Tips for the Beginner Painter

2018-01-04

“This is useful, we should write it down at some point.” — Someone at Crocart

For some time now, we have been refining our Crocarts so our users get to make the most meaningful, the easiest, most beautiful paint-by-numbers. But printing great Crocarts is only half of it. The real project starts when they get delivered and we thought we’d list here a few tips and tricks we learnt from our own experience or from the experienced feedback of our users.
We’ll be updating this post as we get and remember more useful tips to share.

1. Setup Comfortably

  • Wear clothes you can stain.
    Clothes you wear will get stained, and acrylic is very hard to take off once it is dry. Wear a long-sleeve blouse or something similar.

  • Setup your workshop in a bright area, with space and lots of natural light.
    We recommend a vertical easel over working flat on a table to be working more comfortably and get a better sense of the final viewing conditions.

  • Print the color palette.
    Get a reference of the numbered colors by printing the Crocart Palette (.pdf) or opening the file on your tablet.

  • Arrange your paints tubes in stacked rows of 10 for quicker access.
    To more quickly find your paints, you can mark the tubes with a sharpie. Then arrange them in stacked rows of 10 tubes on a table in increasing order: 1-10, 11-20, 21-30 etc.
    You can now quickly find any number by picking a row and a tube in that row.

  • Make a great palette with an old plate.
    Keep your tubes clean by squeezing a little bit of paint at a time on an old plate. A ceramic plate will allow water to wash paint very easily when you’re done.

2. About Paint

At Crocart we recommend painting with acrylic since acrylic is the most accessible, easiest to correct medium but some of these tips are generally applicable.

  • Work from top to bottom.
    Your sleeve will thank you.

  • Paint undiluted.
    The easiest is to use paint straight from the tube without thinning it with water. You will avoid coverage issues and uneven transparencies.

  • Lather paint with even and parallel brush strokes.
    Painting is very different from using a pencil, especially with areas larger than a few inches. Choose one direction per area and stick to it for that area.

  • Get an even better look by avoiding overlap marks.
    Avoid applying too much paint over dry brush strokes you just made.

  • Get the best coverage by layering your paint 2 or 3 times.
    Apply a new layer of paint over a previous, dry one. Use a different stroke direction to minimize strokes marks.

3. About Brushes

Brush types are sometimes more a matter of preference and personal technique, but in any case good quality brushes make a world of difference: you will avoid stray hair falling in your paint and mushy brushes unable to push the paint evenly where you want it.

  • Make flat areas easier by using a flat brush.
    It’s sometimes hard to apply paint evenly on large areas with a round brush. Use a flat brush when areas are larger.

  • Use several brushes to avoid color contamination.
    Use one brush per color family to avoid tainting your paint, and wash and dry your brushes thoroughly between color change.

4. Care For Your Tools When You Are Done

  • Wash brushes thoroughly with dish soap and water.
    Never let paint dry in a brush overnight.

  • Store your brushes in a cup, hair up.
    That will help keep your brush hair straight.

  • Make sure your tubes are closed and clean.
    You will avoid wasting paint and time opening your tubes.


Find many more tips on our help page. If you have one that you think would be useful to other artists, send us a line at hello@crocart.com and we’ll add it here!