Thursday, February 14, 2013

Paint by Number! A Valentines' Day Present for You

Happy Valentines' Day! Instead of gluing a construction paper heart to a doily for you, I made you some mushy-gushy paint by number templates based on classic art. SURPRISE! I love Valentines' Day. For me, it's not just excuse to spoil Keith, it's a reason to show my friends some love, too. Don't you sometimes miss decorating a shoebox to look like a mailbox and giving Saved by the Bell themed tokens of friendship to everyone in your class? Me, too!

I have no idea what we're doing tonight. Keith made a dinner reservation, and I was like, "I love surprises. Don't tell me... Lalala, I can't hear you!" But I can tell you that I made my big damn hero a ridiculous, huge, Firefly themed Valentine. And we're exchanging gifts later in the week, because we both ordered each other's gifts online, and they haven't arrived yet. My friend Lel one gave me a magnet that said, "True friends know everything about you, and love you anyway." I guess our Valentines should read "I know about your dubious time management skills, and I love you anyway." Hehehe!

Art Deco Couple by J.C. Leyendecker - Paint by Number

The Kiss by Gustav Klimt - Paint by Number

The Kiss by Harrison Fisher - Paint by Number

The Painter's Honeymoon by Lord Frederic Leighton - Paint by Number

Romeo and Juliet by Sir Francis Bernard Dicksee - Paint by Number

acrylic paint and brushes
pre-stretched canvas and carbon paper (if you want to paint on canvas)
OR a picture frame (if you want to paint on paper, optional)

Here's how to turn these pixels into paintings:

1. Pick a picture, and print out both of the corresponding templates. 

2.Do you want your painting to be bigger than it looks on the page? If so, take it to Kinko's and have your black and white template enlarged. This should only cost a few bucks, and it's a huge time-saver. If you plan to frame your painting or paint on canvas, now is the time to consider the size of your picture frame or canvas.

3. Do you want to paint your image directly onto paper? Then you're ready to begin! If you're going to paint on canvas, use carbon paper to trace the enlarged image you had printed in step 2 onto your canvas.

4. Paint! Use the colored page as a guide, and use acrylic paint to fill in all the empty bits on your paint by number map. Feel free to change the colors up as much as you like! I like to fill in the larger areas first. Take your time. Depending on the size of your painting, it might take a few days or even a week to finish.

5. Let it dry, and then frame it, hang it, and admire it!

It's my sincere hope that you enjoy these and use them to make something beautiful! Whether you're spending the day in love with some dude, in love with your friends, or in love with a cup of tea, a novel, and a cat, I hope you're in love with your life.


  1. What a great idea these are! I hope that you end up going to your favorite place for dinner and that the packages come on the very same day! Happy Valentine's Day!

    1. Thank you. It was a Valentines Day miracle... both packages arrived on the 14th! He got his climbing shoes, and I got my yellow cardigan. :)

  2. I love these! thanks for posting. I wanna start on one right away. I haven't painted by number since I was 8, so I would love to do a grown up version!

    1. Awesome! Oh, I'd love to see how it turns out.

  3. Ah, these are BEAUTIFUL!! Gosh, I want to do them all :). I found you on Pinterest and my first thought of which painting to do was The Kiss by Klimt, so thanks for doing the Photoshop work for us already, though the others are exquisite.

    I'm so excited about this technique; I think I'm going to fill every inch of available wall space with paint by numbers now. I did one yesterday (it only took a few hours, but I think I could make it better if I spent a few more): I only used supplies I already had on hand, so the skin tones leave something to be desired. I was working from a black and white image, so I think I'll go easy on myself next time and use a color image :).


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