Saturday, 6 April 2019

Counting The Colours

The death has just been announced of Mr Dan Robbins, aged 93, in Ohio. Who? you ask- well he is the man who first came up with the idea of painting-by-numbers in the 1940s
He was working in a paint factory, when he realised that if you reproduced a painting as an outline, with number in the spaces, indicating which colour to put there, people would be able to recreate their own masterpieces - and his company could supply kits which included little pots and brushes as well as the outline.

He got the idea from Leonardo Da Vinci, who is supposed to have used this method to train his apprentices. Mr Robbins' became incredibly popular, and in the 1950s, people all over the USA were busy producing their own Renoirs, Constables, etc to hang in their living rooms.
The kits remain popular today - and with the interest in 'colouring books' people are using pastels, felt pens and crayons as well as the more traditional brushwork.
Such a simple idea, but it has brought delight to so many.
There was a very moving article on the BBC Website where people spoke of how painting-by-numbers had really made a difference in there lives.
Thank you Mr Robbins - you have helped millions of people enjoy art in a very personal way. RIP.


  1. I don't think I've ever done a paint by numbers painting, but, now, I am tempted to do one! It sounds like fun! Thank you, Mr. Robbins; RIP.

  2. That was an excellent idea of his! Goodbye and thank you to a man with a lovely vision!x


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