Thursday, November 19, 2015

Inspirations From The Joy of Painting

At the end of October Twitch Tv did a marathon of every episode of the Joy of Painting to celebrate their new Twitch Creative community. The marathon lasted over a week and once I learn about it, it was always running in the background. For seven days I went to bed to the soothing voice of Bob Ross. Judging by social media, I wasn't alone. The number of viewers the channel had was insane. Blizzard's Blizzcon started around the time the marathon was ending. Compared with a highly anticipated opening event, the Joy of Painting marathon had about 20,000 more views than Blizzard's. There is good reason why so many people tune in to hear about 'happy little trees'. Even if you had no interest in painting landscape, Bob Ross's voice had a way to make yourself feel better. I've found one of the best ways to relax after a stressful day is to listen to the Joy of Painting while laying down.

While painting landscapes and painting miniatures are two vastly different hobbies that involved painting, there are a few tips I got from listening to Bob Ross that I plan to used the next time I paint. The big thing I notice is that he only uses a handful of colors that mostly remain the same season after season. Titanium White, Phthalo Blue, Phtalo Green, Van Dyke Brown, Alizarin Crimson, Indian Yellow and about 2 to 3 other colors was all Bob Ross used. Maybe exchange one or two colors for something else but that's really all he had. I heard Titanium White, Phtalo Blue and Pthalo Green so often that they were burned into my psyche. I don't know if this is common with oil painting, but when I thought about it I found it amazing. When I go buy a new paint for my miniatures, I'm looking through 60 to 80 or more different colors to choose from. My own collection has about 40 different paints in them and I feel I still need more. I didn't realize I had that many colors until I just now counted them. The reason Bob Ross can paint such colorful vivid painting while using few colors is because he is constantly mixing them. And half the time it seems he's not sure what color he wants. He just add colors together until he gets something that feels right. It is that kind of experimenting that I bring to my miniatures. I have mix paints before but until I watch Joy of Painting I felt mixing was more of a last resort opposing to it being a tool I should use as often as possible. I now don't feel paralysis by not having a specific color. Now I feel more comfortable going through my large collection and try experimenting mixing paints together to get something close to what I originally want. Or even mix random colors together to see what I get for fun. Now when I say mixing paint, I mean mixing together multiple colors on the palette before applying it to the model or canvas.

That brings me to my second related but slightly different tip I picked up and want to try. Bob Ross not only mixed colors on the palette, he also blended them together on the canvas. Oil paint is slow to dry, especially compared with miniature paints. That means Bob Ross is using wet paint on top of wet paint. So even using a single paint Bob can get a wide range of coloration because of the wet paint underneath. Every now and again I remember hearing Bob saying to switch to a new/dry brush or don't touch specific areas on the canvas with a particular paint because it would ruin the effect he was going for. This is something I doubt I would have thought of on my own. Granted no doubt that oil paints and miniature paints will behave differently so not all of Bob Ross techniques will work for me. Still it will be another tool for me to use, albeit much harder to incorporate due to miniature paints drying so much quicker. Also I am not sure what kind of look this technique will earn me but that's what experimenting is for. Though there is one look I think this technique will help me make. For some of my BattleTech mechs part of my plan paint scheme will have one solid color morphing into a different color. I attempted to do this look on my Valiant model but I did not like how it came out. The next time I attempt that look I can try out Bob Ross's blending style. My only issue would be that I will have to paint fast and will probably need to use three brushes at once. Two for each color and a clean dry brush to blend with.

I end with saying that the Joy of Painting marathon is not really over yet. Probably shock at just how popular the marathon was, the people behind the Joy of Painting twitch channel have decide play a marathon of a single season every Monday. In addition they have decide to have the full week long 24/7 marathon every year starting on Bob Ross's birthday. I'm usually excited at the end of October for either Halloween or the start of National Write a Novel Month but now they both have taken a backseat to my new favorite event, the Joy of Painting week! If the Joy of Painting have brought joy into your life, please tell me about it in the comments below. That is it for now, see you next time.

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