I have watched a lot of Bob Ross videos in my day….not really tried many. But you might recognize our attitudes on approaches to art are similar so I think he’s seeped into my brain! I love that he always said “You can do it!” “Just add a happy little tree (or another cloud, or whatever)!” His attitude was always making art accessible for everyone. So for my little Earth Day celebration, I scrolled through the Bob Ross YouTube channel and found this painting I thought I’d try. He paints in oil though – so scroll down for some notes I made about what I adapted for watercolor. Bob’s video for his painting below is HERE.
Also in the video I talk quite a bit about where my art journey is at right now. I hope that talking about it doesn’t cause people to walk away from me, but….I need to be true to who I am as an artist and make changes as needed. I really appreciate your support!
Watch the video below or click HERE to see it in HD on YouTube.
My color palette is made up of all Daniel Smith colors, and you can get more about it all HERE. The colors used in these paintings are linked in the supplies at the end of this post.
On watercolor paper
As you saw I painted on cold press watercolor paper. Very much my comfort zone, and this one is a 1/4 sheet (I paint on sheets except when crafting.) Note that I used a flat brush almost exclusively, trying to keep to really large strokes to emulate the oil painting at least a little bit!
Adaptations on paper:
- Sky has to reserve whites rather than rely on overpainting with white. I still left that center path of light like Bob did.
- I painted through the mountains as he did; when the mountains will be darker, it’s easy to paint over them. I did have to leave highliights on the mountain and in the water, though – don’t paint everything.
- Treeline highlights Bob uses are painted on top – mine were more dense because of that. Could have left a little more light in there, I suppose.
I’ve only watercolored on canvas once – for a project for a set for a drama, and that was just big loose flowers. I had bought a bunch of canvases thinking it’d be fun to try! I learned a ton while doing this.
Adaptations on canvas:
- I covered the canvas with Daniel Smith White Watercolor Ground and allowed it to dry fully.
- I didn’t quite realize that the combination of being on canvas, the grounds, and the vertical angle was going to make the canvas practically washable! Spraying was dangerous, and you can see in the video that the paint kept sliding down. Some cool effects, but it was tough to manage.
- Letting layers dry completely was crucial, as any water lifts off color underneath; successive layers need to be a bit thicker to get them to stay in place.
- I really did love how color moved and blended, and will be trying again another time!
Have you tried a Bob Ross?
If not – I recommend it! Try in marker, pencil, or whatever medium you prefer. You never know what you’ll learn.
Happy Earth Day!
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- Daniel Smith Watercolors
- Silver Brushes
- Cosmo Spintop Flat brush
- Arches Cold Press Sheet
- Daniel Smith White Watercolor Grounds
- Canvas 16×20
- Nickel Azo: EH – Blick
- Burnt Sienna: EH – Blick
- Quinacridone Rose: EH – Blick
- Imperial Purple: EH– Blick
- Cobalt Teal Blue: EH – Blick
- Cobalt Blue: EH – Blick
- Sap Green: EH – Blick
- Perylene Green: EH – Blick
- Payne’s Blue Gray: EH – Blick