Painting has been a sanity saver for me lately. I close the door to my craft room, turn on some music, and focus my mind on painting something beautiful. While I like creating art from scratch, I love doing paint by number paintings when I want to kind of turn my brain off. It’s a great way to get the creative juice flowing in a low-stress way. A few years back, I discovered a FREE way to turn photos into paint by numbers, and I wanted to share the simple process with you.
HOW TO TURN PHOTOS INTO PAINT BY NUMBERS
WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE YOUR OWN PAINT BY NUMBERS PAINTING
The good news is that you need only a few supplies to create your own PBN paintings. I like to use acrylic paint, but you could also create your masterpiece with oil, pastels, markers, or colored pencils.
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TURN YOUR PHOTOS INTO PAINT BY NUMBERS
Creating artwork from your own photos is a cool way to make artwork for your own home. It also makes a perfect gift for a loved one’s birthday, anniversary, or for Christmas.
Paint by Numbers from Your Own Photos
- Visit PBNify and upload your photo.
You can choose any photo that you like, but I find that scenery works a bit better than portraits.
- Click various points in the photo to create your photo palette.
Be sure to click on the most important parts of your photo to make sure those areas are included in the final painting.
- Click the PBNify button.
The process of creating the paint by number outline will take a while, so be patient!
- Save the Filled version of the painting, the outline version of the painting, and the color palette to your device.
- Print these three files using a color printer.
You can print the filled and palette files on regular printer paper, but I recommend that you print the outline on cardstock since you will be painting on it.
- Use the color chart as a guide for mixing acrylic paint colors to match each number.
Only mix one color at a time to prevent the colors from drying out before you get to them.
- Using the numbers on the outline, paint in the sections of the paint by number painting.
- Allow the paint to completely dry before framing.
TIPS FOR DIY PAINT BY NUMBERS
The point of paint by number paintings is to make the process of creating a beautiful painting much easier. There are still a few tips and tricks that can make your paint by number experience even more successful:
- Mix one color of paint at a time. You want to avoid your paint drying out before you get to use it, so it doesn’t pay to mix different colors at once.
- Mix more paint than you think you will need. You don’t need to go overboard, but it’s better to waste a little bit of paint than to have to try to perfectly match a custom paint color.
- You can save yourself some hassle by painting the lightest colors first. If you make a mistake, it’s much easier to paint over a light color with a darker color than vice versa.
- If you need to save paint overnight, place a damp paper towel over your palette, and wrap the whole palette in a plastic bag. This will keep the paint fluid overnight.
- Use paintbrushes that match the size of the area you are painting. You will likely need to use a very small detail brush and a medium-sized flat brush.
- Paint small swatches of paint onto your printed palette to make sure you are matching the color properly OR
- Change the color palette however you would like, just pick a new color for each number, then paint like you usually would!
WHY DO A PAINT BY NUMBER?
I am a firm believer that arts and crafts are good for your mental health. Painting is a very therapeutic activity. The process of creating something beautiful with your own hands is a wonderful way to soothe your mind if you are dealing with anxiety or stress.
However, not all of us are comfortable enough to start applying paint to a blank canvas. Paint by number paintings give you a jumping-off point for your creativity. Sometimes that’s all the nudge you need to actually get painting!
You will get the satisfaction of creating a one-of-a-kind piece of artwork, without the stress!
DIY PAINT BY NUMBER CANVAS
If you would like a detailed tutorial for painting your PBNified photo on a canvas, you have to check out my friend Lindsay’s paint by numbers tutorial. She shows you how to use a matte medium to add the printed paper onto a canvas, so your final artwork can stand alone!