Painting by numbers for adults
Painting by numbers is a form of entertainment as well as a creative hobby. It is also called paint by numbers or, when aimed at children, magic colouring, or colouring by number game.
What are paint by numbers?
Painting by numbers consist of reproducing an image on a support, which are printed delimitations determining the assorted colours to be painted. Each box contains a number that corresponds to a colour of paint.
For children, it is a game that teaches them to recognize numbers and to master the use of a pencil or paintbrush. For adults, it is a popular hobby for its soothing ability and the satisfaction obtained by people new to drawing and painting.
Painting by numbers are even recommended by some doctors and therapists who praise its anti-stress effect.
A Bit of History: Birth of Painting by Numbers
The invention of paint by numbers is credited to artist Dan Robbins and engineer Max S. Klein, manager of the Palmer Paint Company in Detroit - Michigan - USA, in the 1950’s.
Dan Robbins worked as a packaging designer for the Palmer Paint Company. The company marketed washable paint for children and Dan Robbins served as a graphic designer.
His boss asked him to invent an object that could be adapted to adults. After months of research, Dan Robbins remembered Leonardo da Vinci handing out numbered templates to his apprentices and thought, "Why not do the same for anyone who wants to paint, but doesn't have the talent to draw or mix the colours? All I have to do is create a numbered outline and provide the corresponding numbered colours."
He took this concept and transformed it, and that’s when painting by numbers was born.
Post-war Americans found themselves with free time to indulge in hobbies and activities like painting. The work of Dan Robbins thus had a significant impact on the pop culture of the 1950’s and 1960’s.
Before the use of the computer, the artists who created the images had to paint the image and then use a piece of transparent plastic over the original, to create the areas for each number. Beginner kits started with around 20 colours and the number of colours increased with the level of difficulty.
Dan Robbins' first prototype was an impressionist still-life painted on cardboard. The image displeases Max S. Klein, but he finds the concept very interesting and asks Dan Robbins to design another more engaging prototype.
The artist and his boss ask themselves many questions. Will the process appeal to Americans? What types of materials should be used to make it easier for customers? But also, regarding the philosophical arguments about whether dividing a subject into numbered areas to paint was an affront to the concept of "art".
At first, sales were disappointing, but by 1951 the concept was developing, and the reception was favourable on the west coast of the United States. In two years, Dan Robbins went from a lowly employee to chief art officer of the most profitable division of Palmer Paints.
Paint by numbers crossed borders to establish itself in Canada, then in Europe, before conquering the entire world.
Dan Robbins continued his career as an artist, before becoming a lecturer. He retired in the 80’s and died at the honourable age of 93, victim of pneumonia, on April 1, 2019.
Benefits of Paint by Numbers
Painting by numbers for adults are often mistakenly considered simplistic for the uninitiated, but it is not.
Art participates in a process of improving a person's physical, mental and emotional health. Paint by numbers are truly creative and it can be seen as therapy that encourages inventive thinking. Art stimulates your brain to produce new neurons and increase the production of a neurotransmitter, dopamine, which helps you feel good. It stimulates motivation and concentration.
Creative hobbies are excellent for ensuring a good mental balance and painting by numbers bring many benefits to its followers.
The frustration is great for people who dream of being an artist, but have never been able to satisfy their passion, often for lack of time. Artists need time to train and develop their creations.
Beginning with paint by numbers, the budding painter pursues accelerated training. From the first canvas, they can complete a fully-formed painting. With time and experience, they can improvise more and end up creating their own paintings from scratch.
With painting, both hemispheres of the brain are stimulated, right and left. The left hemisphere is related to the logical and rational aspect, whilst the right hemisphere is related to creativity and emotions. It's about freeing the imagination and letting it wander so that even the deepest thoughts can flourish.
Reduction of anxiety and stress level
Reducing anxiety and stress is the first most beneficial point, so much so that some therapists recommend paint by numbers to their patients.
It can make adults more serene, calmer and more relaxed. It's an incredibly easy way to relieve stress and release pent up emotions. The worries fade away temporarily.
The advantage of this practice is that even people who don't have a particular talent and don't know how to paint, can express their feelings through this approach.
Increased attention span
Paint by number art promotes concentration. This is true for both children and adults. This is all the more true in our time where distractions have become invasive because of our screens and connected devices which constantly send us alerts.
A person who decides to devote a little of his time to this hobby, will be able to isolate themself to concentrate more.
The feeling of accomplishment
Painting by numbers allow you to put together and finish a complete work, without having years of study behind you. The feeling that accompanies this accomplishment is powerful. The satisfaction of having completed a canvas of professional quality improves self-confidence and inspires creation.
Getting closer to meditation
The concentration that accompanies paint by numbers can be akin to meditation. People who cannot meditate naturally rely on this discipline to channel their mind.
Improved cognitive memory function
The paint by number brings a certain rigor and exercises the memory. The painter must organize himself logically to apply the assorted colours. The more there are, the more you will use your memory to use the pots you need.
The gain of patience
Painting by numbers require careful work. It helps cultivate patience and focus on the smaller details.
You can forget your environment, let go and let time pass without realizing it.
Physical and mental training
Painting improves cognitive abilities and motor coordination. With experience, the gesture is safer and more precise, therefore painting helps to improve motor skills.
Similar to playing a musical instrument, we learn to adjust the movements of the hand. When we manipulate a paintbrush or a pencil, this develops brain connections related to this ability.
A never-repetitive hobby, accessible to all
Paint by numbers are for everyone, regardless of age, sex, or social class. It can be practiced everywhere and in all circumstances: you can decide to isolate yourself in silence, enjoy a musical background, land in nature... You can also practice this creative leisure with others, like friends or family. If you have children, you can offer them to paint at the same time as you by choosing simpler models.
The models are endless, they can be figurative or abstract paintings, drawings or photos, original creations, or reproductions of master paintings. You can even use your own photos. After a specific treatment carried out by the manufacturer of the kits, you can paint your favourite pet, your children or your family, a landscape photographed during the holidays... Painting by number art knows no limits.
We must also praise its ease of installation. Once you have chosen your model, you receive your complete kit. It contains the canvas alongside the assorted pots of paint. As soon as you have your package, you can get started!
To initiate you to this practice choose your first work of art among our 600 kits of paint by numbers!
It's your turn!