What do Most Artists think of Bob Ross? Poll Results Inside

By admin in Misc > Artist Polls

There’s no doubt that Bob Ross is an iconic American figure—it seems like nearly everyone knows who he is whether they’re artists or not.

With this poll, however, I wanted to find out what all of you (who are primarily artists) think about him. I’ve always found it an interesting topic because in some art circles he’s revered, while in others he’s definitely not.

So far the results are fairly concrete: the majority who have voted think that Bob Ross was a good and kind person, and I’d certainly agree with that, regardless of any thoughts on his teaching methods or painting style.

I imagine that trend will continue even as more votes come in, but please feel free to vote for yourself if you haven’t already.

What do you think of Bob Ross and the techniques he taught for painting? Add your own answer if you'd like.
  • I'm a big fan of both Bob Ross's paintings and his techniques
  • He was a decent painter and teacher
  • Great entertainer and TV personality, but I don't agree with how he taught painting
  • Who's Bob Ross?
  • He has filled a lot of people's lives with joy. More power to him! 1
  • his painting techniques were his own and I have no judgement of this gentle man1
  • Not my style but gave somethong to the uninitiated.1
  • Igrew up watching Bob Ross. His method made me just love to paint. I have even found my own technics to use, right along with his and each painting I have done come out wonderful. 1
  • I was inspired by his predecessor and teacher, William Alexander. Not for his great painting techniques or abilities, but for his attitude to be free and have fun with paint.1
  • Taught all the wrong things to do and was detrimental to any artistic development in anyone who took him seriously.1
  • Bob Ross was both inspiring to watch, and, to take up/learn oil painting. He removed mystic and added a "can do" attitude.1
  • I agree with a lot of these statements. What ever you want to say about his paintings or technique he was sincere. Greg1
  • Bob Ross Rules! Every artist has their tricks and techniques. He is an icon of that time. He just happened to also be marketed before it was hip to blog.1
  • I'm a Certified Bob Ross instructor, and the joy of teaching this method of painting is to see the pleasure that it brings to students who thought they could never do it. Some students go on to study fine art; and others simply enjoy this as a weekend craft. It brings much joy to many lives. 1
  • Do you know of any other artist who God Blesses you at the end of the show? I know of no other. Bob Ross is a gentle, kindhearted, warm soul. Notice I said is; as our souls live on after earthly death. God Bless you, Bob Ross.1
  • Being visually impaired and having extreme klutz hand/eye coordination issues my entire life, I was completely discouraged from painting by teachers because I could not draw like Leonardo Da Vinci in Jr High School - I watched Bob Ross for a year and listened to him tell me over & over that EVERYONE can paint. I bought paint materials to prove to him that he was wrong and that everyone could not paint. Turns out he was right .... everyone can paint :) if they try and if they believe in themselves.1
  • Bob Ross jumped into my life at a time of great need, I had no artistic ability and a small belief that somehow this shouldn't stop me, then I say the Joy of Painting, and it changed my life immediately. Also my flat mates, friends and family. Now my children aged from 2 to 5 all watch and love Bob Ross and have started to paint. As to my goals, I want to practice, improve, qualify as a CRI and pass on the love and peace that is essential to BOB Ross style of painting. I have some of my paintings on www.sitestalk.com and www.youtube.com and watch him on sky tv every day, when my kids let me! Sean Flanagan, Ireland1
  • I painted for years,every medium,to professional std.. Reproductions of the great masters. Bob Ross taught me that there was more to art than producing & striving for stuffy technical artistic1
  • I had never painted before, but after watching Bob Ross just to relax, I am now painting. I do some pictures his techniques and some others that are totally my own creations. I absolutely love painting, I never thought I could! Was that not what Bob wanted? He wanted as many people to enjoy the gift of art as possible!1
  • Perhaps he was no Renoir and his teachings will not produce a Renoir, But that was not his role in the scheme of the world. His role was to inspire those to create who may have lacked the confidence or just a starting point and that is more important than teaching genius to the gifted few.1
