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Paint By Numbers Abstract Art

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!

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90 Comments

  1. May 9, 2019 / 8:32 am

    I love this and so colourful and it was also good that you felt to add your own, to make if different for you. I would be happy painting this one and to keep looking at after.

    • Bexa
      Author
      May 9, 2019 / 8:53 am

      Thank you so much Liz! It was really fun to get creative with, glad you enjoyed! <3 xx

  2. May 9, 2019 / 8:39 am

    Thank you so much for linking my post, that’s so kind of you. You have made a beautiful picture. I haven’t done a paint by numbers before, I have never been good at painting, but maybe I should give it a go. I looks beautiful and it has such a colourful print you have created. Being creative is so much fun, 12 hours is very impressive! Thank you for sharing ❤️Xxx

    • Bexa
      Author
      May 9, 2019 / 9:05 am

      Aww, you are very welcome lovely! Your post was such a big inspiration for me! Thank you so much for your sweet comment, I’m glad you liked the painting, you should definitely give it a try sometime, it’s really fun and relaxing! <3 xxx

  3. May 9, 2019 / 9:16 am

    I’ve probably mentioned before (because he’s obsessed) but my eldest kid loves cats and this would be an awesome calming activity for him I love that everything is included and the colours are so rad! Thanks for sharing Bexa, added one to my cart in prep for the summer

    • Bexa
      Author
      May 9, 2019 / 9:33 am

      Thank you so much for the kind comment Gem! That’s awesome you have added one to your cart, yay, I am sure your son would absolutely love this! I’d love to see a photo when it’s done <3 xx

  4. May 9, 2019 / 2:42 pm

    This is so cute! I haven’t done a paint by numbers project in a while!! I always love the outcomes, and this cat is especially bright and colorful! Thank you for sharing this Bexa <3

    • Bexa
      Author
      May 11, 2019 / 10:06 am

      Thank you so much for the kind comment Geraldine! I’m glad you enjoyed the post! <3 xx

  5. May 9, 2019 / 5:30 pm

    This is so beautiful, Bexa! Cats and colours, does it even get any better than that?! Hehe. Though, in fairness, I love the giraffe one, too. It looks quite intimidating at first with all the spaces and numbers but I love seeing the transformation into a gorgeous piece of art and I really like the fact you decided to give it your own twist! 🙂

    • Bexa
      Author
      May 11, 2019 / 10:15 am

      Thank you so much Ruth, yay for colours and cats! He he! I love the giraffe too, I might give that one a try sometime, it’s a fab way to relax <3 xx

    • Bexa
      Author
      May 11, 2019 / 10:16 am

      Thank you so much Nyxie! I’m so glad it has inspired you too! <3 xx

    • Bexa
      Author
      May 11, 2019 / 10:25 am

      Thank you so much lovely, that is very true, creativity is relaxing <3 xx

  6. May 10, 2019 / 2:56 am

    I never finished a paint by number kit. I don’t have the patience for a project that takes a long time. I loved how colorful and adorable your cat painting looks. You did a good job.

    • Bexa
      Author
      May 11, 2019 / 10:27 am

      Thank you so much for the kind words, Deb! <3 xx

  7. Jenny
    May 10, 2019 / 10:05 am

    I used to love paint by numbers when I was little! This looks like so much fun and I think a paint by numbers is the only crafty activity I could pay attention to. So I definitely will invest in some soon!

    Jenny
    http://www.jennyinneverland.com

    • Bexa
      Author
      May 11, 2019 / 10:32 am

      Thank you Jenny, it is such a relaxing activity, hope you enjoy! <3 xx

  8. May 10, 2019 / 11:01 am

    Oh my goodness, all those numbers, however did you decide where to make a start?! This looks absolutely stunning, Bexa, you’ve made the most beautiful piece of artwork And you’ve reminded me that I used to enjoy paint by numbers when I was a child, although I have to say they were nowhere near as complex as this one. My recollection is they took a couple of hours, haha. I honestly don’t think I would have the patience (or time, thank you Flora) for something like this now but, as you know, my go-to switch off is my garden so at least I have that. Beautiful photos, as always, such a lovely and inspirational post 🙂 Lisa xx

    • Bexa
      Author
      May 11, 2019 / 10:36 am

      Thank you so much for the kind comment, Lisa! He he, I admit it was quite overwhelming at first and took so much longer than expected. Gardening sounds like such a peaceful and calming way to relax 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the post lovely! <3 xx

  9. May 10, 2019 / 3:51 pm

    Looks good. I love the colors in that piece. I’ve done a few paint by numbers projects in my day. I always thought they were such a mess when I was doing them, but then when I stepped back and looked at the final product, it wasn’t as bad. It’s definitely a lesson in taking your time and getting it done little by little. That’s something I know I need to be reminded to do quite often.

