Color by Number: Tips & Techniques

Color by Number Tips & Techniques: How to Get the Most Out of Your Color by Number Pages

Color by number coloring pages combine the challenge of a puzzle with the fun of coloring. These puzzles come with a color key and a picture containing numbered shapes to color in. They can be challenging for a few different reasons. One of these challenges is finding the right color that matches the color indicated for a particular number on the key. Another is that the pictures can get pretty detailed and intricate, with shapes so small as to not even contain a number! This article will help you overcome these challenges.

1. Start with as big of a coloring set as possible



When it comes to the more complex color by number puzzles, finding the “right” colors according to the color key can be an issue. Many times, a set of 8 colors just won’t do!

There are a few ways to overcome this challenge:

1. Practice blending two or more colors to achieve the desired color, or

2. Use a set of colors that includes a large variety of hues and tones

Since blending colors can be very time consuming, I recommend simply starting with a large set of colors. It doesn’t have to be costly. These days, thanks to the growing popularity of adult coloring books, you can find many reasonably priced quality sets of 100 colors or more.

2. Save the shapes with no number for the end

Color by number example

The example above shows a closeup of a landscape in Color by Number for Adults: Landscapes. As you can see, not all shapes are numbered (this is where that ‘puzzle’ element really comes in.)

******SPOILER ALERT****** To color these in correctly, the best thing to do is to save these shapes for the end. Why? When you’re able to see how the surrounding shapes are colored in, a pattern will emerge, and it becomes apparent what color these little shapes should be.

3. Exercise your creativity

Color by number coloring books are a chance to explore your creativity. It is good to use the color key and numbers as a starting point. If you decide you want to make the sky purple or green or yellow instead of blue, you can – it’s up to you!

Additionally, once you have all the shapes colored in, their edges may look unnaturally sharp and abrupt. Go back over the picture with your colored pencils or other choice of medium, and blend the colors freehand to create a smoother, more dynamic image.


To download free color by number pages for adults and children, click here.


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