What is the difference between painting by number and coloring by number?

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Ashley ✨
Ashley ✨

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In today’s world, where stress is a constant companion, many people look for creative and relaxing hobbies. Two popular activities that meet this need are ‘paint by numbers’ and ‘color by numbers’. Although they may seem similar at first glance, both offer unique experiences and benefits. This article explores the differences between these two creative pursuits, helps you understand which is best for you, and highlights the unique joy each activity can bring.

What is Painting by Numbers?

Painting by numbers is an artistic hobby in which an image is divided into small sections, each marked with a number that corresponds to a specific color of paint. Participants paint each numbered box with the indicated color of paint, ultimately leading to a complete painting. The materials needed are usually a pre-printed canvas, several colors of paint, and a set of brushes. Paint by numbers is ideal for beginners who want to learn how to paint as it requires no prior painting skills. It offers a structured approach to painting and can be very satisfying as the end result is often an impressive work of art.

Also read: 15 Hobbies for Women

What is Color by Number?

Color by number, on the other hand, is a simpler activity that uses crayons, markers, or paint to color predetermined sections of an image. Each section is marked with a number corresponding to a certain color. This activity is very accessible and often recommended for children, but is also popular with adults. It requires less preparation and clean-up time than paint-by-numbers and is excellent for developing fine motor skills and color recognition.

Main Differences between Painting and Color by Numbers

Although both activities use a numbered system to complete an image, the main difference lies in the materials used and the complexity of the activity. Paint by numbers is generally more complex and time consuming, requiring a certain amount of patience and attention to detail. Color by number is easier and faster, ideal for shorter attention spans.

Who is Each Suitable For?

Paint by Numbers is perfect for adults and older children who are interested in learning painting techniques or developing their artistic skills. It is also therapeutic and can help relieve stress. Color by number, on the other hand, is more suitable for younger children and adults who are looking for a simple, relaxing activity. Both activities provide educational benefits and can help improve concentration and creativity.

Tips for Beginners

For beginners in painting by numbers: start with simple designs and gradually work towards more complex ones. Make sure you clean the brushes well when changing colors. For color by number: experiment with different color media such as markers or colored pencils for different effects and textures.


Both paint-by-numbers and color-by-numbers offer unique avenues to creative expression and relaxation. While paint by numbers offers a structured approach to an artistic process, color by numbers offers a more accessible and approachable way to play with colors. Depending on your interest, time and skill level, you can choose which activity suits you best. Both are excellent ways to escape the stress of everyday life and discover the inner artist within you.

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Start today!

Get a sample of your photo as painting by number! Get to know this wonderful hobby!

Start today!

Get a sample of your photo as painting by number! Get to know this wonderful hobby!

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