Pencil-by-number is a great way to express your artistic side, even if you have limited drawing skills. You don’t need to be a master artist to create these colorful images—you just need to be able to follow a numbered grid to color in the pre-printed pictures using your colored pencils.

Pencil-by-numbers are sold in kits that will contain everything you need to complete the image: an art board with the printed outline of the design, a numbered overlay of the design, colored pencils, and sometimes even a pencil sharpener. The colored pencils are each marked with a number that corresponds to the numbers on the overlay. To complete the design, you simply refer to the numbered overlay and use the colored pencils to fill in the corresponding sections on the art board. If a section on the overlay does not have a number in it, it should not be colored in. 

While this may sound simple enough, your style and skill will determine the appearance of your finished piece. Here are a few tips and tricks to ensure beautiful results:
• Keep your paper clean and prevent smudges by placing your hand on a loose sheet of paper.
• Refer to the photograph frequently as a guide for color.
• The desired colors can best be applied layer by layer.
• Mix colors by applying various color layers over one another.
• Create a shadow or shading effect by using a darker color in the relevant section.
• Apply shading carefully and lightly. Pressing too hard with the pencils will make color mixing more difficult.
• Keep pencils well-sharpened when doing detailed work.