  • They told Van Gogh the same thing. I'm serious they said that he had no technique and he was to rough and blunt, They said it was ugly, unimaginative, and unrealistic. With hard work and love for art he defied the stuffy critics and began to impress a few people before he died like Paul Gaugin. He never got to create his artist utopia with painters coming from everywhere, learning from one another, growing, and inspiring other artists. Bob Ross Got to though, even though he was a completely different person. If you look at most painters in recent history their styles were never perfect and you know that it is a well none fact.1
  • His technique does seem limited - his work does all have a sameness that's probably not desirable. But if you want to do quick scenic sketches in full color, or easily decorate your home with your own work (even if you've never painted before), it seems like a fine way to get started. Seems like he did just what he set out to do, inspire people and give them basic easy tools to start finishing paintings immediately, thus building confidence and accelerating the practice cycle. But if you're just starting out in art be sure you read Betty Edwards too, it's the most helpful single thing you can do to jump-start your artistic talent. And be sure to evolve your own style(s) and message(s).1
  • I love watching his show...before him I painted in cheap stuff (student acrylics & watercolours). Horrible flat pictures with no depth. He is basically the only teacher I've ever had - he taught about removing detail from the background, pushing things back, layering, lighting - all the things you wouldn't know if you weren't shown. He took the fear out of oil painting and made me think I was good enough to go out and splash a bit of money on proper paints and proper brushes. I even have a real easel now...there are so many different shows - seascapes, seasonal, clouds, sunsets, water (oh the nightmare it was before), trees (another headache), dawns, night, mountains etc. that it gives a great variety to use in your own works. But I have to agree with you that you won't create masterpieces with his technique, but at least the belief he gave, inspires you to study other paintings, techniques and even courses to learn about backlighting, compositions, colour wheels and all the other tricks of the trade. I now walk into the National Gallery on Trafalgar Square and believe...instead of just admire.1
  • I've been watching his show a lot and seriously considering taking up painting. Isn't that what he's all about? Besides, I've heard him say countless times to make the painting your own and free your mind. He's great, a wonderful teacher, and an inspiration.1
  • I am really happy to see that most people here understand what Bob Ross is all about. It's called the Joy of Painting because it is about Joy! Anybody can learn technique from numerous sources, but that only makes you a technician, not an artist. How sad that some people find the need to judge, rather than celebrate his true talent, which was much more about Joy, inspiration, and giving hope to people who had been told by so called experts that they had no talent.1
  • I watch him on TV. Once that we learned his tecniques, we can expand from there. We can compliment his ways with our own ways.1
  • The painting and technique are of course important, but the core of the Ross "thing" is freedom and happiness. Bob Ross taught, and still teaches, that there is joy and beauty in creation, be it a painting, an animal, or ourselves. I paint. It's largely crap. But I enjoy doing it and I am better person for having done so.1
  • I know what you are trying to say but bob has started me on a new part of my life. painting, something I never even contemplated in my life till I was 65, I will never be as good as bob but I thank him every time I put paint on a canvas and suprise myself at the result. David.1
  • Before Bob Ross and his Joy Of Painting, I hated every art class I ever had. Bob made it look simple, easy. I took one course with one of his instructors and was flabbergasted at what I can do! He will be missed, he was a real and true teacher.1
  • People who leave answers such as "Bob Ross sucks" are unrefined and frauds. What they are pretending to do is leave an impression that they understand art better than the Bob Rosses of the world. They may have some exaggerated talent but it is not one of the mouth. In this they are artless. Dom Giovanni Irish Italian poet1
  • I'm a professional artist now. When I was a child, I would watch Bob Ross to see his pretty pictures. It jumped started my interest in painting. Of course then I went to art school, all of my professors hated him and instilled the same sort of snobbery in me. I developed my own techniques, always trying to "push the envelop," and I pretty much forgot about Bob and his pretty pictures. But lately, I've been watching his shows again. He was such a kind and gentle spirit. And his art wasn't THAT bad...I certainly couldn't produce a landscape like his in 27 mins or less. So I've ditched my snobbnish attitude and started watching him in a new light. He brought oil painting to the masses and in his own way, he was a genius. 1
