“You can do anything you want to do. This is your world.”
~ Bob Ross
Have you ever painted by-number? Do you remember what you painted? I remember finger painting, I remember coloring books, and I remember doing watercolor painting in elementary school. But I never got to paint-by-number. I always thought it was intriguing. I’ve always liked to follow instructions to reach an intended end result (I like putting kit furniture together, for example) – I think it’s therapeutic to me – like, even though there are a lot of uncertainties in life, you can always get some sort of kit, follow the directions, and end up with something cool. I like that.
So I’ve always wanted to do a paint-by-numbers project. Today I got to do one!
I looked at Amazon’s selection of Paint-By-Numbers kits and found that there were some Bob Ross (for kids) ones! Awesome. I totally watched his “Joy of Painting” show when I was a kid and loved his fun, easy-going nature and “happy little trees” and clouds. They have a few different designs available – I picked “Mountain Stream” and was pretty excited to open it this afternoon. I got my cup of water, some paper towels, and also a paint palette together – I had always wanted to use one of those too.
It was pretty nerve-wracking putting the first color on the canvas. I’d also never painted on canvas before, and honestly even though it was “just” a paint-by-numbers kit (and didn’t cost that much) I didn’t want to mess up and ruin the darn thing.
I got started – and was going along fine until I realized that where the instructions called for me mixing the colors (5 and 7) together, there was also a big dotted line I’d have to actually cover with paint – I couldn’t just use water to spread the blue down the background (which is what I was used to with watercolor – it’s so forgiving, and pretty non-committal):
But I was really excited to be able to mix the colors and got through that part – except now I had a light blue line (with a black one behind it) on my canvas, and would have to work to get the colors all smoothed out. It took a while, and I only really got it fixed toward the very end.
Here’s a loose time-lapse video of the whole thing:
This was super fun. Like I said, I really like being able to have some sort of model and known outcome with projects, especially when I’m trying something for the first time. This kit came with everything I needed, and the amount of paint supplied was totally generous. My only concern is the fact that the numbers printed on the canvas and accompanying guide sheet give you such a basic color scheme – if you paint just what the numbers read, you get a very boring picture, and you really need to add your own touches to it to make it look more interesting – I don’t mind that at all, but I didn’t think that was made too clear in the instructions. All that being said, if you have an itch to paint, but aren’t sure what, I’d definitely recommend looking up some “paint-by-number” kits online or searching at your local craft store, picking one that you like, and going to town!
Bob Ross R6491 Paint by Number, Mountain Stream
Bob Ross R6492 Paint by Number, Winter Barn
Bob Ross R6494 Paint by Number, Wilderness Bridge
Bob Ross R6493 Paint by Number, Beacon by The Sea
Paint By Number on Amazon
The Joy of Painting Series on DVD