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Readers Respond: Have you ever done a Paint by Numbers picture of any kind? What was it like?

Responses: 46


From the article: Painting by Numbers
Did you have a Paint by Numbers set as a present? Have you ever started one but not finished? Did you enjoy it so much you frame it after you'd finished?


I started PBN just after starting a different work shift, got hooked. Now I buy very detailed and colorful ones. I can't paint like a true artist, so I do this.
—Guest liz

Just Started

Mum got me my first PBN the other day. I have wanted one since I was a child, but we never got one because of being hard on money. I'm 19 now. Mum got me one of two puppies on a blanket. I was really excited to try it out. When I opened it I was a bit overwhelmed by how much you have to do! I had a go, but I spent ages on a few sections and went over the lines, then I lost my patience. Painting was always one of my weakest skills at school. That's why I thought I'd give this a go. Sadly, I don't know if I will finish it, it's completely scary looking at all the numbers. Plus the Reeves PBN set I got, they messed up my paint colours which was a disappointment (the colour on my packet is a deep purple, yet they gave me a light blue colour). I was also confused at the fractions on the packet. I'm not too sure how to mix and all that. Whenever I tried anything paint wise at school, I always messed up with mixing. I'm a bit scared to try as the paint dries VERY quickly. I will try again.
—Guest BB


I was given a PBN kit at about the age of 8. I don't remember much about it but I did enjoy the activity and it got me started in Art. Unfortunately life got in the way and I was sidetracked until I retired. I have since taken up oil painting and have attending college classes on painting. A good way to start for the younger painters.
—Guest George

Paint by Numbers

I have a pbn of a leopard...I worked very hard on it to go beyond a pbn and was creative with shading and other techniques...my father thought it was a painting done by my sister who is a bona-fide artist and was very impressed with it...til I told him I had done it starting with a pbn...well his appreciation for it was like day to night...he immediately dismissed it as not being worthy of any consideration. It really is too bad that people have such a bad regard for pbn's. I am currently doing another one and love doing them...I do like to 'think out of the box' so to speak and go to a next level with painting them. I love to paint and they start me off with the drawing already done for me. Go on line and wow there are some absolutely gorgeous kits available out there. I hope to do some more and I really would like to see better acceptance of them.
—Guest Jan

Paint by Number

Several years ago a friend gave me a large paint by number Victorian-like picture of a cat and kittens. I did finish it and enjoyed doing it. It was almost more like putting a puzzle together than painting a picture. It was fun to see the picture emerging as I painted each numbered area. I still have it but haven't framed it.

Thanks Paint by Numbers!

I have severe arthritic fingers now and I am just still painting by hand but, wow, my husband has been so ill with heart and brain surgery and he has taken to painting by numbers which is incredible. He loves it and this has been fantastic therapy for us both. Thanks paint by numbers!
—Guest patc

Paint by Number John Lennon

I bought a paint by number kit from numberedart.com that was totally amazing. It is a painting of John Lennon in blue colours. I eventually had it mounted on a box frame as the kit was on thick canvas.
—Guest Jim Walsh


I will never paint by numbers, makes me feel like I've got no talent whatsoever. As it is I feel that I cheat if I paint from a picture. The only thing that makes me happy is when I took the photo myself, arranged the subject as I want it and then paint it. I will never copy the old masters and will never paint something that's already been painted.

Paint by numbers? I still do!

Paint by number? I still do! Especially portraits. Various Photoshop filters applied to a copy of a scanned copy of a photo give me a contour drawing based on six or seven values. I trace that onto the canvas, select the colors based on cool darks and warm lights generally, number them on the palette and the canvas, and then complete the painting. It is always an excellent likeness and from more than five feet away, you can't recognize the PBN structure.
—Guest Edgarc

Paint By Numbers

Back in 1958 I wanted to learn how to paint but was so timid. I finally decided to try "Paint By Numbers" and have been an painting on my own ever since.
—Guest Marjory Sampson

Paint by Number

As a child, I was quite a loner. My Grandfather bought me my first PBN and I was hooked. I spent hours painting and he would frame the finished product. This past Xmas I bought several of my Grandchildren art type gifts...pencil by number and paint by number sets as well as sketch pads and pencils...even an activity set for my youngest 4 year old great-granddaughter. I plan to take an art course when I move to the N. Carolina mountains next year. I'm only 66 years old, so I have a long way to go.
—Guest Marjorie

Paint by numbers

The night my mom met my husband (almost 49 years ago now), boyfriend at the time, she and my sister were sitting at the table doing paint by numbers. My sister has gone on to create beautiful paintings but in acrylic and pastels (pastels being her passion). She is a shy but wonderful artist. I also paint but haven't done so for almost three years. My husband of 44 years passed and I went to nursing school; have been devoting my time to nursing but now it is time to start again. I do acrylic, pastel but love watercolor more than anything. I love to read these postings and my inspiration is beginning to return.
—Guest vickibec

Paint by Numbers

Yes, I have done paint by numbers. I was frustrated that I could not paint like everyone else. This helped me to understand the placement of colours and how to build up a painting. It helped tremendously and it was also a bonding exercise, as I did it with my daughter (who was four at the time). The finished products (yes, we did two) were framed and now hang proudly in our living room. This gave me the boost I needed and went on to do a Diploma in Art. I am still not yet "the" artist, but I am more comfortable and have seen the improvements in my work. My daughter has grasped the concept and now sits and paints or draws at will. I will have to watch out though....she may become a better painter than I!
—Guest Sharon G

Paint by numbers started it all for me.

When I was 11, my parents bought me a paint by numbers for Christmas. This was 1954. Now I am a artist but have a huge collection of PBN that I have bought from thrift stores and yard sales, and un-finished antique paint by number kits. I am going to have an exhibition of the paintings that I have collected over the years. I have a gallery where I show my woodcuts, linocuts and plein air oils, but the paint by number stuff is a real winner.
—Guest Larry Joe Miller

Spanish Dancers

I used to paint by number, the child's versions. Wanting to be like mum who did the adult version. I think that gave me a chance to feel what it was like to finish an oil painting. I still remember painting a Spanish man and woman separately, with their bright colours. That was my introduction to paint. Though for many adult years I just dabbled a bit, it is only now that I have started an art course in my 50s. But I am getting such joy out of it. The initial feelings never left me, so I think they have a place, a step ladder for those who need it.

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