Learn to Paint with 403 Free Episodes of Bob Ross’ “The Joy of Painting” on YouTube

Have you always wanted to learn to paint but you weren’t sure where to start? If so, why not delve into 31 seasons of the late Bob RossThe Joy of Painting, which is now freely available to watch on YouTube. The original series ran from 1983 to 1994, but thankfully didn’t disappear after the television artist’s death. Due high demand from fans, Ross lives on through the magic of video. In each half-hour episode, Ross teaches various techniques for landscape oil painting, allowing viewers to follow along with gentle encouragement and the reminder, “you can do it.”

Ross gave comfort to beginner painters, assuring them that the 16th-century alla prima or “wet-on-wet” technique he demonstrated onscreen could never result in mistakes, only “happy accidents.” In one particular episode he claimed, “In painting, you have unlimited power. You have the ability to move mountains. You can bend rivers. But when I get home, the only thing I have power over is the garbage.” However, despite his reassurance and encouragement, many viewers tuned in just to watch “happy little trees” and “pretty little mountains” appear on canvas, and listen to the softly spoken host’s mesmerizing voice and funny anecdotes, without ever picking up a paintbrush.

Each imaginary landscape begins as simple paint strokes, and evolves into colorful scenes of forests, mountains, cloudy skies, or the ocean in a matter of minutes. While painting, Ross mentions stories of his own life, including his military career and the time he spent in Alaska, as well as his love of animals. For each episode’s painting, Ross created three versions. The first was painted in advance of filming and used as an off-camera reference for him to complete the second copy while recording. Afterwards, the artist painted a third, more detailed version for use in his instructional books. All three versions were then donated to various PBS stations.

You can find all 31 seasons of The Joy of Painting on the Bob Ross YouTube channel and buy various Bob Ross paint sets on Amazon.

You can learn to paint with free episodes of Bob Ross’ The Joy of Painting on YouTube.

With a total of 403 episodes, you’ll pick up the art of landscape painting in no time.

What are you waiting for? Dust off your paint brushes and get started with season one.

Bob Ross: Website | YouTube | Facebook | Twitter
h/t: [Open Culture]

All images via Bob Ross.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, My Modern Met may earn an affiliate commission. Please read our disclosure for more info.

Related Articles:

Guy Has Awesome Bob Ross Birthday Party Where Everyone Paints a Beautiful Landscape

10+ YouTube Channels to Learn How to Draw for Free

13 YouTube Channels to Teach You How to Paint for Free

8 Best Acrylic Paint Sets That Both Beginners and Professional Artists Will Love

The 5 Best Online Resources to Learn Arts and Crafts

Emma Taggart

Emma Taggart is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. Originally from Northern Ireland, she is an artist now based in Berlin. After graduating with a BA in Fashion and Textile Design in 2013, Emma decided to combine her love of art with her passion for writing. Emma has contributed to various art and culture publications, with an aim to promote and share the work of inspiring modern creatives. While she writes every day, she’s also devoted to her own creative outlet—Emma hand-draws illustrations and is currently learning 2D animation.
Become a
My Modern Met Member
As a member, you'll join us in our effort to support the arts.
Become a Member
Explore member benefits

Sponsored Content