Tag Archives: Schipper

Schipper Taj Mahal Paint By Number Kit – just takes some patience and a steady hand

Schipper Taj Mahal Paint By Number Kit






Pros: With some patience and a steady hand you can have a gorgeous outcome

Cons: Only one brush provided, and not a very good one

I love tigers.  I love crafts.  When I saw the Schipper Taj Mahal Paint By Number Kit, it was a no-brainer.  A beautiful depiction of the Taj Mahal, with reflecting water, guarded by two gorgeous tigers.  How could I not buy it???

Thus, for the past 6 months, my hobby has been painting.  Well, painting-by-number, that is.  Sure, as kids you probably did craft sets of this type.  But I’m thrilled to say that thanks to brands like Schipper, the craft can now be enjoyed by adults.  Adults with steady hands and a lot of patience, that is.

This particular set is a “triptych” – that is – a 3-part set.  The small pieces on the right and left are 19.5″ tall x 8″ wide.  The large piece in the middle is the same height, but nearly 16″ wide.  Put together, it’s quite a large painting!

How many different colors do you see?  Well, there are supposed to be 42 different colors, but my painting only has 41.  Why?  Because I had some trouble with the paints.  My own fault, because I bought the kit a few months before I actually started it.  Acrylic paints are wonderful to work with – when they are fresh.  They mix easily, spread easily, can be blended, and wash off with just a touch of water.  But once they get old and dried out, they can be a pain.  As long as you catch them “in time” they can be rehydrated with water.  In my case, when I opened the kit, about half of the paints were dried out and needed rehydrating.  Luckily, most of them were able to be saved by watering, and mixing, over the course of a few days.  However, two of them were beyond help.  Basically, the paint was one gelatinous mass – think “gummy bear” – and simply wouldn’t take the water.  One of the colors was vital but I was able to substitute it with a color from another kit I had done earlier.  The replacement color being ‘close enough’.  The other color was not vital, so I simply eliminated it.  Wherever that color was called for, I simply substituted a different color.  Since this color appeared only in the sky, and there were so many different shades of blue/purple to choose from, I don’t feel my picture has suffered.

But the point I’m trying to make is – buy the kit when you know you’ll have time to work on it.  Don’t buy it then stick it in a closet for 6 months or the paints will give you trouble.  (Note: you could order replacement paints from Schipper, if you need to).

So – you’ve bought your kit, and you’re ready to go.  What do you need to know?

  • Schipper paint canisters come un-numbered.  The first thing you’ll need to do is apply little numbered stickers (provided) to the tops of the paint canisters.  Not a huge deal, but take care to number them in the correct order!


  • Paints work best when they’re thinned with water and a bit drippy.  So keep clean water nearby, and use toothpicks as stirrers.


  • Remember that the point is to cover the numbers completely as well as the lines separating the different spots.  In other words, despite your childhood memories of coloring, you’re not trying to “stay within the lines” this time; instead you need to paint over the lines.  This frequently requires multiple coats, especially with the light-colored paints.  Whites and yellows take 4 or 5 coats to completely cover the numbers and the lines.


  • Certain areas of the picture lend themselves to “fuzzy borders”.  By this I mean that it doesn’t much matter if the borders of the trees, skies, and fur are perfect or not.  Feel free to get loose with the brush and improvise a bit.  But other areas should be outlined perfectly, like the sides of buildings and columns.  For these areas, you want a steady hand, a slow pace, and very small paintbrush.  I even use a toothpick at times for extreme details.


  • Schipper provides only one paint brush, and it’s not the best quality.  You’ll want to buy a few good-quality brushes, in several different thicknesses.  Trust me, for large areas of sky, you’ll want to nice, thick brush.  But for most of the detailed work, you’ll want a thin brush, and I also use a “dotter” which is a brush with just a few small strands, great for teeny little dots of color.


  • The Schipper canvas is very high-quality – coated in such a way that helps deliver smooth coverage.  Just make sure you put enough paint on the brush.  You want the paint to glide over the surface.  If your brush is too dry, you won’t get a smooth finish.


  • Schipper provides a paper template – and this is vital.  Because once you cover a spot on the canvas, you won’t know what number it was, if you need to make corrections or provide additional coverage.  If you buy a kit that does not provide a paper template, make your own by photocopying the canvas before you get started.


  • My board had no errors that I noticed.  What do I mean by error – a spot with no number, a spot with an illegible number, or a spot with two numbers.  I’ve seen those types of errors before but not in this kit.  If you do find an error, just take a look at the picture on the box’s cover to try to figure out what color is called for.


  • Schipper does a great job with the instructions.  They come in multiple languages.  The English instructions are clear and comprehensive.  And they provide contact information in case you have any questions or run into any problems.


  • If you decide to purchase a paint by number kit, make sure it’s a picture you love.  It’s a lot of fun to work on a project you really like, and watch the picture “come alive” as you move forward. I am happy to report that Schipper kits come out exactly like the photo on the box cover.  So choose one you adore, and have fun!


Considering buying a kit for kids?  I would suggest that this particular kit might be too big, and too detailed with too many teeny tiny spots for kids.  Unless you’ve got a kid who is very patient, stick with kits designed for kids – they have much larger spots and fewer colors.

To give you some idea of the detail – take a look at this picture – it shows the middle section in progress:




Check online before buying as the same kit will go for a wide range of prices.  This kit is  currently listed on Amazon for over $100, but I paid about $50 for it from an online crafts store.  Check places like oakridgehobbies.com and ebay before shelling out big bucks!

So how did mine come out?



