Following Along with Bob Ross

First attempt of on ala prima and or wet on wet painting. I followed along a Bob Ross Joys of Painting episode, season 1 episode 10. From what i’ve learned and heard that either artist love of hate Bob Ross. I am in between to those opinion as I like how he inspires others to paint, my critical of him is that his painting are first more imaginative than realism and mostly a one point perspective.

So what’s Ala Prima? Well here is the copy paste definition from Wikipedia

Wet-on-wet, or alla prima (Italian, meaning at first attempt), is a painting technique, used mostly in oil painting, in which layers of wet paint are applied to previously administered layers of wet paint. This technique requires a fast way of working, because the work has to be finished before the first layers have dried. It may also be referred to as direct painting or the French term au premier coup (at first stroke).

First of all here’s is the episode, I watched it several times before and as I painted. Why, well the first season is where he uses a more limited palette. So beginner wise it’s very good to follow if your beginning to oil painting. And I wanna paint water.

Here’s the almost the progress shots of the painting. I got frustrated with my phone camera so there’s a huge gap in the progress plus the light noise has gotten bad as I go.

The blank canvas before I put the thin out titanium white.


Now Added the blue to make sky and the water. I’ve darken the blue paint for the water tho not no result I was looking for I went along with it.


In his videos we see always Bob doing vigorous action when he paints clouds . When I did the same thing it’s not easy as it looks. While I didn’t drop the brush, The more I did the pressing action my hand gets close to the the base of the brush.

clone tag: 2263671686177354636

Now I add the mighty mountain. Using the palette knife to lay out the darks first. This was the first obstacle. When I lay down the white it was mixing too much with the darker paint I remedied it by darkening the dark side more.

The middle row of trees as easy enough and this is the first time I’ve opened my green paint. Darkening it first and add some lightness in to it the reflections I faded away like it is in the video. Also from this point on I am two and a half hours in the painting.


Note this is where I really botched up the photo progress some moreand gonna recall on the steps. I took a break from painting and had lunch after the last photo and was called for an errant for later that day and rush up the painting and forgot to take some more picture as I progress.


I added some land on the middle trees and killed of their reflection. It was a struggle to add the land as the paint is getting thicker The brown was spreading to much and having the same issue as the white with the mountains. The trees on the left was added with no issue but struggle with the land of it as well.

That brown mass of land in the foreground is where the episode take for a turn. In my case same issue with my brown it got thinned out from the layers of paint.  In the video I still love how he like just whoosh his palette knife to create it and work with it.


Well here the finished painting. So I added some whites on the land and still not working for me and tried to do more white to copy the path way on the right from the video. The left trees was no issue and used pure brown and got manage to blend the trunk and branches. The bushes on the lower right got really muddy. The reds came out great in my opinion mixed in with yellow to make it orange-ish.

Well my notes on this painting wet on wet and or ala prima. Well I may not try this anytime but not soon. I did a bit of clean up with the thin out white after I put it in as it splashed to the walls, table and such. The bottom part not sure if the base paint was too thin it may have slowly run in the bottom of the canvas so when I started painting there is got muddy. On the middle trees reflections i should have made them bigger as they are move vaguely in the painting. The right large trees had a reflection but got covered with the bushes on the bottom of it.

As Bob Ross encourage don’t have to follow the painting as same as his but to compare mine the middle trees are much lower and his has more varieties. I think I got fearful there as the brushes had gotten hair everywhere. Also I think my fan brush does not hold paint very well so I may pick up a more nice quality soon. Let’s not forget he did his under thirty minutes while it took me about six hours tops to finish mine.

Still I am very happy how the painting came out and can’t wait to create some more. I think I ramble enough here so let’s close off with his wise words…

Happy painting!