If you grew up watching PBS, then you're definitely familiar with Bob Ross. A poofy-haired painter with a heart of gold, Bob Ross taught us all how to paint happy little trees and majestic mountains. But more than that, he taught us that anyone is capable of creating something to be proud of. And if anyone tells you otherwise, well, you have Bob's permission to "beat the devil" out of them.
1. He was missing part of his left index finger.
After dropping out of school in the ninth grade, Bob Ross starting working as a carpenter with his father.
He lost a bit of his left index finger in a carpentry accident. You probably didn’t notice it because he used his left hand to hold his palette on The Joy of Painting.
2. He learned his signature "wet-on-wet" technique from another TV show artist.
Ross was working as a part-time bartender in Alaska when he became interested in painting by watching a show called The Magic of Oil Painting, hosted by a German painter named Bill Alexander. Alexander used the “Alla Prima” method (Italian for “first attempt”), also known as “wet-on-wet.” The technique is a great way to create a lot of paintings in a short amount of time.
Ross would paint this insides of gold panning tins on his lunch break. “I used to go home at lunch and do a couple while I had my sandwich,” he once said during an interview. “I’d take them back that afternoon and sell them.”
3. One episode of The Joy of Painting featured a grayscale painting for a really awesome reason.
Ross said that a fan had written in saying that, since they were colorblind, they doubted they’d be able to paint along with Bob Ross.
In response to this colorblind fan, Ross created a painting entirely in grayscale, proving that you don’t need to be able to distinguish between every single color in order to create an amazing work of art.
4. The paintings featured on The Joy of Painting weren't done spontaneously.
In fact, Ross would first do each painting off-camera and refer to it throughout the taping of his show.
Actually, he did each painting three times…