My most recent creation

I really enjoy painting by numbers. It seems silly for someone with a decent amount of artistic ability (if I do say so myself), but I like them because they require me to make few to no decisions.

First of all, they tell you what to paint. When you buy the kit, you know what the final result will look like. I have a lot of blank canvases in my closet and the reason they’re still blank is because I have a hard time deciding what to paint. So much pressure! The only real decision with paint by numbers is deciding which kit to buy.

They also tell you what colors to use. This is huge for me. I sometimes have an idea for a painting, but I’m not always good at picking out which colors will look best, and mixing colors can be tricky (though it is VERY fun). Getting all of the colors in a kit also means you don’t have to go out and buy tubes of paint — they give you just enough.

Finally, they (sort of) tell you how to tackle the painting. Now, you don’t have to go in order of number (blobs labeled 1, then 2, then 3), but the craft implies that you do; it would be hard to keep track otherwise. I personally start at 1 and work my way up, and then go backwards once I reach the highest number because I inevitably miss blobs. I also find that going backwards at the end allows me to layer colors better than earlier in the project, when the final result isn’t clear.

By not having to make decisions about what or how I’m going to make a painting, I’m able to let go of any worry about the final result (it will be fine in the end) and slip into an almost meditative state. I often listen to podcasts while I paint, and I find the level of effort on the painting is perfect for freeing up my mind to absorb what I’m listening to, whether it’s the true story of Disco Demolition Night or a ridiculous recap of a Dateline episode.

As the weather gets colder, paint by numbers is a perfect indoor hobby to pick up! Let me know what you do to unwind, get creative, and stay busy!

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