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paint-by-numbers (not comparable)

  1. (of a picture) Made from a painting by numbers kit.
  2. (figurative) By rote, without thought or creativity.
    • 1999, Peter H. Hennessy, Canada's big house: the dark history of the Kingston Penitentiary (page 172)
      Though flawed by a paint-by-numbers methodology, the security classification process, so frequently sought by nineteenth century humanitarians, has resulted in an array of medium and minimum security jails feeding into scores of community corrections facilities on quiet streets across the country.
    • 2009, Diane Heacox, Rick Wormeli, Making Differentiation a Habit
      This is not a cookbook full of passive recipes, nor is it a paint-by-numbers approach to teaching. Instead, it provides the fresh clay, the carving tools, and the spirited inspiration to form the clay to match our intent.

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