Feeling inspired after reading the lovely Lauren’s awesome post on the Benefits Of Art & Creativity On Mental Health, I decided I wanted to do something arty and creative over the weekend. (Also, whilst you are on Lauren’s blog, go read all her latest posts, she has absolutely rocked National Stationery Week!).
As Lauren says, completing an art project or a creative activity can give a sense of achievement which leads to a boost in self-esteem. It releases dopamine, raises mood and helps us feel good. I love being creative, but sometimes I just want to go with the flow and not worry too much about the outcome. Paint By Numbers is perfect for this so I treated myself to the most colourful cat I could find on Amazon.
The kit arrived the next day (no surprise, I paid for next day delivery) and it included 27 little pots of paint, 3 brushes, a photo of the multicoloured cat and a folded canvas. After having to figure out how to use an iron, iron the material and back it onto a board using double sided sticky tape, I was ready to get painting!
The best thing about this kit is that you don’t need to mix any paints! All the colours you will need are here, you just need to grab a pot, look for the numbers and get started. Yes, there are about a million tiny numbers and you will start seeing them in your sleep, but it’s worth it. Do it for the pretty cat.
I have done a couple of Paint By Number’s projects before, here and here, so I knew this was going to take some time and commitment. In total, this took me 12 hours over the Bank Holiday weekend including tea and snack breaks. It’s one of those things, where once you focus and get into the zone, time just flies by.
My approach was simple – use all the pretty pastel colours first and save the darker colours for the end.
If colourful cats are not your thing, then there are plenty of different canvas designs available. Take a look at this adorable puppy, vibrant lion, decorative giraffe and magical deer – which one would you choose?
Painting by numbers is great because anyone can do it – you don’t need to be an artist to enjoy painting.
You don’t even need to be too neat and if you make a mistake? Who cares? It just adds to the creativity!
Painting is supposed to be super relaxing, but at some stages I thought to myself: AM I EVER GOING TO FINISH THIS?! Then I remembered, don’t focus on the bigger picture, take it one step at a time. And it’s true, looking too far ahead can be overwhelming. Just keep moving forward at your own pace and eventually you’ll get to where you want to be. There are your words of wisdom for today, thank you self-help books.
I love that you can switch off, forget the world around you and just create something pretty.
In the end, I wasn’t too strict with matching the colours to the numbers. I had fun adding splashes of colour here and there and making the picture my own. Just go with the flow – creativity is all about breaking the rules sometimes and trying something different. There are no mistakes with abstract art, go crazy!
Here is my finished colourful cat canvas – it’s amazing to think this started out as a ridiculous amount of tiny little numbers and now it’s burst to life with just 27 colours! This project is such a great way to spend some time away from the screens, slow down and create your own colourful abstract artwork to be proud of.
Have you tried painting by numbers? What is your favourite way to switch off? Let me know in the comments – I’d love to hear from you!