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How Does Bob Ross Make Painting Look So Easy?

bob ross

“We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents.” with this approach to his life and paintings, a true inspiration, Bob Ross was a famous television painter, famous for his calm and wholesome nature with his skill to make painting fantastic landscape pictures look like an absolute walk in the park and his permed hair. A little happy tree here, a big fluffy cloud there, majestic mountains with snow on top and here you go! A fantastic painting in less than 30 minutes! Aired over 31 seasons and a total of 403 episodes, he made his show named “The Joy of Painting” world famous by making a landscape painting in a standard half-hour tv slot and the way he showed it, was perfect, fast and easy! Let’s learn about Bob Ross’s painting techniques.

Commendable Works Of Bob Ross 

Ross developed an interest in painting while serving in the military and sold paintings of the Alaskan landscape to tourists. In 1981 he retired from the military and took out private painting lessons with Alexander, eventually taking the place of his teacher on PBS.

“Northern Lights”, “Ocean Sunrise”, “Mountain Summit”, “Sunset Aglow” and “Tropical Seascape” are some recommendable works of Bob Ross. 

The Secret Of Bob Ross’s Paintings Techniques

Ross used a “wet-on-wet” oil painting technique, also known as “Alla prima” over a thin base layer of wet paint. The painting could go ahead without first drying. This technique used a limited selection of tools. Applying coats of paints on top of each other, allowing them to mix and blend allowed him to paint a whole mighty mountain and its surrounding areas in around 25 minutes.

His speciality was landscape paintings, not portraits, or still lives building on the techniques of his mentor Bill Alexander he developed a method to make the brush and painting knife do all the work.

Approach Towards Bob Ross’s Painting Techniques

He gave some easy-going tricks to get the best result with minimal effort. Rooftop summarized his methodology for you to access easily. He has a connection with oil painting just like Krishna has with pichwai painting.  


Ross emphasized colour, form, lines, shapes, sizes and textures as the key elements for any work of art to make it a masterpiece. So, keep this in mind whenever you try your skills on canvas.

Bob Ross’s Painting Techniques

A palette knife and paintbrush are two super tools and are mostly used in the works of Bob Ross. He used his Palette Knife to cut the paint. You need to be very careful of how thin the paint should be when he says “get a thin one” because in the end, either you’ll get muddy paint or at least no paint at all. The right thickness is a must, you can check the episodes of “The joy of painting” for more quick and easy steps, that too, in an easy and elaborative way. 


The most important tool for any painting need to be perfectly ready. Ross believed that for a great piece of art, the surfaces should be covered by thin coats of oil-based paint that will form a semisolid layer that is to dry in a very gradual process. Bob Ross’s style is one of the best styles for beginners to start their journey as painters.


When you are a beginner and want to master the Bob Ross style of painting, the painting in Bob Ross’ book is filled with thick oil paints. No acrylic paints work when using Bob’s wet-on-wet system. So, be aware when purchasing such paints.  Your tools should be up to mark for your painting to be commendable.

Bob Ross lived a life of calmness, joy and paintings. His works not only give peace to your soul but also paint lessons for those who want to dive into the sea of painting. His tv show is a boon for many. As he said, we don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents, and these accidents are compulsory for us to be better drivers in this ride called life! Follow Bob Ross’s painting techniques

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