Craft-Ease sent me paint by number kits for review. All opinions are my own.
I’ve always enjoyed being creative or artsy. Yet, I never learned how to draw well. I had a really wonderful high school art teacher, who encouraged us to focus o the process more than the results. I believe he did this because he knew it wouldn’t be fair to grade art projects based on the results, as a kid who had great results may simply have a lot of talent. While another student may put a ton of hard work into their piece and get worse results. So, he graded us based on effort rather than results.
I don’t think his goal was to show us that if we quit worrying so much about the results, we may learn that we can enjoy the process of creating even if we aren’t good at making pretty things…but that’s what I discovered! I enjoy the process of being creative, so even if the results aren’t worth being hung on the wall, I still get creative sometimes. I think it’s helpful for my mental health, honestly.
Anyway…while I really am okay with trying to get artsy or creative without expecting stellar results…I still have a soft spot for finding projects that I can get good results from, even though I can’t draw very well. I enjoy painting, but it’s hard to paint well if you can’t draw well…for the most part. Paint by number kits change that, though! You don’t have to draw the piece by hand, they give you the shapes and you fill them in with paint.
Craft-Ease.com has an awesome selection of paint by number kits for adults. They also have diamond art kits if you’re into those. I wanted to experience their paint-by-number kits, though. I loved paint by numbers and color by numbers as a kid, so I was excited to try out ones that are more elaborate and made for adults. I was sent two kits. I only have one of the paintings completed, so I’ll primarily focus on that one, but I’ll briefly share the other one, too! I haven’t got to start it yet, but I have the Hippo paint by number kit waiting on me when I have the time to get to it. I love hippos, and they aren’t an animal that you can frequently find on decor or in wall art, so I was tickled to find this kit. I love how it uses pop art colors to make it a really bright design, while keeping the hippo’s form really realistic looking. I can’t wait to get to it!
The kit that I was sent which I’ve already painted is called Magestic Cats. I love the name of this piece because these kitties look rather silly, they are pretty far from magestic so I love the joke in the name. I haven’t had a pet cat since I was a kid, but I’ve been wanting one more and more lately! I find myself watching cat videos and checking out cat memes and so on. Yet, I wouldn’t really want to paint a really realistic cat.
I guess I don’t really know how to explain my preferences other than, I love the silliness of cats, and this so-serious-it’s-stilly painting of a mama cat and her kittens just jumped out at me.
The canvas is 50cm by 40cm which is roughly 20×16 inches. So, it’s a good size painting. Rather than a traditional black outline like most coloring books would have, the canvas uses red outlines for each shape. The canvas has different shades that represent different paint colors as well, which helps you to visualize the design before it’s finished. Here is what the canvas looked like before I got started:
The kit includes paintbrushes, several small pots of paint, stickers with numbers on them, a cardboard holder for your paint pots, a small cardstock version of your piece with a paint-number conversion code, and a large black and white print out of the piece showing all of the shapes and numbers for each.
Something that was slightly confusing at first, was the paint pots come with numbers printed on the lids. However, those numbers are not the same numbers that are on the canvas. Some of the paint pots had numbers that were 3 and 4 digits long, while the numbers on the canvas were 1-24.
The instructions explain that you have to convert the numbers using the chart listed on one of the pieces of paper. You use the stickers included to cover up the old numbers and share the new numbers, which align with the canvas. Once you use the chart to apply the stickers over the old numbers, it’s smooth sailing from there on out.
The shapes o the canvas vary quite a bit, but most of the ones on these piece were quite skinny. I found myself sticking with the skinniest paintbrushes for 90% or more of this canvas. I didn’t time how long it took me to complete this piece, but I’d say it was definitely over 6 hours. I worked on it each weekend for over a month. I found it really relaxing to paint while listening to a TV show or music. I actually liked that it was so big and elaborate that it took me so long to complete. While I knew I would enjoy the finished piece, I was largely buying the ‘experience’ so I liked that it was a long experience!
Due to the shapes being outlined in red, and some of my paint colors being rather light (white or cream colors, light blue, lighter yellows, ec) I did choose to do multiple layers on some areas. In some places the numbers stamped on the canvas showed through so I went over those with two layers as well. When you have already painted a shape but want to do a second layer, you can’t always see what the number for that shape was, seems how it is stamped on the canvas. I was able to figure out which color to use by referring back to the printed copy of he artwork that comes with the kit.
The darkest blue and black paint pots were close to empty when I was finished, but all of the remaining paint colors had a lot of paint left. The company is definitely generous with the amount of paint they send, so you don’ have t worry about running out.
I noticed that the darker paint colors were thicker in texture than the lighter colors. This was a bit of a problem because some of the shapes I needed to paint were very thin and narrow, so if the paint was in a “glob” on my brush it would be too thick to stay within the lines. To help the paint a bit, I’d dip my brush in water, dip it in the paint and then use my brush to mix the paint around. This resolved the issue.
I really enjoyed painting these “majestic cats” and look forward to working on the hippo kit next! I think these kits would make an awesome gift for anyone who likes to be a bit creative or artistic. I chose two animal-themed pieces because I like animals but they have many other types of artwork to choose from.
Hi there! I am Emily Evert, the owner of Emily Reviews. I am 28 and live in a small town in Michigan with my boyfriend Ryan and our two pugs. I have a large family and I adore my nieces and nephews. I love reading memoirs, and learning about child development and psychology. I love watching The Game of Thrones, Teen Mom, Sister Wives and Veep. I like listening to Jason Isbell, John Prine, and other alt-country or Americana music. I created Emily Reviews as a creative outlet to share my life and the products that I love with others.
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