Other paint by number kits:

Afternoon Nap by Dimensions
Bengal Tiger by Schipper
Japanese Garden by Bucilla
Siberian Tiger by Plaid
Wheel Of Hearts

Schipper Paint by Number Kit – Bengal Tiger – I’m thrilled with the final result.

Schipper Paint by Number Kit – Bengal Tiger






Pros: The finished product is even nicer than the picture on the box

Cons: A couple paints weren’t the best, cheap brush
I love tigers.  I love crafts.  It’s a no-brainer that I would do pretty much any craft that involves tigers.  Lately I’ve been indulging in paint-by-number kits.  Not the ones that little kids do.  These are adult-sized kits, with adult-sized complexity.

When I saw the picture on the box for the Schipper Bengal Tiger, there was no doubt in my mind that I would purchase it, and spend several weeks painting it.  I thought the picture was gorgeous, with a giant close-up tiger head against a lovely, subtle background of the Taj Mahal, over a reflecting pool.  For a tiger-lover like me, this was a perfect project.

The most important thing when choosing a paint-by-number kit, is that you love the picture.  And, if you can find testament that the final result comes out like the picture, that’s all the better.  In this case, I am telling you that the finished product is even better than the picture.  The colors are much more vibrant than what’s depicted.  There are 28 different colors on this 16″ x 20″ board.  The tiger contains mostly brown and gold tones, but there are also hues of purple, gray, red, and pink.

The background Taj Mahal and the reflection are vibrant oranges, reds, and deep purples.

And the fancy background design with the squiggles and curlicues truly makes this image different from the norm, where the background is typically some sort of jungle scene.

After determining that you love the picture, the next thing you want to know is the quality of the paints.  For the most part, the paints in this kit were superb.  The acrylics mixed easily, with just a little bit water.  Once mixed and watered to the right consistency, the paints remained in good shape for the several weeks that I worked on the project.  The paints separated after a while (which is normal) but they did not dry up.  A quick mix (I used toothpicks) and I was good to go, with paints of the perfect consistency for covering the board, without running or dripping.

You’ll note that I prefaced all of that with “For the most part”.  That’s because a couple of the paints were not as good as the rest.  For whatever reason, a couple of the paints did not mix well, and did not cover well.  I’m not talking about how some of the light colors require extra coats, simply to cover the numbers and the outlines.  That’s to be expected.  I’m talking about paint that won’t spread smoothly, no matter how skilled you are with a brush.  In these cases, several coats were required, just to achieve a smooth look.

On the other hand, I’m thrilled to report that the paint canisters opened easily.  The last kit I did had paint canisters that were impossible to open without the use of some tool.  The Schipper paint canisters were simple to open and snapped closed tightly.  However, they come un-numbered.  Schipper provides numbered stickers and the first thing you have to do is apply those stickers to the canisters so that they are clearly labeled.  It’s not a huge deal – just use care to number them in the correct order!!

The canvas was a very high quality.  It’s coated in such a way that urges smooth paint coverage.  The shapes and numbers were clear and easy to read.  They also provide a paper template with all of the shapes and numbers drawn out.  This is an important item to include in any paint-by-numbers kit.  Because once a number is covered on the canvas, it might be difficult to tell what it was.  So, corrections and touch-ups could be difficult.  If you buy a kit that does not include a paper template, I suggest photographing (or copying or scanning) the board before you start painting.

My board had no errors that I noticed.  What kind of errors might there be?  A space with no number, or a space with more than one number.  Usually there are a few of those, but not in this case!

There are some very narrow spaces in this picture.  Mostly, when it comes to the whiskers, and fine details in the tiger’s face.  Also, the frame-like portion of the background requires some very straight edges, if you want it to look right.  I sometimes used a toothpick to fill in the small spaces, as well as to make corrections.  Luckily, acrylics are very “forgiving”.  Even a fairly light color can correct a fairly dark color.  Also, there is no mixing or blending required with this kit.  Still, with such a detailed canvas, this is really not a craft for little kids.  I would say it’s really for adults, or older kids with a lot of patience.

I also made a few adjustments to the colors.  For instance, it’s hard to see in the listing’s picture, but there is a bit of green in the background.  I liked the green tone, and decided to add more of it.  I also lightened part of the reflection, and the sun rising (setting?) behind the Tah Mahal.  With 28 colors to choose from, I felt I could do pretty much whatever I wanted to adjust the picture, just slightly.

Schipper did a great job with the instructions.  They come in multiple languages.  The English instructions were clear and comprehensive.  They discussed how to make sure the paints are watered to the correct consistency.  They explained, in case anyone isn’t clear, that the point is not to ‘color in the lines’ but, rather, to make sure you cover over the lines.  They offer suggestions about what order to paint.  (I ignored all of that, preferring to paint in my own preferred order – from top-left to bottom-right.)  They give suggestions for framing, and information about how to order extra paint, should it be necessary (in my case, it wasn’t necessary, there was more than enough paint).

The kit came with one brush, which I very quickly discarded as it was really cheap, and inadequate.  I went to Michael’s and bought a few really good acrylic brushes.  It’s worth it, believe me, if you want your picture to come out well.  Spend a few bucks on brushes!

It took about two months, painting probably an average of an hour a day.  I found the entire process relaxing and enjoyable.  I loved seeing the picture “come through” as I painted it.  Schipper products can be bought online.  I’ve already bought the next one.

So how did mine come out?

tiger pbn 2

Other paint by number kits:

Afternoon Nap by Dimensions
Japanese Garden by Bucilla
Siberian Tiger by Plaid
Taj Mahal by Schipper
Wheel Of Hearts