Bob Ross was a familiar face on American TV from 1983 right through to 1994. He’s best known for his iconic show The Joy of Painting which taught viewers how to create gorgeous landscape paintings which often featured trees, mountains and small animals. His incredible work, soft voice and calming manner have popped back up in 2021 thanks to the internet and there’s even Bob Ross painting parties now! But it’s not just his laidback attitude or great perm that made us fall in love with Bob. His true talent and wet-on-wet oil painting technique was truly unique and made hundreds of people want to take up the art of oil painting. Bob Ross became a multi-million-pound brand selling some highly rated paintbrushes, oil paints, canvases and even his famous Bob Ross painting kits.
Watch Bob Ross in action before you get your Bob Ross painting kit!
More and more people are wanting to learn how to paint like Bob Ross and that’s where we come in! In order to channel the legend himself, we’ve gathered all the essential Bob Ross painting supplies and five of the top Bob Ross painting kits for you to try out. We’ve listed everything you’ll need to start oil painting like Bob from both American and UK retailers so no matter where you live, you can give his technique a go.
If you’re a newbie to the art world or just want to brush up on your skills then make sure you check out our oil painting for beginners guide. We have loads of free art projects and tutorials right here on Gathered including our roundups of the best watercolour paint sets and top paint by numbers kits for adults. If you’re looking for creative gift inspiration, take a look at our guide to the best gifts for artists.
What do I need for a Bob Ross painting?
If you’re wanting to start painting like the legend Bob Ross then there’s a few specific tools and materials you’ll need. This is everything you’ll need for a basic Bob Ross painting.
- Oil paints
- Liquid white (or black/clear)
- Assorted brushes/tools
- Easel (optional)
There’s plenty of useful extras you can buy too. Odourless Thinner will help you thin your oil paints from your brush making them easier to clean. This Bob Ross bucket and screen will also help with cleaning and transporting your brushes but for the main essentials here’s Boss Ross’ approved supplies!
Bob Ross oil paints
Bob Ross sells three oil paint collections on his website, each designed for a different subject of painting. There’s his landscape oil paint collection which includes 14 colours that are ideal for wet-on-wet landscape painting. Then he has 7 colours in his wildlife oil paint collection and 15 in his floral one.
Alternatively, Weber on Amazon sells a huge range of individual Bob Ross oil paints from these collections. Each colour comes in a 37ml tubes and is from Bob Ross’ approved range which is perfect if you’re only looking for a certain colour.
Bob Ross liquid white
Liquid white is a fluid paint that is applied to the canvas before you start painting. It’s a staple for Bob Ross’s wet-on-wet painting technique because it provides a smooth and slow drying base for you to apply colour on top. This is what his wet-on-wet technique is – applying paint on top of paint! Bob Ross sells three basecoats, the most common being liquid white and the other two being black and clear base coats. These all allow you to blend and mix colours on your canvas rather than the palette.
Bob Ross brushes and tools
Bob Ross paintbrushes are pricey but they’re well worth the money. You can buy all his paintbrushes individually so if you’re only missing one specific brush from your collection, say a fan brush or foliage brush, we suggest heading to Amazon and browsing his range. If you want to go all out, this complete set was designed by Bob Ross for the wet on wet painting technique that he’s so famous for. It includes 12 paintbrushes that are ideal for landscape painting and will have you set for life.
Bob Ross palette
You simply cannot be Bob Ross without a large clear palette! Bob always carried a large palette which gives him enough room to mix multiple colours, shades and tones all in one place. The great thing about clear palettes is they give you a truer reflection of the colour you’re mixing, opposed to plain white or wood palettes which may distort your view of the colour. Plus there’s enough room to mix plenty of colours without having to wash off the palette every two minutes! Bob Ross palettes are sold on Amazon and would make such a great present for a true art fan.
Bob Ross canvas
To achieve the ultimate Bob Ross painting you need to start with a great canvas. Bob Ross normally uses a standard 18″ by 24″ stretched and double primed canvas in the Joy of Painting but you can purchase yours in any size. These two Bob Ross approved canvases are 24cm x 32cm but there are several sizes to choose from. The most important thing to remember when choosing your canvas is Bob Ross’ wet-on-wet technique won’t work on canvas paper. Stick to double primed canvases!