    • Bexa
      Author
      May 11, 2019 / 10:54 am

      Thank you so much for the sweet comment Laura! That’s so true, little by little is the best approach! Glad you enjoyed the post lovely <3 xx

  10. May 11, 2019 / 3:36 am

    Oh man, it is so cool that you painted this gorgeous piece from a bunch of little light indicators. I like that the paint even covers the numbers and lines when it’s done right. Big plus that you don’t need to mix any colors. I can imagine how therapeutic this is. I LOVE how all of the colors look, by the way! These 27 colors went to life! I haven’t painted by numbers before but I know I would enjoy it. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

    • Bexa
      Author
      May 11, 2019 / 11:01 am

      Thank you so much for the lovely comment, Nancy! It was such a therapeutic creative activity, hope you enjoy it if you give it a try! <3 xx

  11. May 11, 2019 / 8:36 am

    Pretty art❣

    • Bexa
      Author
      May 11, 2019 / 11:10 am

      Thank you Kinga! <3 xx

  12. White and Vintage
    May 11, 2019 / 12:32 pm

    What a colourful picture. I have never done such painting before, but it looks great!
    Have a nice weekend!

    • Bexa
      Author
      May 11, 2019 / 3:41 pm

      Thank you so much! Have a lovely weekend! <3 xx

  13. May 11, 2019 / 4:48 pm

    It turned out so pretty!! I love all the colors! 💕

    • Bexa
      Author
      May 12, 2019 / 1:02 pm

      Thank you so much Michelle! <3 xx

  14. May 12, 2019 / 8:05 am

    This looks so pretty!! I completely get what you mean about the joy being creative brings – I actually finished something I’d been working on for two years last night (writing project) and I was buzzing so much! This sounds really awesome – I can’t paint for toffee, but sounds like this is something I could handle. Awesome post, I love this idea!

    • Bexa
      Author
      May 12, 2019 / 1:06 pm

      Congratulations on finishing your writing project Lindsey, that must be such an amazing feeling! I’m glad you enjoyed the post and thank you for the lovely comment <3 xx

  15. Lainy
    May 12, 2019 / 8:14 am

    This is gorgeous! I would not have the patient or a steady enough hand to do that! Well done, it looks so good!
    I used to adore paint by number when I was little, but nothing as complex as this!

    Lainy x https://bookishbitsblogblog.wordpress.com/

    • Bexa
      Author
      May 12, 2019 / 1:13 pm

      Thank you so much Lainy! <3 xx

  16. May 12, 2019 / 8:31 am

    I love the finished product! I haven’t done a paint by numbers in years, but the ones I used to do didn’t look as good as this. I love the use of more bring and vibrant colours and the finished picture is too cute! X

    • Bexa
      Author
      May 12, 2019 / 1:18 pm

      Thank you so much Aaliyah! <3 xx

  17. May 12, 2019 / 8:37 am

    This looks so cool! I remember doing stuff like this when I was younger and loving it, I just haven’t sat down and down anything similar for some years. You did a really good job! It’s so bright and colourful and sounds really relaxing once you get into it. Great post 😊 x

    • Bexa
      Author
      May 12, 2019 / 1:23 pm

      Thank you so much Chloe, it is a really relaxing thing to do! <3 xx

  18. May 12, 2019 / 8:47 am

    This looks so cool! I used to do paint by numbers when I was younger but they were pretty basic, I love that this is more of a challenge and has lots of amazing colours, the finished product looks really professional. It seems like a great way to take your mind off things!x

    • Bexa
      Author
      May 12, 2019 / 1:33 pm

      Thank you so much Chloe, it really is a great way to switch off and relax! <3 xx

  19. Lizzie
    May 12, 2019 / 8:51 am

    This is gorgeous! I may well be jumping on this bandwagon! Thanks for sharing -L x

    • Bexa
      Author
      May 12, 2019 / 1:42 pm

      Thank you Lizzie! <3 xx

  20. May 12, 2019 / 8:58 am

    Wow, what a cool art kit! It reminds me of a jigsaw puzzle. It’s really amazing the way it comes together and you start to see an image form. I think I’d really enjoy something like this. I feel like I haven’t painted in years! I definitely need to bring my paints out again!

