Olivia van Rossum

Happy Accidents

For my final work I wanted to try if I could  paint like Bob Ross. I have seen his video´s through memes and his technique seemed interesting. The way he explains and guides the technique in the video´s  feels calm and clear and I was curious to see if I could make a painting with the same method also. After all, like he says: “There are no mistakes, only happy accidents.” Which in my opinion is genius because he is not only giving you the technique and explains how to paint  but also the confidence to do it and painting is not what I have done many times. Also his mountain landscapes spoke to me because some years ago we have been on vacation in the mountains and they are just so majestic and beautiful.

Bob Ross uses wet-on-wet technique of painting over a thin base layer of wet paint. So that means that you can proceed without waiting for the paint to dry. He uses brushes and knives which interested me because I have never used knives before to paint. 

I started with the base layer, the sky and the icy water and painted that with large strokes with a  large brush and then proceeded with the mountains which were done with the knife. At first it seemed a bit tricky to get the sharpness and I thought I couldn´t do it but after a while I got it. After all: “only happy accidents.” After the mountains I started with the trees. Before this I never actually knew how to paint trees so painting them like this felt like a huge accomplishment and I was very content with them. How I painted them was using the tip of the brush and pecking the canvas. When I added the reflection on the ice it felt like it was all coming together. First I painted the reflection and then faded it out with a dry brush, stroking it, which was also very new to me. I added a shack with brush and knife. 

I have put my work aside for a while but in eye sight so every time I walked passed it I watched it critically. I decided it needed a bit more contrast and details. Also the sky could use some work.

I added snow on the trees and the bushes to give it even more of a winter feel. I like the tones very much, they are wintery and calm so for my second painting I wanted to try the opposite. A warm summer sunset with a feeling you could smell the sweet air of flowers in full bloom, the pine trees and almost hear the mosquitos. The evening is falling so you see a bit of fog rising from the water which I made with my fingertips. The assignment was to make a similar painting but of a different season and use my own technique. Painting is quite new for me so I can´t say I have an own technique yet but I tried different ways. It was a fun experience and I have learned a lot from Bob Ross. I certainly want to paint more and develop my technique in the future.