Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Glendale, Arizona
The wet-in-wet method works for some applications. Even those of us who layer, and glaze sometimes use the wet-in-wet method for certain situations.
The Bob Ross method is, indeed, a wet-in-wet approach, and his specific method is largely based upon using the prescribed paints, brushes, and mediums. His is a "formula" type of painting method, which, when his prescribed brushes, paints, and method of applying the paint are followed closely, creates the desired effects.
When painting wet-in-wet, the problem arises when the existing wet paint that has already been applied, begins to mix with the fresh paint you are applying. This generally leads to unwanted color mixtures occurring, as the underlying paint color mixes with the freshly-applied paint, causing what is often known as "mud".
Bob Ross compensates for this unwanted mixture by performing at least two operations during his painting procedure--he applies his paint so very thick that the underlying paint couldn't possibly get through to contaminate the fresh paint. He does this when he "skip-trowels" his mountains with very thickly applied paint.
The other operation is to mix up a color of such high chroma that by the time the underlying color gets mixed with it, the resulting, dirtier color will be very close to that which you desire.
When I first began painting, I tried the Bob Ross method. A knowledgeable clerk at Michaels' Art Store told me that while many painters begin with the Bob Ross method, most of them become inspired to improve their method, and discard the Bob Ross method after about 6 to 8 paintings. She was right--after about 6 paintings I began to realize that once learned, the method held me captive with its methods, and materials. It was never going to get any "better than this", once I learned the technique.
I have now abandoned the Bob Ross painting methods, but I still retain many of the physical skills, and operations that I learned by using his method. For example, his method has been great for developing the proper operations for creating a sky.