As I mentioned in my last post, I have been trying to get back to being more creative and artistic.. always trying only sometimes achieving. I use to love to dabble in painting when I was younger (some 20+ years ago now!) .. usually with my mum, who was quite artistic and always trying to show me how to create beautiful and easy flower petals which I could never quite master with my heavy handed approach. I always started out heading towards the canvas or table or wooden seats, or a piece of bark (we owned a hobby farm and painted lots of hand made furniture and whatever was lying around really) but by the time my hand got the paint brush closer to the object being painted my hand had had enough and would lose all elegance and smoosh the paint brush straight onto the canvas so that all my petals just looked like big splodgey messes. Mum is a nurse so fine motor skills is one of her stronger skills.. not that I am making excuses for myself… but well I guess I kinda am..
Anywhooo… I had been searching for another activity to do so that I had a few to switch between during lock down, as that is my to a T.. constantly jumping from one thing to the next and so I knew that I needed to have several activities that I can jump between, and some that could be completed fairly quickly and others that would take time where I could do bits and pieces of when I was feeling in the mood. And in my search of things to do, I stumbled across the craze Paint By Numbers. Absolutely perfect activity to assist with getting back to or starting to become creative!
Paint By Numbers is super easy to do, and great that you can pick a picture that you like but actually contribute to it being created! Rather than just picking a print online and waiting for the finished product to arrive at your doorstep, you just pick the picture and wait for the canvas (already with backing frame) to arrive at your door with paints and paint brushes. It is important that you review which Paint By Numbers site you are on as I did make the mistake of ordering from the American site which charged me more money, but did not take too long to get here, around 4 weeks or so, given the current Covid climate with post.
But there are a few tips that I would give to anyone looking into trying it out for themselves;
- Make sure you are on the Australian Paint By Numbers site, thinking you are getting a good deal and then seeing nearly double the money come our of your bank account isnt fun for anyone (especially not when you are meant to be on a spending limit);
- Make sure the canvas comes with backing frame, its fine if you just want to paint onto the canvas and you are willing to pay for it to be framed later but this can get expensive and at times is slightly harder to paint onto just the canvas… or you can be like us and build your own backing frame! (but that was for a separate project which I am still doing and will write about it in another post ;))
- Purchasing the easel (canvas holder) is recommended! It is much easier and better for your posture to paint upright, but then you do need to remove it from the easel when doing the finishing edges that are hard to reach whilst it is in the easel
- You may want to buy your own paint brushes if you are planning on doing more than one, or if you easily get annoyed, as they are not the greatest quality brushes and often the paint would ball up into a blob on the end making the thin brushes not so thin. I regularly had to clean them off and then dry them abit so they werent too watering and it did get a little time consuming but wasnt the worst (I didnt buy my own brushes but am considering it as I want to start doing some free hand painting of my own)
- Be prepared to spend many hours a day painting away and feeling as though you are getting no where for the first week! Especially if there are lots of small pieces such as one would find from picking a cherry blossom tree to paint (cough cough, I did that)
All in all, I had so much fun doing this activity! It did take me around 2 months to complete as I did not paint every day and sometimes I didnt paint every weekend. So it was nice to have the canvas there to paint a few hours at a time when I was feeling in the mood. I would put some relaxing tunes on and open a cider (strongbow apple low carb as I am kinda dieting… kinda not though) and paint away. It was great after a frustrating day working from home or if you just wanted to be distracted and take your mind off other things. It does fall under the category of a mindfullness activity and I found it was really good to help me slow down, focus my thoughts on the task at hand and feel creative and happy.
Definitely recommend giving this one a go, enjoy!