Bob Ross may have left us long ago, but the beloved painter — with his relaxing voice, kind smile, and trademark afro — is still admired today, particular by those who grew up watching him and his “happy little trees” on PBS (you can watch repeats of The Joy of Painting on Hulu). If you’re looking to apply his techniques on a digital medium, Adobe has a new series of instructions on how to paint on an iPad Pro, using the Apple Pencil stylus and Adobe Photoshop Sketch — Bob Ross-style, literally.
Working with Bob Ross Inc., the four-part series features artist Chad Cameron, a children’s book illustrator who not only teaches us the techniques of painting landscapes on the tablet, but goes all the way by dressing up as Ross — including the afro that personified the late artist. The new series even uses the same opening theme. It’s both somewhat disturbing and awkward, and a loving tribute.
“Adobe paid attention to the details to make sure it was not a parody but homage to Bob,” says Joan Kowalski, the media director of Bob Ross Inc. “For example, they asked us about the brand of clothes he wore and the types of easels he used. It showed us they really cared.
“We miss our friend very much,” Kowalski adds. “It was lovely to see the likeness of him once again.”
The first episode of The Joy of Sketching is available now (watch it above), with the rest posted in the next two weeks. But imitation aside, Cameron demonstrates effectively how to draw on the iPad Pro. The first episode teaches you some of the basics of using Adobe Sketch, and introduces the viewer to the tools, like brushes and color wheel, in preparation for learning how to actually paint in follow-up episodes.
We find the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil to be excellent tools for digital art. Even if you aren’t a Bob Ross fan, the videos provide a fun (or creepy, depending on your point of view) intro to how to utilize them. Check out our review of the iPad Pro.
Below is a classic Bob Ross episode. Compare the old with the new, and see what you think.