My first Bob Ross style painting

As an artist we go through phases where we might condemn some art as being tacky, commercial, vapid, and then we may come around eventually to enjoying it. That’s how I was for Bob Ross’ work and so today, at the age of 39 I painted my first Bob Ross style painting. I have seen children paint beautiful pieces following along with bob ross. He’s so gentle and funny in a subtle way. I can really see how he became so popular, it isn’t just the art: it’s the cute things bob says as he paints that make the show watchable.

“Island in the wilderness” season 29 episode 1

I was gifted a set of leather Acrylic paint and a set of bob ross brushes for Christmas so I’m trying them both out for the first time here. Bob Ross paints with oils, but that requires you to use paint thinner, and I already have MANY tubes of Acrylic paint.

The major difference is oil paint dries much slower, so when bob said paint on the pink in the sky, then the blue, and then put a touch of paint thinner on your brush and blend them, my paint had already dried so I couldn’t blend them anymore.

Also he said to scratch the paint away with a knife sometimes and I couldn’t do that either. My bob ross brush set even said on the packaging “for use with oils only: do NOT use acrylic paint with this brush.”

I thought it would be fun to use an airbrush to do the sky. Maybe I’ll try that with my next project, get some lovely gradient blending that way
The fan brush was used to paint these vertical background trees. In mine they look like they have been hit with a forest fire that has burned of their branches.
Next I painted in the water reflection and some foreground trees
Not bad… but I left some pink in the background above the mountains and I thought the tree on the far left had too much light tone in its trunk, so I tidied that up and put some more in the water: too much contrast between the green reflection and the sky blue water
Leaving a bit of white in the background makes some interesting mist . The sky looks more orange here on the phone than it does irl.

So there you have it. A bob Ross style improvised landscape. No matter what your art style is, if you’re going to draw figures or dragons , it would be nice for them occasionally be in landscapes. Even if your art is usually abstract, it can be rewarding and fun to follow along a guide as they do things step by step. After following along 4 or 5 of these, many people could “improvise” their own. It could be fun to Follow the directions but use all “wrong” colors. Or to have students film their own “how to paint” guides.

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