Everything You Need to Know Before Buying Bob Ross Artwork

You have thought about buying a Bob Ross painting if you?ve seen an episode of his famous TV show. Each landscape made by the iconic painter and television personality will bring a sense of calm and beauty anywhere it?s displayed. In addition, it will give the owner pop-culture ?street cred? due to the resurgence in the artist's popularity.

Who is Bob Ross?

He was an American painter, television show host, and creator of The Joy of Painting, a television show that taught people how to create beautiful landscapes. The show taught viewers how to create \"happy little trees\" with simple brush strokes and aired from 1983 to 1994 in the United States, Canada, Latin America, and Europe. Reruns of his show are being broadcasted worldwide. During each show, he would instruct viewers how to paint images of the great outdoors using a quick-study oil technique. You can find a myriad of affordable Bob Ross originals and replicas on eBay.

What technique did Bob Ross use to create his artwork?

He was well known for using the wet-on-wet oil technique, which originated in Flanders during the 15th century. This technique adds wet paint to the top of the paint that is still wet, rather than waiting for the base layer to dry. Using the wet-on-wet technique allowed him to complete a piece of art in less than 30 minutes, the time allotted for an episode of the TV show. He combined the wet-on-wet technique with the use of a one-inch or two-inch brush and painting knives, allowing him to create his characteristic landscapes in a few minutes.

How many pieces of artwork did Bob Ross make?

He made over 30,000 pieces of artwork during his lifetime. His catalog of artwork included approximately 1,200 paintings made during his popular TV show, The Joy of Painting. The show aired 403 episodes and he made three copies of each painting per segment:

  • First copy: One hid off-screen as a reference while the cameras rolled.
  • Second copy The second was made on-screen.
  • Third copy: The third was made when filming finished.

Originally, most of his on-air pieces were donated to PBS stations across the United States. The stations would then auction them off to private art collectors as part of their fundraising efforts. The 28,800 pieces done off-screen were likely made during his time as an Air Force Master-Sergeant in Alaska, or while teaching painting lessons to his students. There is some controversy over where these paintings ended up, increasing their value to pop-culture and art collectors.