Some people love art so much that they become artists. Others appreciate art and view them in galleries and museums. But some people are artistic but do not study art. However, they still try to be close to it by doing what others consider child’s play – painting by numbers.
Artists may call it uncreative and simplistic, while others appreciate a painting by numbers because they can create something they did not dream of doing. But for most people, painting by numbers is art. It teaches people to be better artists and has an interesting backstory.
What is paint by numbers?
Painting by numbers is when the creator or manufacturer divides a picture into shapes, marking each with a number corresponding to a specific color. As the user paints each shape, the picture becomes a finished artwork.
But people who appreciate the method believe it helps spread the concept that a painting comprises various shapes of color, which may not make sense when seen individually but can create a beautiful image when put together. But, of course, for professional artists and critics, painting by numbers is a formulaic approach and not real art, and it is not one of a kind because one design can be sold by the hundreds if not thousands.
Not the same
But for the proponents of paint by numbers, a kit may have a design and the same paint quantities and colors, but the result will not be the same because each person paints differently. They can differ in their brushstrokes to apply the paint, the time it takes to finish their painting, and the humidity in their home or where they paint.
Skills and benefits
Starting a new painting is one of the hardest things for an artist to do. Most artists have to overcome the hurdle of facing a blank canvas. But painting by numbers removes the hesitation, allowing the person to start painting immediately.
Paint is fluid and not easy to control, and all types of artists, from children to adults, must learn its behavior. And people can experience it with paint by numbers.
Like adding color to an image in a coloring book with crayons, people using paint by numbers have to color within the lines. However, it is more difficult because they use liquid paint, which is harder to control. They need to be more accurate in manipulating the brush and the paint. The hand should be steadier, and eye-hand coordination must be better. This is an important skill to maintain, especially for older people.
Painting by numbers also helps people experiment with color combinations, varying brush strokes, and blending techniques. They do not have to waste expensive art materials as they develop their skills.
Paint by numbers’ history
Engineer Max S. Kelin, who owned Michigan-based Palmer Paint Company, developed the paint by numbers kit in 1950. He co-created the kits with Dan Dobbins, a commercial artist. They introduced the kits in 1951 through the Craft Master brand, which sold more than 12 million kits. The success of the kits led other companies to create their versions.
Many professional artists and critics dismiss paint by numbers as elementary. But there is talk that Leonardo da Vinci created the first paint by number system, according to Bülent Atalay’s book, Math and the Mona Lisa. The author said that Da Vinci had his assistants paint specific areas on this masterpiece that he had sketched and numbered to speed up the process. Michaelangelo was also rumored to have devised his paint by numbers system.
Whether the rumors are true or not, the fact is, painting by numbers gives budding talents and hobbyists an outlet to express their skills.
1st and featured image by https://unsplash.com/photos/xw8DfYBaNbQ
2nd image by https://unsplash.com/photos/EazedzfaaQE