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26 Oct 2020
Paint by Numbers | A Review from Sophie's World

As the Covid-19 dilemma continues, many people have been seeking outlets for their downtime.  I know lots of folks who have taken up old fashioned tried and true pastimes such as baking, puzzles, reading, and board games.  I have to admit that I secretly love the turning away from technology-based diversions (everyone is basically "zoomed out" at this point). I welcome a return to a simpler, albeit more advanced, version of entertainment.

This is why, when I was contacted by Paint By Numbers Online to review one of their kits, I thought, “why not?”.  I don’t think I’ve done a paint by numbers painting since I received a kit as a birthday present when I was 12-years-old.  I remember that one being of two young chestnut brown colts running across an open field.  It was maybe 8 x 10, on hard cardboard, and came with a paintbrush that was pretty useless.  Nevertheless, I remember being engaged by the process, if not entirely sold on it.  I was an artist even at that age, and the thought of having my art defined and dictated didn’t thrill me.  I did see the merit in it though, and when I had mustered through, I was pleased with the final product.  

Perhaps this memory is what drove me to my choice of subject matterThe site has literally hundreds of designs in every imaginable theme and variation.  Whittling down your selection might take you some time.  The one I find most intriguing is the create your own canvas.  You can literally send them a photo of whatever you like and they will send you a personalized canvas.  I think that’s really cool.   

Now, let me just say this loudly and clearly - this is not your old fashioned, 12-year old birthday present, paint by numbers kit.  This is a sophisticated adult version.  The painting comes printed on a high-quality canvas, has a variety of subtle shades and colors, and 3 very nice paintbrushes.  

The project I chose, a white horse with his mane flowing in the breeze, was way more complicated than I expected.  And in fact, there was a point when I had to grab a magnifying glass to see the smaller splashes of color and shading.  The numbers, although small, are clear and easy to see, and all the areas are defined well.  It’s a very good paint by numbers kit, it really is.  But understand this...it takes a lot of time and concentration.  

If you are in the market for something to fill long stretches of time and you’re weary of puzzles and online cat videos, this is a great project.  Be warned, it takes about 3 weeks for the product to arrive, longer, I imagine, if you are doing a personalized canvas. Once it arrives you can dive right in.  Everything you need is in the kit.  All you need is a well-lit workspace, some tape, a board to support the canvas, a cup of water, and time.  It’s a great way to keep yourself engaged while listening to some good music, a podcast, or audiobook.  

I have to admit, my life got a little hectic as I neared Halloween, and so I’m not quite finished with the project...but I plan to finish it in the upcoming days before Thanksgiving.  It’s the perfect project for a cold Autumn night.