Some questions regarding Oil-Paintings [Archive] - Artist Forum

: Some questions regarding Oil-Paintings

10-13-2014, 01:11 PM
Hello everybody,

iīve just started my first Oil Painting last night and i was not really happy with it, so i hoped i may get some hints from you, how i can solve my problems.

I saw some Bob Ross Videos some time ago and i wanted to try his technique of wet-on-wet Oil Paintings.
I know Bob Ross is not among the favorites of many artists, but for me, a rather untalented painter, itīs an easy way to get something nice looking onto the canvas - thatīs what i thought so far :-)

I wanted to try to copy one of his drawings (yes i know, you should always create your own world, but as a person who never had drawn before, i just wanted to get familiar with the stuff and get a feeling of how his tricks work, so i try to did, as he did).

I had the experience, that always when he taps his brush onto the canvas, to do some overlay (for example clouds in front of the background, or dark bushes in the back, lighter bushes in the front) it looks pretty nice, like there were many many details in different colours, but when i try that (and i also just tapped) the colours always get blurred together.
Worse then that, he uses the same brush to tap half a dozen of bushes without cleaning, when i do the same, the first tap blurrs the colours onto my canvas, and when i got further tapping other bushes, it gets burred more and more with the colours that remain on the brush.

I did exactly the same he did, but iīm not able to just put colour to the canvas. It always blurs with my brush and after that, more and more gets mixed up blurred.
I canīt create clouds or bushes with a nice contrast from the background.

I will attach my first picture, so you may see what i mean.

So my question is: am i doing something wrong, or did i really need this expensive Bob Ross brushes? Is there something special about them?
I just bought some cheap brush-sets on Amazon and some larger Brushes at a tool-market.
Is there really that big difference on how colours attach to a brush and afterwards to the canvas? I hardly canīt imagine...
Or am iīm doing wrong at some point?


10-16-2014, 09:38 AM
Hello Kloetengott. If the picture you attached is your first oil painting, you're not as bad as you say. I'm not a master (and I don't know the Bob Ross' technique very well), but I can give you an advice. I think you have to do details when the color is dry and you have to do it with a smaller brush. You're not "untalented": TALENT DOESN'T EXIST, THERE'S ONLY THE EXPERIENCE!

P.S. I'm 14 and I'm Italian, so I probably may have had some problems with the language.

10-16-2014, 10:26 AM
That's not true. Talent does exist. I have 40 years more of life experience.

10-16-2014, 01:49 PM
I can understand you pretty well Matteo.
English is not my native language, too.

Thanks for the compliment.
As oil paintings take very long to dry, in some cases you may have to wait weeks for adding details until the other colours are dry.
And yes, it was my first painting ever. I just read much about it before and as said, saw some of the Bob Ross Videos.
I donīt think this would be supposed to dry, as it is called wet-on-wet technique :-)

My main Question remains: Is it really a big difference in adding colours on top of other colours by using a "professional" brush?

10-17-2014, 08:26 AM
Sorry, I can't help you out Kloetengott, I'm not a master.
Anyway, I want to see this Bob Ross' wet-on-wet technique. Could you post the links of the Bob Ross' videos you've watched?

10-17-2014, 08:50 AM
DLeeG, maybe in the text I posted yesterday I didn't expressed myself very well. I want to say that no one is born master (even Bob Ross), but you can improve and become better in everything if you really like doing it. Painters can draw and paint better than other people (also older than them) because they've been doing it since they were kids and they draw and paint everyday because they like doing it!

10-17-2014, 08:51 AM
*I didn't express (not expressed)

10-17-2014, 06:13 PM
Hi Matteo,
watch this for example:

11-27-2014, 11:48 PM
32 years ago I saw Ross on TV and decided to go for it too. The wet on wet painting ---I'm sure great artists can do that with specific techniques with regular oil paint but what I understand is that the paint Ross used was designed for wet on wet. Same thing with Bill Alexander( search him). I use cobalt drier in my oil painting medium and the paint dries in a matter of hours. You don't need alot of it in your medium mix. I make my own medium.

Wet on wet oil painting to me is like mixing your colors on the canvas as you paint.

BTW my first oil painting looks way bad. I still have it.:)

11-28-2014, 12:17 PM
Pants down and show it! :-)

11-28-2014, 11:54 PM
There's no way I'd post my first painting anywhere!! HA! It blows. Yours is better anyway. Now my second painting..........HA!:D

01-29-2015, 10:43 AM
I'm learning from videos too and I love doing it. I don't watch Bob Ross but I do watch Wilson Bickford. He also uses wet on wet oil techniques but he is so good at explaining things in my opinion. I've heard it said that you should always use the best brushes you can afford. But honestly I think we all need to start with less expensive brushes until we get the knack of painting.

I'm definitely no expert, but I have a lot of fun and I'm pleased with what comes out of it.

Your first oil painting is very good. Painting with oil is not the easiest medium. I started with acrylic, have you been painting using other mediums?

02-09-2015, 09:27 PM
I painted my first ever painting 3 and a half years ago at 50 years old. I followed Bob Ross' instruction, as I had absolutely no artistic experience whatsoever. I can tell unequivocally that the brushes DO matter greatly.. I tried the hardware store brushes, but unless you get the right bristle, you will struggle greatly. I would NEVER apologize for being taught by Bob Ross, (RIP). I feel I have done well to be self taught. Like another mentioned, I follow Wilson Bickford now, and he does make some excellent brushes. I own 21 sets of his, and have started teaching painting classes. I tell you this not to brag, but to encourage you. If I can learn to paint, then anyone can!

02-09-2015, 09:48 PM
I think following and doing Wilson Bickford's paintings have given me the "feel" for painting. I only started painting last May and at first I did only the paintings in Bickford's videos and in his painting cards. But now I've branched out to all sorts of different pictures that I find on the internet, and I'm actually doing portraits of my grandchildren. I think starting with an instructor is smart.

As for wet on wet, I have a yes and no feeling about that. Trees fine, but some things I'm afraid to do it on because if I screw it up I can't scrape it off and redo it without scraping off the underpainting.