If you are keen to begin painting but don’t know where to start, and you can’t afford art classes there is another option.
Paint by numbers is a great way to get into creating art without too much expense. But can paint by number teach you to paint?
We take a look at some of the things you can learn from this fun introduction to art, including how it can build your confidence, teach you about colour and help you to get creative.
Can Paint By Numbers Develop Skills?
Paint by numbers was developed in the 1950s by Dan Robbins who recalled that Leonardo da Vinci taught his own students how to paint using similar techniques.
This kind of idea meant that anyone could create art, regardless of age or skill level.
By being shown the fundamentals of colour, styles, and shape most people will be able to go on to develop their own creative talent.
The methodical way of approaching art through paint by numbers allows beginners to appreciate how certain colours work against each other, and how to manipulate a paintbrush properly which is often harder than it sounds (see also ‘Is Painting By Numbers Easy? (Beginner’s Guide)‘).
It is possible to learn a lot of the basic concepts of art through paint by numbers.
Learning about light and shadow is one of the most important skills when painting as it gives the subject being painted depth and dimension.
Another useful technique that can be learned through painting by numbers is that of creating texture in your work.
You can start off with a beginner level kit and as you gain confidence you can move up to move advanced and complex designs.
For those who want to learn how to paint but are not sure where to start, this can be a wonderful introduction to the world of art creation.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of paint by numbers is how it builds your confidence. Plenty of people start out learning how to paint but give up when they don’t produce what they want in terms of quality.
Everything takes practice in order to improve but unless you are taking an art class there is not much in the way of guidance from a blank canvas, pots of paint and a paintbrush.
By using a paint by numbers kit it is possible to create a nice piece of art that you would be happy to show to other people and this will boost your confidence in your own ability.
With every piece that you create you will be gaining confidence and move on to more advanced and complicated pieces.
As you progress you will be learning more about colour, light, texture and your own painting technique.
After a while you may feel that you are ready to try painting on a blank canvas and testing your newly found artistic skills.
While the paint by numbers process is a systematic way to create a piece of art it shouldn’t be dismissed as a method of learning.
It can teach you many things but giving you confidence in your own ability is possibly the most important thing you will gain from it.
Teaching About Colour
For most non-artistic people colours are a fairly simple concept and don’t require too much thought. They just are. But in art, colour is a huge deal and how it is used can make all the difference to a painting.
So learning about colour is really important and painting by numbers is a great way to do this.
Just by completing a piece of paint by number art it is possible to appreciate how different colours play against each other and how their relationships affect the entirety of the piece.
A colour on its own can look very different when placed next to other colours. This is something that you may not be able to fully appreciate if you are simply learning how to paint by yourself without any guidance.
Another aspect of learning about colour in painting is the value of light and dark.
Again, this is a concept you may not have considered if learning to paint by yourself but paint by numbers is a great way to appreciate its importance.
With a paint by numbers kit you can study the finished piece and look at how the colours work and how the play of light and dark affects it (see also ‘How To Paint By Numbers: Light Or Dark Paint First?‘).
You can then take these examples and incorporate them into your own painting.
Allowing Creative Control
When you have been using paint by numbers kits for a while you will be growing in confidence and learning about colour, light and shadow.
You will also be more adept at using a paintbrush and applying different kinds of brushstrokes.
While still using a paint by numbers kit you could begin to experiment with using different colours other than those indicated by the numbers.
Depending on the outcome you will get an idea of what works and what doesn’t while still allowing you to use your own creativity.
It’s not just colours that you can experiment with, you can also try using different brushstrokes and create new textures in your paintings.
You shouldn’t be afraid to deviate from the suggested colours or techniques, after all painting is a creative process, and you need to be able to express your own personal creativity.
The idea is to create a piece of art that is individual to you.
When you begin to look at the art that you have created you will also begin to develop artistic critical thinking.
On a subconscious level you will be studying the whole picture as well as the individual components that make it up.
This allows you to consider how a painting comes together from the separate parts into a complete whole.
Benefits Of Paint By Numbers
Once you begin painting by numbers you will begin to see the benefits. Not only is it an educational hobby, but you don’t need to be artistic to enjoy doing it.
You also don’t need to go out and buy separate art supplies as everything you need is included in the kit.
You can also choose the level of difficulty of painting to do. So you can start out on the easier designs and work up to more advanced and intricate ones as you gain confidence.
Using a paint by numbers kit will help you understand how colours work together, and also teach you brush control.
It can help to develop your fine motor skills or to maintain the movement of your hands and wrists which can help older people.
Painting by numbers is also a very relaxing way to spend your free time. You don’t need to expend too much energy, but you are still rewarded with a lovely piece of art and a sense of accomplishment.
There are many ways in which a paint by numbers kit can teach you how to paint, you just need to give it a go.
You may be very surprised at just how much you will learn about art and how it encourages your own creativity as you grow in confidence and ability.