Paint by Numbers

An indecisive brush

paints strokes of yellow

smears of orange

and dabs of lavender

Unable to fix on that perfect


swirls on more colors

darkening daffodil to tangerine

pumpkin to crimson

and amethyst to violet

adding splashes of cerulean

shading slowly

to navy

Creating such a

muddled mess

until there’s no solution

but broad strokes of black

an inky void relieved with

a sprinkling of stars

About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

8 responses »

  1. Marcia says:

    Like this one a lot, Caitlin! (As usual). Sounds like you’ve done this before. I know I have! A starry night is a good save…mine usually end up in the garbage at this point. πŸ˜€ Great job!

    • caitlinstern says:

      In theory, as a child, I liked the idea of paint by numbers. In practice, it was fussy and time consuming.

      But I can picture someone with an enormous paintbrush (maybe made of clouds), painting and painting, then giving up and grabbing a paint roller, and just covering the whole thing up. Maybe I spend a little too much time staring up at the sky. πŸ˜‰

      • Marcia says:

        Ha! Maybe so. I started painting with paint by numbers as a kid, then went right to oil painting on canvas, then graduated to decorative painting with acrylics, acrylics on canvas, then on to digital painting with an electronic “brush.” I’ve done it all, and I can say with a bit of surety that in any medium, you an suddenly find yourself with an inky void. πŸ˜€ I love all your shadings of colors here, a la “darkening daffodil to tangerine, pumpkin to crimson.” A nice touch, and very visual.

  2. segmation says:

    Interesting paint by numbers!

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