    • Bexa
      Author
      May 12, 2019 / 1:48 pm

      Thank you so much Annie, so happy it has inspired you to paint again! <3 xx

  21. May 12, 2019 / 9:46 am

    This looks so amazing!
    Wow I didn’t realise how much I miss doing these. I spent my childhood doing painting by numbers and loved it!
    Next time I see one when I’m out I’m going to treat myself! 😊

    Love Lozza xo
    http://girlygabble.com

    • Bexa
      Author
      May 12, 2019 / 1:58 pm

      Thank you so much Lozza, yay, hope you have fun and enjoy the painting! <3 xx

  22. May 12, 2019 / 10:06 am

    I so relate to the concept of doing something creative for the benefit of our mental health. I use to paint a lot in my Pre-kids era, somehow it got away from me in these past few years. I do remeber a sense of calm and focus I use to get whenever I picked up a brush. Today writing does that for me instead, I get in “the zone” and the noise in my head calms down:)
    I haven’t tried painting by numbers – it looks like such a relaxing thing, I never saw kits like these for adults ( I got them for my daughter a few times). This post really made me miss painting, and this looks like such a fun way to get back to it. Thank you for sharing it.

    • Bexa
      Author
      May 12, 2019 / 2:13 pm

      Thank you so much for the sweet comment, Madi! It is great when something creative takes us into the zone and everything calms down. Writing is really therapeutic too 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed the post lovely! <3 xx

  23. May 12, 2019 / 11:16 am

    The result is just fab; so pretty! I remember doing paint by numbers when I was around 10 or 11. I used to really enjoy doing them. It’s hard for me to grip things as well now or for any length of time, so it wouldn’t really be practical for me any more, sadly. 🙂

    Sarah 🌺 || Boxnip || Latest Post

    • Bexa
      Author
      May 12, 2019 / 2:27 pm

      Thank you so much for the reading and commenting Sarah, I’m glad you enjoyed the post lovely <3 xx

  24. May 12, 2019 / 11:16 am

    That’s so cute! When I was a kid I used to do those engraving/etching/whatever-they-are kits where you scrape away the top layer to make a shinyful (yes, that’s a word, I’ve decided) picture of dogs or lions or whatever 🙂

    • Bexa
      Author
      May 12, 2019 / 2:33 pm

      Ooh yes, I remember those kits! And shinyful is a great word 🙂 Thanks for the kind comment <3 xx

    • Bexa
      Author
      May 12, 2019 / 2:40 pm

      Thank you! <3 xx

  25. May 12, 2019 / 2:03 pm

    How great does the finished piece look Bexa – bold, bright & defo one to be proud of! I remember doing ‘colour by number’ when I was little, but paint by numbers isn’t something I have tried in youth or adulthood. But seeing as I love adult colouring – I think this is defo on my list of things to try now. Thanks!
    Helen | http://www.helensjourney.com

    • Bexa
      Author
      May 12, 2019 / 2:44 pm

      Thank you so much for the lovely comment Helen! I’m so glad it has inspired you to try it too, hope you enjoy! <3 xx

  26. May 12, 2019 / 2:04 pm

    That turned out so beautiful and colourful, I love it! I’ve not really been creative in the sense of painting/drawing for quite a while, but I usually write, read or do some bullet journalling to switch off ^_^

    • Bexa
      Author
      May 12, 2019 / 2:57 pm

      Thank you so much Nele, glad you enjoyed the post! <3 xx

  27. May 12, 2019 / 3:02 pm

    Omg this takes me back to my childhood I used to always get a painting by numbers for Christmas and Easter! Used to love doing these. I’m not arty at all but this was a great way for me to get creative.

    • Bexa
      Author
      May 12, 2019 / 3:28 pm

      Thank you so much Rachael, I loved doing these as a child too! <3 xx

  28. May 12, 2019 / 4:11 pm

    I have always loved paint by number but I haven’t done one in forever! I love the picture you chose, it’s so bright and cheerful. I know for a fact I’m a far happier person when I spend time doing creative things on the regular, I’ll have to keep y eye out for a paint by number kit to try out again for sure!

    • Bexa
      Author
      May 12, 2019 / 4:24 pm

      Thank you so much for the kind comment Kristin! I totally agree, whenever I am being creative I am so much happier! 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the post lovely <3 xx

  29. May 12, 2019 / 4:41 pm

    I love that this is so unique and colorful. It sounds like a great way to center and calm the mind. I will be giving it a try.

    • Bexa
      Author
      May 12, 2019 / 4:54 pm

      Thank you so much Scott, hope you enjoy! <3 xx

  30. May 12, 2019 / 5:12 pm

    Looks really cool and the finished product reminds me of Lisa Frank stationary for some reason! I love this as a way to switch off, especially as I love crafts but am rubbish at drawing!

