I absolutely adore the look of a paint-by-number picture. When I was a kid, paint-by-number was probably the first exposure that I had to 'real' art. At least it felt like real art at the time. That was before I had an understanding of traditional art methods, when fuzzy black posters and color-your-own stickers were my favorite, albeit only forms of creative expression.
A bit of history: Propelled by postwar prosperity, increased leisure time, and the democratic idea that anyone might paint a picture, paint by number became a popular pastime in the early 1950s. Each paint-by-number kit included two brushes and up to ninety premixed, numbered paints ready to be applied to numbered spaces on an accompanying canvas or board. As the spaces were filled in, the gradual revelation of a picture surprised and delighted.
Even though I am posing this as a DIY for 'paint-by-number' you don't have to look at it that way at all....it is basically a way of transforming your photos into a work of art. I will show you how to transfer a picture onto a painting or drawing surface. Ta-da, instant artist! Your friends will be so jealous of your awesome new art skills. I would love to see your attempts if you decide to try it!!
Recently, I found the cutest $1.00 mini-paint-by-number version at Hobby Lobby and I bought several of them. I studied the way that they were created and realized that I could do the same thing with any simple line drawing. I absolutely love animal pictures, but the ones used in paint-by-number kits aren't always my style. I was inspired to try something new!
NOTE: You could also do this in a larger format by printing your photo onto a transparency and projecting it to a wall or large canvas. I wanted a mini-work-of-art so I just used the transfer paper. If you don't own the transfer paper, you could scribble really hard all over the back of your printed photo....it will create a layer of lead, you just have to make sure it is completely covered before you draw over the front so that the lines will transfer. The transfer paper is kind of expensive, but I KNOW I will use it a lot!
Here is a peak at my drawing!
Since my photo wasn't 8X10, I added some lines along the top and bottom so it would be a full page painting and I would know where to paint.
I used the same technique to create a little portrait of Marley, my cat!
If painting doesn't appeal to you, there is a software called Color By Number 2.5 that you can buy that lets you convert a photo to a paint-by-number pattern. You can also use the Posterize button in Picnik (or a filter in Photoshop) to get sort of the same look. Here is a picture I converted using Picnik, just for fun!
Here is a pretty one.)
Ooh, and here is a really cool needle hook organizer with awesome fabric! Another seller, Doecdoe has some amazing paint-by-number stuff too!! I am going to order these shoes!
I found a whole slew of inspiration on Fickr. Here is a little mosaic of my favorites!
1. paint by number, 2. dots, 3. Paint by number, 4. Tiger, 5. Scenic-PBN, 6. PBN-Deer, 7. PBN-Dancing-Girls, 8. My new file cabinet, 9. Elephant by Number, 10. paint.by.number magnets, 11. Tiny Paint-By-Number Book, 12. Know when to walk away, and know when to run, 13. New Shoesies!, 14. fisher-price-camper, 15. smile deer embroidered hoop, 16. a start..., 17. two custom embroidered hoops, 18. moustached paint by number animals, 19. kennedy's custom hoop, 20. we'll always be home custom hoop, 21. Ship In Full Sail By Stella, 22. doe, 23. fisher-price-mini-bus, 24. paint by number vintage painting, 25. red-bicycle, 26. Super Secret Back Up Support Agent thinks I'm nuts, but I just love my Vintage Paint by Numbers., 27. horse paint by number, 28. bulldog2, 29. LUSH Pillow Back, 30. LUSH Pillow Front, 31. paint by number pilow, 32. Paint-by-Number deer purse, 33. paint by number with embroidered deer pillow, 34. paint by number birds pink for trade, 35. PAINT BY NUMBER PUPPIES, 36. Paint by Number Ironing Board Cover
Well, happy spring everyone! I hope you have found some inspiration here. Check back next Monday to see my progress on my Las Vegas album!! I have mostly gathered all of my trip ephemera, I am just waiting for my prints to arrive...I always get the cheapest shipping possible so I have to wait and wait.