How To Pick The Best Photo For Custom PBN

How To Pick The Best Photo For Custom PBN

Already have the perfect photo in mind for your custom PBN kit? No need to wait, order here now!

If you need more information, please keep on reading our article below and know you can always contact us with any questions you may have.

1. The right size

Picking the right size for your custom painting might sound a little tricky, but rest assured that we manually check every order to ensure that you will receive the best possible outcome! If we have concerns about the image or the size chosen, we will contact you and provide suggestions.


Aspect Ratio - what is it and how to choose the canvas size?


The aspect ratio is the ratio between the height and width of an image. Divide the width by the height to obtain this number. For the best results, it is recommended that the photo you have chosen has the same or very similar ratio as your canvas. Otherwise, modification on your photo is necessary and we might crop the image, add white space or simply contact you with a suggestion for a better canvas size. In either case, we ensure that your image will take as much space on the canvas as possible.  


Crop your image

It might be necessary to crop your image yourself - this way you can control how your end image looks like. To do this, open your preferred image editor and choose one of the default cropping options - like 3:2, 4:3, 7:5 and so on.

Once you have cropped it, remember the ratio you have chosen and use the table below to find the right canvas size for you:


4:3 Aspect Ratio (the standard ratio for most iPhone and Samsung devices):

  • 30x40cm
  • 45x60cm
  • 60x80cm


10:8 Aspect Ratio:

  • 40x50cm
  • 60x75cm
  • 80x100cm

Square Aspect Ratio:

  • 40x40cm
  • 50x50cm
  • 60x60cm
  • 70x70cm

3:2 Aspect Ratio:

  • 40x60cm
  • 50x75cm
  • 60x90cm
  • 80x120cm

7:5 Aspect Ratio:

  • 50x70cm


And need not to worry about landscape or portrait settings! We will do that for you.


2. The right quality - at least 500 pixels


Your paint by number canvas will be as good as your chosen image, so the right choice is extremely important.


What is a pixel you might ask? A pixel is a tiny dot on your screen that makes up the images. It is very tiny - roughly 1/96th of an inch (0.26mm). So a 40x50cm (16” x 20”) canvas is about 1500 x 2000 pixels.


If your chosen photo’s resolution is much smaller than that but you have picked this canvas size, that means that the image needs to be enlarged. Sometimes, this leads to a quality loss and it will be very noticeable at the end. This is called a “pixelated” look. If you have ever zoomed in too much on a photo that it gets blurry, that’s the same effect in play.


Our advice is to check your photo’s resolution and pick a canvas size accordingly. Always pick as big a resolution as possible.


And keep in mind that images send over messengers or social media tends to be compressed (Messenger, Whatsapp) which additionally introduces quality loss. Ideally, find the original source of the photo and use that for your canvas order.

3.  The right colors

Vibrant colors and high contrast between them produce the best results. They guarantee proper color segmentation which consequently means better painted canvas!

What is contrast?

Contrast is the difference between the colors in your photos. There are different types of contrast, like color and tonal contrasts, but of most importance to paint by numbers kits is the color contrast. If your photo is predominantly one color, a proper segmentation of the elements in your image will not be possible. The best images for PBNs are those providing enough contrast between the photographed object and the background. For example, a portrait of a person on a white background.


How we see white and how computers do

White can be very tricky and you should keep in mind that humans and computers don’t see it the same way most of the time. Often, what we see as white, is not exactly white for all the pixels in the area. Consider this beautiful white swan as an example:


As you can see, it is much more closer to beige than white and this is how our software will perceive it as well. This image also lacks a high contrast so overall, it may not be ideal for paint by numbers.


4. The right position

We highly recommend that you remove any unnecessary background in order to center your object and have it take as much space as possible. Your photographed object (be it a pet, a person, a decorative object) must be the main focus and take up at least 70% of your image in order to preserve all the details!