    • Bexa
      Author
      May 14, 2019 / 9:36 am

      Thank you so much Lex! I agree, it is very Lisa Frank! It’s such a great way to unwind and relax <3 xx

  31. May 12, 2019 / 5:50 pm

    Love how colorful this is. Man, paint by numbers brings me back to my childhood. It’s been so many years since I’ve done one, but now I want to hunt down a colorful kit and give it a try. Would be a great way to relax.

    • Bexa
      Author
      May 14, 2019 / 9:44 am

      Thank you so much Sarah! It’s a really good way to relax, hope you enjoy! <3 xx

    • Bexa
      Author
      May 14, 2019 / 9:47 am

      Thank you so much Sam! <3 xx

  32. May 12, 2019 / 8:06 pm

    This looks great, I love the end product and how it turned out! I don’t think I would have the patience to to do something like this anymore!! Xx

    Ashleigh | https://ashleighwrites.co.uk

    • Bexa
      Author
      May 14, 2019 / 9:59 am

      Thank you so much Ashleigh! <3 xx

  33. May 12, 2019 / 9:20 pm

    This is my kind of creativity! It looks like so much fun and you can’t exactly go wrong with paint by numbers so it’s great for people (me) lacking in the creativity department. The finished product looks amazing! And I love that you don’t have to mix colours, this sounds like such a fun little project x

    Sophie

    • Bexa
      Author
      May 14, 2019 / 10:00 am

      Thank you so much for the lovely comment Sophie! It was such an enjoyable project <3 xx

  34. May 12, 2019 / 10:51 pm

    I love this! They look so fun and colourful!

    • Bexa
      Author
      May 14, 2019 / 10:02 am

      Thank you Lucy! <3 xx

  35. May 13, 2019 / 3:27 pm

    Bexa, this is gorgeous! I haven’t done paint by numbers since I was a kid and never anything abstract like this. It turned out beautifully!

    • Bexa
      Author
      May 14, 2019 / 10:04 am

      Thank you so much Megan! <3 xx

  36. May 13, 2019 / 4:48 pm

    I need this in my life now.. Paint by numbers used to be my favourite thing as a child, I only remembered how much I loved it after reading this… Off to buy some paint by numbers now!

    • Bexa
      Author
      May 14, 2019 / 10:11 am

      Thank you Daisy, hope you enjoy painting! <3 xx

  37. May 13, 2019 / 6:58 pm

    Omg, I love this!! The end picture is amazing, it’s so pretty 😍 I love painting – it’s so fun and so relaxing. My boyfriend doesn’t seem to understand how which is funny. I remember doing so many paint by numbers when I was younger, and looking at this gorgeous piece you’ve created – it makes me really want to treat myself to one 😂 So many choices though with the ones you linked – this cat one is amazing, I love it! The dog one looked so cute too… decisions!!

    Amy,
    https://creativenails.uk

    • Bexa
      Author
      May 14, 2019 / 10:13 am

      Thank you so much for the lovely comment Amy! It really is so relaxing! He he, I know what you mean, so many decisions! Hope you enjoy! <3 xx

  38. May 14, 2019 / 7:39 pm

    Oh my gosh, I love this so much!!! I don’t think I have done a paint by numbers art piece for a loooong time, but just reading this and seeing your amazing cat – I really want to have a go at it!! I love that you chose a cat, I would do the exact same. It looks like such a relaxing activity, I’m sure at a times I’ll also be thinking omg when is this going to be done hahaha, but like you said, it’s one of those things where it helps you to forget about the world for a bit <3 Love this!

    Chloe xxx
    http://www.chloechats.com

    • Bexa
      Author
      May 15, 2019 / 9:41 am

      Aww, thank you so much for the sweet comment, Chloe! Yay for colourful cats! He he, it really was relaxing and a great way to switch off. Hope you enjoy it if you give it a go too! <3 xx

    • Bexa
      Author
      May 17, 2019 / 9:50 am

      Thank you so much! <3 xx

  39. May 17, 2019 / 8:43 pm

    Oh my gosh, Bexa you have so much patience! I’m not sure I’d be able to stick it out til the end but maybe in short bursts I’d be ok. You’ve done a brilliant job! I can imagine the sense of achievement is a great feeling and a boost to your well-being too. Pretty pics as always x

    Samantha | https://thebeautyspyglass.con

    • Bexa
      Author
      May 20, 2019 / 10:09 am

      Thank you so much Samantha! I surprised myself too, he he! I’m glad you enjoyed the post lovely <3 xx

  40. May 20, 2019 / 5:50 pm

    I love the giraffe one, It looks like such a relaxing activity.. Wish I was 1 percent as talented and creative and more over patient as you !!!
    http://www.stylebasket.in

    • Bexa
      Author
      May 21, 2019 / 9:27 am

      Aww, that is so sweet of you, thanks Priya! <3 xx

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