How To Create a Time-lapse Video of Your Paint-by-Numbers Painting Using Only Your Phone (With Step-by-Step Instructions!)

Fiona Clemente paint by numbers for adults time lapse time lapse video tutorial timelapse timelapse video

There’s no doubt about it: time-lapse videos of paintings, or speed-painting as others call it, are quite popular these days. Not only can you showcase your artworks and get tons of hearts and wows from your friends and family, but they will also have an idea on the journey you took to complete that masterpiece and would feel more invested in it - they’ll love your artworks even more!

Shooting a time-lapse video of the Paint-by-Numbers kit you’re currently working on would not only be a fulfilling  experience but would also actually make your new-found passion more intentional and productive. And while influencers and professional video producers are virtually everywhere on social media, you don’t have to be intimidated - you don’t have to be a pro to shoot and post your very own speed-painting video! 

In this article, we’ll show you the ropes to help you shoot that time-lapse video ASAP using your iPhone or Android phone. We’ll guide you through the whole process - from the photoshoot tips, to the time-lapse shooting process, we got you!

Check out this sample PBN time-lapse video featuring our delicately detailed Sunny Gerbera Blooms premium PBN kit:

As you may have noticed, this time-lapse video above is far from perfect: 

  • the individual images have not been cropped the same way
  • the canvas has visible fold marks
  • the pace is too slow
  • the images jump around and have different lighting exposures

However, even with these mistakes, the video is showing the journey of painting this masterpiece and is still fun to post! And, with the help of this article, you are guaranteed to do better.

So, read on and don’t worry, we’ll cover these seemingly complicated topics in a way that even first-timers would easily get it. Let’s do this, shall we?


First things first, you need good photos! This method requires a series of photos taken over a long period of time then stitched together and compressed into a video a few minutes long. Below are the pointers you need to follow to take good photos for your time-lapse video.

Good light is your best friend.

Finishing a PBN painting can take days, so make sure you choose a spot where you feel most comfortable and have good lighting all hours you will be painting at.

Let the light in and find an area in the house with bright light. While natural light is best, it also varies throughout the day, so choosing an are with bright artificial light will give you the same results or better. That way, you don’t have to wait for a specific time of day to shoot, just paint in the same spot every time!


Take a photo of your kit.

Take a good photo of your kit right out of the box, which would include the brushes, paints, and canvas. This would be a good starting point for your time-lapse video.

Take a photo of your Paint-by-Numbers kit

PRO TIP: Keep your camera super-steady as you press the shutter gently.

Although both iPhones and Android smartphones have built-in image stabilization, here are some ways you can take those ultra sharp photos of your PBN artworks: 

  • If you’re an iPhone user, you can ask Siri to open the camera so you frame the perfect shot but you’ll have to press the button yourself to take the shot; If you have an Android phone, you can ask Google Assistant to take a photo for you and watch it open the camera - all you have to do is keep a steady hand. Some Android phones can even intuitively choose the perfect time to take the shot.


  • You can set the timer on your camera for 2 seconds (or more!) to give you ample time to frame your subject perfectly. The timed-image function would also allow you to steady your hands before the shot and ultimately avoid blurred photos shot right after pressing the button.  

Take good photos of your canvas from start to finish.

  • Starting from your empty canvas, capture all the edges of the canvas.

  • Take photos of your progress, as much as possible and keep the phone in the same position every time - over the center of the painting, same distance every time. (e.g. every hour or every time you finish a “session”)

  • Make sure the sides of the painting are parallel with the sides of the photo. 

  • Think in advance in which order you would like your picture to progress, so the final touches reveal the most beautiful and dramatic parts!

It is important to keep these in mind while shooting so your series of images won’t “jump around” the screen when you stitch them together.



To start creating your time-lapse video, collect the pictures you shot while you were painting and create a simple time-lapse video of your painting’s progress.

In this step-by-step instruction, we’ll use iPhone’s built-in Photos app - no installation required.

What you can customize using the Photos app:

  1. Video speed
  2. Theme
  3. Music - you can choose from a wide selection of free music that comes with the app

What to do: 

  1. Open the Photos app on your phone.

  2. Select the photos. Tap the “Select” button at the top right-hand corner and select the photos you want to use for the video in chronological order.

  3. Once you’ve selected all the photos needed for this project, tap the share icon at the bottom left.

  4. Now double-check if you’ve included all the photos you need by swiping through them from left to right.

  5. Tap on the Slideshow app.

  6. The first thing you’ll see is a default slideshow of the pictures you’ve selected earlier. This slideshow is ready for customization.

  7. To customize, tap anywhere on the screen while the default slideshow plays. “Options” should appear at the bottom right-hand. Tap on it. The ‘Slideshow Options’ will then appear.

  8. Customize the theme. Tap “Theme” and then select from the pre-made themes available.

  9. Customize music. Tap “Music”. You can either select from the free theme music in the app or get one from iTunes Music.

  10. If you want your video to repeat then simply switch on the repeat button.

  11. Adjust your video speed. Toggle the 🐢 and the 🐇 to adjust the speed of your time-lapse video.

  12. Maximize these options to your liking. Preview the video several times and once you’ve customized it to perfection, click “Done” at the top left-hand part of the screen. Your video will then be saved on your phone.

  13. Tap on “Done” again to exit the app.



Android phones don’t have a built-in app to create time-lapse videos but there are tons of free video editing apps, are available in the Google App Store, that you can easily download and use. While we’re not affiliated with and don’t endorse any of these apps, some of the apps that you can check out are: 

Lapse It


What to do: 

  1. To download an app, go to Google Play Store.

  2. In the search bar, type in the name of the app and click install.

  3. Once done, you can click the button “Open” to start working on the app. 

  4. Get your photos ready. It would depend on the app you downloaded - some apps allow imports from your built-in gallery and some apps have their own cameras that you can use when taking your artwork progress photos. 

    Choose all the photos that you will use for your time-lapse video and drop them on the editor.

  5. Add the finishing touches. The best thing about these apps is that all of the functions are just a click away. After dropping your photos in the editor and fine-tuning the basic settings such as speed, don’t forget to add some extra layers of fun to your video! 

    You can add in texts to walk your audience through your painting process, throw in a relaxing background music… Channel your inner movie director and add in the details that would make your video more interesting and exciting to watch!


With constant practice, you’ll be able to polish your videos up and produce more and more captivating videos of your artworks over time. And our very last tip - get out there! Paint, shoot, and post - your artworks are too amazing to not be proud of them!

And once you’re done painting, shooting, and posting your Opalberry Paint-by-Numbers masterpieces, do let us know! You can share your masterpieces by posting it on our Facebook page or tagging us on Instagram!

To be notified on our newest blog posts about Paint-by-Numbers tips, tricks, and news and to get access to our exciting special offers and promos on our premium Paint-by-Number kits, don't forget to subscribe to our mailing list and become a VIP member by signing up below. 👇

Older Post Newer Post

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published