Just Like Bob Ross!

How is a painting created?  How does a blank canvas become a work of art?  If you’ve ever found yourself pondering these questions, we invite you to keep reading to get an idea of how Chris creates his pieces. (Spoiler alert: It’s not at all like Bob Ross.)

The first step is to decide how big the piece will be.  Sometimes, this requires assembling the canvas. Other times it’s as simple as acquiring the piece of wood.  No matter what the size, he must prime the piece with gesso to make it ready for the first layer.

The next step is to create a color scheme.  Chris decides what colors he wants to work with.  In this case, it was purple, blue, and yellow. Once those are on the canvas, it’s time for the composition.  He must arrange those colors in a way that is visually pleasing.

Third, he finds collage pieces he can include that would blend well with the work.  Chris uses a wide variety of objects in his paintings, anything from toys to pictures to sand.  In this case, it was the scraps of paper below.

The next step is integration.  He blends the color scheme with the collage pieces.  He arranges them on the canvas taking care to place each item in its proper place.

Next comes the layering.  Chris adds more paint and occasionally more collage pieces, but mostly it’s about layering paint to make sure everything ties together.

One of the last steps is assessment.  Is it done? This is perhaps one of the hardest steps for any artist.  This is also where I come in, quite literally since I’m usually called into the studio at this point and asked “Do you think this one is done?”  If the collective answer is Yes, then he lets the paint dry and begins thinking of a title. If the answer is No, then we talk about what’s missing or incomplete.  He may repeat any or all of the steps described above. It might simply be blending in one corner, or perhaps toning down the brightness of one color. In this example, he knew it was finished when it looked like this:


The very very last step is to come up with a title.  Chris decided on “Universal Appeal”.

And that’s it.  There may be no happy little clouds, but he always ends up with a piece he can be proud of!


Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on google
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email