From the fiery “Cactus at Sunset” to the foggy “Peaceful Waters,” all 403 paintings Bob Ross created over the 11-year run of Joy of Painting are now compiled on an unofficial online database. Recently launched by apparent Bob Ross superfan and web developer Felix Auer, Two Inch Brush is the only place where you can view and search through the colorful results of all 31 seasons of the PBS show in one location — and identify the specific colors the late artist used to create every single painting. It’s the very detailed visual guide you never thought you needed for the program, which is currently streaming on both Netflix and YouTube. Each painting’s individual page also links, conveniently, to the accompanying YouTube video.
Named for the 2″ Background Brush — “perhaps the most well-known of all the Bob Ross brushes” — the site is very much aimed at those interested in actually learning from Ross (rather than the rest of us who are simply hypnotized by his magic brushwork, soothing voice, and delightful quips). In addition to highlighting all the paints and tools he uses, Two Inch Brush also has a neat feature to search all 403 paintings by color — so if you have a tube of phthalo green or black gesso lying around, you can figure out what other colors you need to replicate a Bob Ross landscape. Ross, as a little poking around on the site reveals, often used around 10 colors to complete his paintings, but he has also impressively made expressive works with just three colors. See, for instance, “Winter Mist,” or “Shades of Grey,” which Ross created after meeting a fan who was colorblind.
Ross actually created about 1,200 paintings for Joy of Painting, finishing three copies per episode. As Lucas Reilly explained on Mental Floss, the artist ended up donating most of these to PBS stations across the country that then auctioned them off. Outside of his PBS show, he also reportedly painted about 28,000. If there are any super, superfans out there willing to take on the task of tracking as many down and creating a massive database of them, we’d be eager for it.
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