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History of Paint-By-Number

History of Paint-By-Number

The resurgence of paint-by-number is here. How many of you remember as a kid painting in random blobs with color to make a simple landscape scene? Paint-by-numbers are no longer just an activity for kids, there has been an uptick in interest among adults recently as a way to relax. While the classic scenes of a paint-by-number are still relaxing and enjoyable to create, paint-by-numbers today span a wide variety of painting styles with more details and appealing designs for adults. 

Paint-by-Number was created by Dan Robbins who created popular paint-by-number designs in the 1950s. Robbins worked for a paint company in the 1940s in Detroit when he came up with the idea for paint-by-number. He was a graphic artist and sold children's paint. His boss needed a painting product that could be geared toward adults and with a little inspiration from Leonardo da Vinci, thus paint-by-number was born! Paint-by-number became increasingly popular in the 1950s and 1960s after WWII. Before artists could design on computers they had to paint the image and then use a piece of acetate or clear plastic over the original to create the areas for each number. While paint-by-number has changed over the years, the aspect of fun remains. (Source: CNN).

Dan Robbin with his self-portrait paint-by-number.
 Photo Credit:

In a recent Wall Stree Journal article, they discuss how paint-by-numbers today can be everything from a photo of your pet to a detailed cityscape. Paint-by-numbers have always been easy to paint because of their mindless following of numbers and color, but modern paint-by-number takes it to the next level. 

Similar to the way adult coloring books have become increasingly popular over the last few years, paint-by-numbers also have relaxation qualities. Any form of painting, crafting, or drawing allows your mind to slow down and rest from the day to day operations. Being creative no matter the form can make you a happier and healthier person. You don't have to be an expert painter to enjoy the process of painting. Even if your finished painting looks like it was painted by a toddler, what matters is the experience you had creating it, and the overall process of stopping and picking up a paintbrush. 

With ALL that said...Plaid is here to give you a dose of Modern Paint-By-Number! We will provide you with a basic paint-by-number pattern each week and then through an in-depth video show you how to add details to make your painting look as though it were never a paint-by-number. And that is the key difference between the paint-by-numbers of old and the paint-by-numbers of today! No longer are paint-by-numbers simply a flat scene, they feature details, shading, stroke work, and more, thus creating a work of art out of numbers and colors. Here is an example:

We will provide you with a FREE paint-by-number pattern printable that you can trace on to any surface. Then follow the color chart as you would normally do with a paint-by-number. Finally, watch our in-depth video from our expert painters showing you how to add details like highlighting and shading to give your piece an artist-quality finish that even a novice painter can do.

Be on the lookout each week as we release a new Modern Paint-By-Number design. Tune in every Sunday at noon for a new design and video. Check out the schedule below for all the designs we have on tap.

7/12 - Modern Floral (pictured below)
7/19 - Beetle
7/26 - Cityscape
8/2 - Lemons
8/9 - Poodle

If you are just starting out, this style of painting is a great way to get your feet wet with a paintbrush. Then you can take it a step farther and learn techniques and tricks outside the lines of the design to make your painting come to life with our modern paint-by-number videos. 

Pablo Picasso said that "Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life." Try out this new style of painting for a relaxing evening of fun with the whole family.

Do you like this new twist to a paint-by-number? Share your creations with us on social media using #PlaidCrafts.

Happy Crafting!
Posted: 6/2/2020 8:59:27 AM by | with 0 comments

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