Bob Ross Easel
In the Joy of Painting, you’ll see Bob Ross using a 2-in-1 table and easel which is adjustable to the size of his canvas/height. This easel from eBay is a near replica of the one Bob uses on the show. There’s room for all your oil paints and it’ll give you the ability to manoeuvre your easel further away for a broader view of your work or closer for details. It’s a pricey option however and the simpler easels on Amazon would also do the job.
Weber Bob Ross Cleaning System
Ok, this piece of kit isn’t essential in your Bob Ross painting kit but we think it’s pretty handy! If you have the spare cash this Weber Bob Ross cleaning system is great for keeping your brushes fresh, clean and long-lasting. This cleaning system includes thinner, a screen which you rub your brushes onto to get rid of deep routed paint and a practical drying rack to store your brushes upright. It also comes with instructions so you can clean just like Bob.
Alternatively, you could purchase a Bob Ross painting kit. There’s a few on the market (be aware that some painting kits may be inspired by Bob Ross but not from his approved line) which include everything you need to start painting.
How much is a Bob Ross painting kit?
Bob Ross painting kits vary in price but they start around £35 and go up to £120. His older kits are available through retailers like Amazon and are cheaper than his new kits which you can find on his official store. Stores like Micheals also stock Bob Ross painting kits and supplies often at a great deal.
What is the easiest Bob Ross painting kit?
The easiest Bob Ross painting kit is his basic painting kit or his landscape painting kit (both featured below). Their both targeted towards complete beginners and come with step-by-step photo instructions as well as all the paints and tools you’ll need. For all the Bob Ross painting kits we found you need to purchase a canvas separately.
We found six great Bob Ross painting kits on the market all targeted towards a different artist. Have a browse below and find your perfect kit.
Top 6 Bob Ross painting kits
Bob Ross painting kit for beginners
The Bob Ross painting kit is the ultimate basic oil painting set. It comes with ten oil painting essentials including a brush, spatula, paints, liquid white and odourless thinner. It’s a great price and works out cheaper than buying the paints individually! Most importantly it comes with a Bob Ross instructional leaflet which will teach you how to create your own stunning landscape paintings.
Bob Ross basic painting kit
This is another Bob Ross painting kit that includes everything you need to start painting your own masterpiece. It comes with the same materials as the kit above just without the oil thinner (you can buy this separately online). There’s an instructional booklet included which is based on his TV show the Joy of Painting. Plus it’s an affordable kit compared to the prices of his individual paints.
Bob Ross painting kit for landscape
This basic Bob Ross painting kit includes everything you need to start creating your own gorgeous landscapes. The kit includes five tubes of oil paint, a detail knife, landscape brush and a bottle of liquid white base coat all in a handy travel case. Most importantly it comes with easy-to-follow instructions from Bob himself. Inside the instruction booklet is the My First Painting project which has a photo of the painting you’ll be creating using Bob’s instructions.
Floral Bob Ross painting kit
If you’re more of a floral fan then this new Bob Ross painting kit is the one for you. The soft pastel colours and fine brushes are tailored to elegant floral painting with small detailing. Bob’s Fantasy Flowers project guide has step by step instructions on how to paint your beautiful flowers. We also love that this kit comes with enough paints to paint your flower design six times! Perfect for practising beginners who want to hone their skills.
Bob Ross painting kit for advanced landscape
Although this Bob Ross painting kit is marketed as more advanced it’s still a great kit for newbies because it comes with an instructional DVD. The beauty of Bob Ross was his TV tutorials which were easy to follow and this kit capture that on a DVD for you to paint along to. It’s bigger than the other Bob Ross kits too including 100ml of Liquid White, a painting knife, four brushes and eight tubes of 37ml oil colours. Just pick up your canvas, pop the DVD on and get painting.
Bob Ross master paint kit
You can find some authentic Bob Ross painting kits on eBay. This master paint set for advanced landscape includes a free video where Bob is teaching you his Wet on Wet technique as well as everything you need to start painting. It’s always worth setting up an alert for Bob Ross painting kits on your eBay account as you can find some real gems!
We hope you’ve enjoyed our Bob Ross painting kits and supplies round up. For even more fun art projects make sure you check out our Art section which includes tutorials on how to draw a flower step by step and watercolour painting for beginners, plus watercolor painting ideas for you to try at home.