We could all use some "happy little trees" right now, amirite?

Lucky for us, the Bob Ross channel on YouTube features hundreds of free episodes of his hit series, The Joy of Painting. 

Getting Started

Known for his intricate landscapes, Bob Ross uses a combination of brushwork with palette knife detailing. You may want to skim through a video first to give you an idea of what to expect. Even just watching someone else paint is simply mesmerizing.

Naturally, Bob does his paintings on canvas, with a full range of oil paints and a full-sized easel. You don't need nearly that much gear to make a decent attempt. You can start with inexpensive oil paints and upgrade as you get better. The standard list of supplies for a Bob Ross painting lesson includes:

  • Oil paints
  • Liquid white, or titanium white oil paint + art grade linseed oil for the whitewash
  • Black gesso
  • Canvas – 16″ x 20″
  • Palette or palette paper
  • Assorted brushes: 1″ brushes, 2″ brushes, a fan brush, and a liner brush
  • Angled palette knife
  • Paint cleaning solvent
  • Liquid soap
  • Dropcloths or newspaper
  • Easel
  • Rags or paper towels

For the best results, you should whitewash your canvas before you get started with the liquid white. That will give you the most professional finish and set. A tabletop easel is much cheaper than a free-standing easel, so look into one if you can't afford everything on the supply list.

Even if you're not a painter, check out at least one of the videos. Before you know it, you'll be watching Bob churn out his signature snowy scenes and ditching your usual ASMR videos. If you do decide to paint along, make sure you post your masterpiece online!

Have you ever taken a Bob Ross lesson or followed along with one of his videos? How did your piece turn out? Let us know in the comments!