture. Then you can finish all the other areas, using lighter colors. It is fascinating how the light and dark colors correspond with each other and what effect they have. 

#Tip 6: Make it look real

You can blur the background or other parts of your painting. If you want a deep blur you can do this while painting is slightly wet. Use the wet brush to mix the colors on the borders. Do not overuse water, though! The brush should be damp. But most people prefer giving it only a slight blur. For that apply a dry, clean brush. Use the brush to gently stroke the wet color onto the neighboring one. 

#Tip 7: Make that inner perfectionist SHUT UP 🙂 

Oh no! Some paint went over the border and colored the part it shouldn’t have! Oh no! I took the wrong color! Don’t be too hard on yourself. You are doing this for pleasure, not for self-reproach! YOU are the artist here and you decide what is best. If you went over the line with one color, you can easily cover it by the right one when it dries. Or just leave it as is! Enjoy your imperfection! 

#Tip 8: Take it slow. Enjoy every stroke…

To fully embrace the experience, you need to stop and be present in the moment. Leave the thoughts about the past, it has passed. Don’t worry about the future, it hasn’t come yet. Be here and now. There’s only you, paints, and canvas here. Take your brush and slowly begin. Enjoy every stroke of the brush, every mix of color, every feeling of texture, and space. Concentrate on this. You will feel relaxed and focused at the same time. And after the experience, there will be this amazing feeling of freshness and novelty. 

Painting by numbers is not only a fun bucket list goal, it can open the world of art for you. What if after doing this you will take a clean canvas and create a masterpiece that will compete with Van Gogh? Even if not, this calming process will definitely help you connect with your creative self and possibly give you some very useful insights. 


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