The following is a list of frequently asked questions about the BOB ROSS oil painting technique and some instructions on the use and care of the materials.
This technique refers to softening hard edges and more visible brush strokes by blending the wet oil paint onto the canvas with a clean, dry brush. When blending, an already painted area is brushed very lightly with cross strokes or light tapping with the corner of the brush. This color gives a soft and natural look. Not all oil paints are suitable for this technique; most are too soft and tend to run. Only a thick and firm paint is suitable for this technique.
To mix paints with a marble effect, place the different colored paints on the mixing area of your palette and use your palette knife to scoop up and bend the paints, then pull them flat. Stripes of each color should be visible in the mix. Do not over mix.
THINNER PAINTS TO ADD HIGHLIGHTS:
When mixing paints to apply over thicker paints already on the canvas, especially when adding highlight colors, thin the paint with LIQUID WHITE, LIQUID CLEAR, or ODORLESS THINNER. The rule to remember here is that thin paint will adhere to thicker paint.
CLEANING AND DRYING THE BRUSHES:
Painting with the wet-on-wet technique requires frequent and thorough cleaning of the brushes with paint thinner. An empty one pound coffee can is ideal for containing the diluent, or use any container approximately 5″ in diameter and at least 6″ deep. Place a Bob Ross screen in the bottom of the can and fill with odorless thinner approximately 1″ above the screen. Rub the bristles of the brushes against the screen to remove any paint sludge that will settle in the bottom of the can.
Dry larger brushes by gently pressing them against the inside of the coffee can, then tapping the bristles against a brush-beater rack mounted inside a tall kitchen wastebasket to remove any remaining thinner. Smaller brushes can be cleaned with a paper towel or rag (I recommend using Viva paper towels as they are very absorbent). Do not return brushes to their plastic bags after use, this will cause the bristles to loosen. Never clean your Bob Ross brushes with soap and water or detergent, as this will destroy the natural strength of the bristles. Store your brushes with the bristles up or flat.
APPLICATION OF LIQUID WHITE:
Use the 2″ brush with long, steady vertical and horizontal strokes on the canvas. The Liquid WHITE coat should be very, very thin and even. Apply just before you begin painting. Do not allow paint to dry before you begin .
PLACEMENT OF OIL COLORS ON THE PALETTE:
I suggest using a palette that is at least 16″x20″ in size. Try arranging the colors around the outer edge of your palette from light to dark. Leave the center of the palette for mixing your paints.
CHARGING YOUR BRUSH:
To fully charge the inner bristles of the brush, first hold the brush perpendicular to the palette and place the bristles in the paint pile. Then, holding the brush at a 45 degree angle, drag it across the palette and away from the paint pile. Flipping the brush from side to side will ensure that both sides are loaded evenly.
(NOTE: When the bristles come to a sharp or chiseled flat edge, the brush is properly loaded.)
For some strokes, you may want the end of your brush to be rounded. To do this, place the brush vertically on the palette. Pull firmly towards you moving the brush in one direction. Raise the paddle with each stroke. This will tend to round the end of the brush, paint with the rounded end up.
BLEND FOR HIGHLIGHTS:
Place the tip of the brush in the can of LIQUID WHITE, LIQUID CLEAR or ODORLESS THINNER and allow only a small amount of medium to remain on the bristles. Load your brush by gently dragging it across the highlighted colors, repeat as needed. Tap the bristles against the palette just enough to open the bristles and loosen the paint.
PALETTE KNIFE LOADING:
Using your palette knife, pull the paint mixture in a thin layer down the length of the palette. Holding the knife in a straight up position, pull the long working edge of the knife diagonally across the paint. This will create a paint roll on your knife.
WHAT IF I HAVE NEVER PAINTED BEFORE?
There are no great mysteries in painting. You just need desire, some basic techniques and a little practice. If you are new to this technique, I strongly suggest that you read the entire section on “TIPS AND TECHNIQUES” before beginning your first painting. Consider each painting you create as a learning experience. Add your own special touch and ideas to each painting you do and your confidence and skill will increase at an incredible rate.
WHAT PAINT SHOULD I USE?
The BOB ROSS painting technique relies on a special firm oil paint for the base colours. Colors used primarily for highlighting (yellows) are made in a thinner consistency for easier blending and application. Using the proper equipment helps ensure the best possible results.
Liquid Clear is a particularly exciting ingredient for wet-on-wet paint. Like Liquid White/Black, it creates the necessary smooth and slippery surface. Furthermore, Liquid Clear has the advantage of not diluting the intensity of other colors, especially the dark ones, which are so important for painting seascapes. Remember to apply Liquid Clear very sparingly! The tendency is to apply larger amounts than necessary because it is so hard to see.
13 colors we use are listed below:
*Sap Green, Bright Red
* dark sienna
*Prussian blue (*indicates colors that are transparent or semi-transparent and can be used as under paints where transparency is required).
HOW TO MIX COLORS?
Color mixing can be one of the most rewarding and fun parts of painting, but it can also be one of the most feared procedures. Spend some time mixing various color combinations and familiarize yourself with basic color mixes. Study colors in nature and practice duplicating the colors you see around you every day. In a very short time you will feel so comfortable mixing colors that you will see each painting as a new challenge.
SHOULD YOU USE ANY ART PRODUCTS FOR THIS PAINTING METHOD?
Possibly the #1 problem people experience when first trying this technique and the biggest cause of disappointment revolves around using products designed for other painting styles or materials not designed for fine art (i.e. that is, brushes to paint houses, thick paints, etc.) .).
All paints for this technique were created using Bob Ross paints, brushes, and palette knife. To achieve the best results from your efforts, I strongly recommend that you use only products specifically designed for use with the Bob Ross wet-on-wet technique.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE FOR MY PAINT TO DRY?
Drying time will vary based on numerous factors including heat, humidity, paint thickness, paint surface, brand of paint used, media used with the paint, etc. Another factor is the individual colors used. Different colors have different drying times (ie blue will typically dry very quickly while colors like red, white, and yellow dry very slowly). A good average time for an oil painting to dry, when painted using this technique, is about a week.
SHOULD I VARNISH MY PAINTINGS?
Varnishing a painting will protect it from the elements. It will also help keep the colors more vibrant. If you decide to varnish your painting, I suggested that you wait at least six months. It takes this long for an oil painting to fully cure. Use a good quality non-yellowing spray picture varnish. I personally spray my paints after about 4 weeks and haven’t had any problems.