The past couple of years have been very good for Bob Ross and the greater internet, first with Twitch’s massive joint viewing of his filmography and then with Netflix’s acquisition of dozens of his episodes. The happy man and his happy trees have been embraced with a rare, un-ironic sincerity throughout the vast war-torn cesspool of the internet, almost as if his pleasant demeanor and inoffensive artistic vision transcended the internet’s ability to devolve any subject no matter how asinine into shit-posting and vitriol. Bob Ross’s little forests were a safe space for us all.
The website “Two Inch Brush,” named after Ross’ signature tool, features images of all 403 paintings created in The Joy Of Painting as well as their on-the-nose names and the total number of colors used in the paintings. It is overflowing with delight and insight. Like, damn, he painted the wintry landscape “Shades Of Grey” using only three colors? The paintings are also organized by season, so you can see Ross move from the decidedly Bob Rossian “A Walk In The Woods” on his first episode to slightly more elaborate stuff.
Below each painting is a YouTube embed of Ross creating it in real-time, so if you want to make, say, this majestic Floridian landscape from season 21, well, there is nothing stopping you. The database also features fan-made drawings and the work of guest painters, including the stuff created by his son Steve, who we can all admit with the clarity of hindsight was just painting boring mountains.