Bob Ross, the “Painting Man” and Happy Little Trees.

Oh, Pho the love of … Pho
Blogger Burnout — It's Real

Greeting Artsy Enthusiasts! No sewing today, just art.

In previous posts, I mentioned my 3 year old GrandLoveBug, Zelda. This is not only about my 3 y.o.grandchild but also about her “Painting Man” as she calls him, Bob Ross. Join us in seeing an icon through a child’s eyes.

A little background, this 3 year old kiddo loves to fall asleep watching Bob Ross in  “The Joy of Painting” and last weekend as I’m holding this bundle of joy in my arms helping her fall asleep, it was truly the first time I’ve seen Bob Ross in action.   For years, I had  heard about him and seen GIFs of him painting his trademark “Happy Little Trees” but had never actually sat down and watched an episode.

Bob Ross standing at an easel painting clouds over a blue sky with blue water under.

Bob Ross and The Joy of Painting

Bob Ross and The Joy of Painting

It is truly fascinating! Long after the sweet child had fallen asleep, I continued to watch, episode after episode.  Then I went on a research rampage, by and large, I read most everything I could find on this “Painting Man” named Bob Ross!

One of the cutest things I found in the research was this:

Trees painting Bob Ross

Trees painting Bob Ross

If Bob Ross were still alive, I’m sure he’d get a kick out of this image of a tree painting his image!

Over the years, I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to learn many different, but equally important crafts and arts.  In 2008 I was working at a school as an interpreter for the Deaf, and my student was taking an art class. The last quarter of that 9th grade art class was painting.  The teacher offered to have me participate as a student and learn all the techniques as well as being graded on the whole project! Yikes who doesn’t tremble at the thought of being graded?

Painting Technique and Media.

Water based tempura paints were assigned, as well as white painted on Masonite boards.

First we choose a cartoon frame, then the teacher photocopied and enlarged the frame.

Generally speaking, we drew a grid on the actual cartoon, and a larger grid on the photocopy. Similarly, we drew a grid on a blank 8-1/2”x11” paper then we had to transfer the image from the cartoon frame to the blank page, square by square with pencil.

At that point  we moved onto drawing a grid on the 11”x14” Masonite board. To sum up, we repeated the pencil drawing square by square.

Finally, we got to mix paint and apply the color.

In the same fashion, we spent day after day mixing tempura paint, and if you’ve ever worked with tempura, it does not have the most consistent of pigments. Ordinarily, when you buy a paint, the pigments are fairly reliable. Comparatively, if you buy house paint and run out, you can go and get more paint that is so close in tint, it’s not perceivable by the human eye.  But uniquely, tempura paints have the consistency of a dye lot in yarn. Yikes!   Again I emphasize that day after day, we mixed the paint to just the right hue, painted what we could on the Masonite board and just when you think you’ve achieved greatness, the clean up bell rings! Oh time lord, why for art thou doest this to thy servant?


That’s right, NINE WEEKS!  50 minutes a day, 5 days a week! That’s approximate 37 HOURS to copy a single frame of a cartoon!

All that work, and I only got a B+ on the project!  The teacher said my color saturation wasn’t up to an A.  Sad day!  My student however, did get an A!

9 Weeks, 5 days a week, 50 minutes a day, and only a B+!

9 Weeks, 5 days a week, 50 minutes a day, and only a B+!


Then I watch this guy.

But comparatively, the Painting Man does an incredible job of  painting an entire landscape in 30 MINUTES! He paints wet paint on wet paint, and not only does he do an amazing image from his memories but he does it in front of the camera! Absolutely fantastic. He does most of that with an inexpensive 2” house painting brush and a putty knife! Incredible.  If you haven’t heard of Bob Ross, you can see his videos for free here:

Here is what Zelda has to say about it:

Later that day,  my little love bug wanted to draw. She started drawing and I asked if she was drawing like the painting man, and she said yes.

These are her drawings coupled with her descriptions of each in purple text:

Toddler drawing in ink on notebook paper of Happy little Trees

Happy little Trees


These are trees down down down across across across. I like trees. I like lots of trees.

Toddler drawing of Tiny little X's on notebook paper in ink.

Tiny little X’s


You gotta make little crosses

Toddler drawing on notebook paper in ink.

Layers of color


Do do doot do do dee oh do ( She’s 3 remember? LOL)

Toddler drawing on notebook paper in ink.

Distracted by the music drawing.


(She became very focused, and the pen went in motion with the music in the background and her whole being swayed.  It was totally awesome! In any event, she went back to the topic of the painting man. )


Mountains lots of mountains. And Trees down down down across across across. Lots of trees.

A lake with reflections

You got to pull the paint down.

Well folks, think we might have a future artiste in our midst? Or am I just an adoring Oma?

In either case:



God Bless and keep that machine oiled!


Oh, Pho the love of … Pho
Blogger Burnout — It's Real


  1. If I were to hazard a guess, I’d say both — a future artist and a doting Oma.

What are your thoughts on this post?