Digital paint by numbers kits are becoming the hottest new trend for hobbyists and beginner painters.
They’re incredibly fun to play with and they allow you to create just about any digital image into a paint by number canvas.
In today’s article, we’ll walk you through a brief guide that shows you how to pull that off and what to expect when using a digital image as a vector for paint by number kits. So without further ado, let’s jump right in!
- 1 Digital Paint by Numbers – A Step By Step Guide
- 2 How to Make a Digital Paint By Numbers Kit at Home
- 3 Digital Paint by Numbers – Choosing a Template
- 4 Digital Paint by Numbers – Wrap Up
Digital Paint by Numbers – A Step By Step Guide
Step 1: Pick a Suitable Image
The first thing you need to do is find a suitable image to turn into a paint by number template.
This is by far the most crucial step in the process of making custom paint by number canvas because it affects the final quality and style of the painting.
Ideally, you need to pick an image that is as simple as possible with high contrast and high resolution in order to avoid poor results after printing.
A good tip here is to measure the dimensions of the canvas you’d like to print on and get an image with a similar aspect ratio to avoid dimensional distortions as well.
There are great examples of simple images on the internet that will look great when turned into paint by number kits.
For instance, you can try cartoonish or basic scenery images because they are high contrast with little details and require minimal color blending.
Step 2: Find the Right Software
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Most images on the internet can’t be used as-is for paint by number kits. Instead, you have to use software that will reduce the image to its main color elements.
Not only that, but such software will also remove the colors and assign numbers to each part, giving you a template for paint by number that is quite similar to the one you use in kits.
Luckily, there are multiple apps and software online that you can install to convert just about any image into a paint by number template. The most common one on the market is PBNify.
Step 3: Choose Colors
After choosing the ideal app for you, you’ll need to upload the image to the app and adjust it so that it’s suitable for acrylic color sets and canvas.
Once you upload the image, the app will prompt you to choose the primary colors that you want to have in the final printable template. You’ll do that by clicking several parts of the image with the mouse.
As a rule of thumb, make sure that you pick anywhere between 6 to 12 colors (including black, grey, and white).
Anything less than that will be lacking details, and anything more will be tedious to paint and require several shades of the same color.
Make sure to save the palette of colors you’ve picked, so you can buy the acrylic paint shades to match them.
Step 4: Convert to a Printable Paint By Number Template
Now that you’ve picked the colors and checked your choices, it’s time to convert the image into a paint by number kit-friendly version. To do that, simply click on the PBNify button and let it do its magic!
As soon as the conversion finishes, you can check both outlined and filled versions of the template. Finish the rendering process by saving the image on your computer or USB flash drive.
How to Make a Digital Paint By Numbers Kit at Home
Now that you’ve successfully made a digital paint by number template, all that’s left is to print it out and enjoy the painting process. Here’s a quick guide to help you get the job done:
Step 1: Gather Your Supplies
Start by collecting the essential items and tools needed to paint your kit. Here’s a quick list of all the items you’re going to need:
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- A set of acrylic paints with colors shades that matches the color palette from the software
- A mixing palette and a cup of water (optional but great for blending colors if you’re an advanced painter)
- A set of painting brushes of various sizes (at least 3)
- A suitably sized stretched canvas
- A medium acrylic matte finish to print the template and seal the painting
Step 2: Print the Canvas Template
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Print the template on an old thin paper, then set it aside. Next, you’ll need to apply a full coat of the medium acrylic matte on the canvas sheet.
Before the matte dries, apply your printout paper carefully over the matte finish and make sure that you smooth out any bubbles or wrinkles along the way.
Wait for the acrylic paint to dry, then apply a secondary coat over the printout and leave the finish to dry again.
Step 3: Pick a Suitable Spot for Painting
As you leave the canvas to dry, prepare a suitable spot with proper lighting and medium ventilation to paint.
This step is essential to keep your back relaxed. And to have an acceptable acrylic paint drying rate that isn’t too high or too low.
Step 4: Start Painting
When everything is ready, it’s time to prepare your acrylic colors and palette to paint the canvas. The palette will aid you in painting to find out the right color for each spot.
Make sure that you start from the lightest color and finish each color before moving on to the next one. Also, remember to save a little of each color for the final touch-ups.
Once you’re done painting and the acrylic paint is fully dried, apply a coat of the medium matte to seal and preserve the painting before framing it!
Digital Paint by Numbers – Choosing a Template
If you’re familiar with paint by number kits, especially custom orders that are digitally printed, you’ll know that they’re not always an exact copy of the original digital image you’ve picked.
This happens due to the distortions and modifications needed to make the image compatible with the paint by number style.
This happens due to various reasons, such as the effect of vectorizing a raster image. Here’s a simple video to explain the difference between the two.
Most digital images are raster images. They are required to be converted to vector images to be compatible with paint by number kits.
This process removes a significant amount of details from the images like the process in the guide above.
To avoid the dramatic transformation of the image after using PBNify, make sure that you begin with a simple image that doesn’t have a lot of details to lose.
There are also other problems that can affect the quality of the final product. Such as low resolution, low contrast, different aspect ratios, etc. However, these are easily avoidable if you pick the right image before you turn it into a paint by number template.
Digital Paint by Numbers – Wrap Up
There you have it! A complete guide that walks you through the process of turning any digital image into a paint by number canvas!
As you can see, the process itself is relatively simple. Soon you’ll be able to turn all your favorite images into paint by number templates.
However, some images will be more suitable than others. So make sure that you pick a simple image with high resolution and a good contrast to avoid poor results.
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