Afternoon Nap by Dimensions
See it at Amazon (ignore the fact that their listing says “needlecraft” )
Pros: relaxing activity that yields a great-looking result
Cons: a few mistakes on the board
I enjoy craft kits. And I have absolutely no natural talent. Therefore, adult-sized paint by number kits are a great way for me to be able to paint something pretty. There are a few brands out there. This review is for a picture called “Afternoon Nap” by the Dimensions company.
Dimensions products come with canvas boards that are of high quality. However, I’ve read some reviews where people complained that theirs arrived bent. I’ve not had this happen, but I would simply call the company and (I presume) they would send me a replacement. Your board should be completely flat.
The board has the design drawn on it, in a light gray color. The design is broken into teeny tiny spots, which must be filled in with the correct color paint. In this case, 12 paints are provided, but there are 24 different colors in this design. This is because Dimensions kits require mixing colors. So, there are 12 numbered paints. And 12 colors (indicated by letters) that can only be achieved by mixing two paints together.
While they provide instructions how to do this, they do not provide any container for the mixed product. I ended up using paint canisters that I had left over from previously completed kits. However, you’ll need to think about what you’ll use to contain the mixed paint, before you get started.
The need to mix the paints adds another level of complication to the kit. While the actual mixing isn’t difficult, the problem is that if you run out of your mixed paint before you finish with it, you’ll be stuck trying to re-mix and achieve the same shade. Not so easy. I am always finding little spots that need touch-up, and if you don’t have any more of the mixed color to do the touch-up, you’re stuck. I ended up using colors that were “close enough” to do the touch-ups, but the results aren’t always ideal.
Dimensions kits come with one paintbrush, and it’s a bit too thick for some of the fine detail work. I suggest buying a few high-quality acrylic brushes in various thicknesses before you get started.
Back to the board for a moment. Dimensions does one thing that’s really smart. The spaces on the board for the lightest color (in this case, a bright white) are not labeled. The purpose of this is to make it easier to use the lightest color. After all, the light paints require several coats in order to cover the labels and the outlines. So by leaving off the labels for the lightest spots, it’s one less thing to worry about covering up. The problem is that no one is perfect, not even the folks at Dimensions. They make mistakes. Like leaving a spot un-labeled on the board. So when you come across an unlabeled spot, you have to make sure it’s supposed to be for the lightest color, rather than a mistake.
Another problem I had is that their design did not go all the way to the edges of the board. They stopped about an inch away from the border. I suppose they figured that everyone would frame their pictures and cover up that last inch? All I know is, I want my picture to go all the way to the edge, so I extrapolated.
Finally, in this particular picture, they used an all-black background. I found this to be a bit boring. So I added some brown shading to my background.
Other than these few issues, I enjoyed my time painting “Afternoon Nap” and am pleased with the result. The picture looks great – just as good as the one on the box, I think. This is a small painting – only 11 X 14, which means you can complete the project rather quickly – just a couple weeks, if you spend a couple hours at a time.
I wouldn’t think this is a great project for kids. The spaces are extremely small, and the need to mix paints adds a level of complication. This project is for adults with patience, and a steady hand, who don’t mind detailed work.
At a cost of around $15, this is a great kit – my napping puppy and I are very happy with it!
Here is my finished product:
Other paint by number kits: