Happy Little Painters

Bob Ross is infamous for his paintings. His public television show teaching painting skills, The Joy of Painting, is well known to members of my generation. But does it work? see if my kids can paint… read on!

It’s not his paintings are works of art that hang in museums and earn millions of dollars. That’s not the reason for his infamy. They really are quite good, but the reason he was so popular is that he could crank out a beautiful painting in a half hour while we watched on national TV. All this with a giant afro and a smile on his face. And his hippy style of a talking was just amusing. Painting “happy little trees” and “happy little clouds.” Telling us that we could paint anything our imaginations wanted, always in a soothing voice.

How effective are his methods?

My father-in-law has recently been inspired watching old VHS tapes of Bob Ross. I’m staying at his house in Alaska this week and as I write this I am literally surrounded by paintings of mountains, lakes, and happy little trees.


There are dozens of happy little pictures hanging all over the happy little walls and sometimes he takes them to happy little craft fairs and makes happy little money.


All this from a PBS show teaching the skillz needed paint.

Grandpa spent a hour teaching Geek Spawn and The Nerdling to paint too. This is what they came up with:


Do you remember the show? Did you ever try to paint Bob Ross style? Comment me!



2 thoughts on “Happy Little Painters

  1. I loved watching Bob Ross –I still will stop and watch his show when I happen upon them on tv. I have never tried painting in his style (though it looks approachable enough). One of the things I liked about his show is that he paints on the same canvas for the entire episode (or appears to, at least). The other shows, like the watercolor workshops, often had the artist switch to multiple canvases or board because they need time to dry. =)

    Liked by 1 person

    • You make a good point. I’ve watched my father-in-law do it. He learned by watching Bob Ross. It’s all done on one canvas in real time. impressive!


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