  • Carlsberg doesn't do wet on wet oil painting - but if it did, it would be Bob Ross style1
  • Gosh I confided in a friend that I wanted to become a CRI and she in turn told an artist friend who slagged Bob Ross off in a horrible fashion. He said it was not art and that it was a damaging way to teach and the techniques are 'tricks'. I am not a beginner. I am not a profession either but I have been painting since I was very young, go A's in school for art but was told there were no jobs in art so went from dead end job to dead end job. Now, in my forties, I am taking back control. I have been going to classes for many years and am now painting most days. I love the Bob Ross method of teaching. Yes, I do understand that if you paint like that forever, your paintings will all look the same but some people are missing the point here in that it is supposed to be a 'beginners' class and to encourage people to startd. Artists opposed I can only asume are suffering from 'sour grapes syndrome'. Some people do not want amateurs turning out nice paintings and discovering techniques too quickly. Bob Ross withholds no secrets and it is a great way to begin to paint. 1
  • For many years I have watched Bob Ross with awe that he could put out a painting in less than a half hour and it look good. I am an artist that always worked in pencil and pen but watching and listening to Bob really opened me up to painting and the beauty that is all around us. He was such an inspiration to so many people around the World, not only in painting but also to be a better person. He loved to invite everyone into his happy little world and inspire you to create your own. Thank you Bob for the teachings and rest in peace my friend. GOD BLESS AND HAPPY PAINTING1
  • Bob Ross is good for the hobbyist. If someone wants to make a life long journey in learning to paint he can do himself a lot of harm by learning tricks and techniques as easy answers to the complex problems painting presents. Learning to master oil painting is a lifelong process of deepening ones understanding and ability to control design, drawing, value, temperature, intensity, edges and effectively communicating a meaningful message. There are no shortcuts that don't impede progress when they aren't understood through these elements. Hobbyists, carry on. Serious artists- buy these books, make them your foundation and get to work. The only shortcut is to work harder than everyone else and keep checking our sources (books and professional artists with principles) to make sure you are going the right direction. 1
  • Bob Ross said he wanted to show his students a technique and then turn them loose to create their own masterpiece. He often said, we don't want you just to copy our paintings. A lot of 'professional' so called artists began their illustrious careers from watching Bob.1
  • Bob Ross teaches a beginning artistic approach to create believeable, beautiful creations on canvas. With only an intelligent mind and lessons by Bob, you can venture out into nature and produce art from life, not just imagination. Through Bob, you learn function, form, mixing, and love of imagination. This is the stepping stone he wanted you to leap forward from. As a retired Air Force member, Bob began painting in the 30 minute breaks during lunch to supplement his income. As for the haters, you'll be fortunate indeed if anyone ever gives a hoot over what you do, and good luck with contributing so much to a field so desparate for a role model, like Bob did.1
  • I have Bob Ross to thank for where I am today as an artist. I knew I could draw from an early age but was always timid to try painting or to take a class. I began watching Bob Ross and he truly inspired and motivated me to try. With a starter kit I received one Christmas, I was able to start creating right away and amazed myself and others. I went on then to take classes from other artists and explore other techniques. Although I learned a wide variety of methods and techniques for other sources and employ them in my painting, I still will borrow a technique or two as neeed from Bob Ross. I now sell my art and do commissions, which would have not been even remotely possible without getting my start from the person who inspired me to begin - Bob Ross!1
  • People who had never held a paint brush, could in a small amount of time paint a canvas by watching Bob Ross. Most, after a while find there own path to follow in painting. Bob Ross gave many a start. He had a way of keeping one interested in wanting to paint. We had a treasured gift in the man, Bob Ross. 1
  • Bob Ross opened the door to art & painting for many. What a contributor to life!1
  • While attending art school in the late 1960's, I had a wonderful instructor who stated, "...if you want a photograph, take a photograph...interpretation and emotion through art is what I am teaching..." This is something, at least I believe, Bob Ross does in spades. His approach to painting is an interpretation of "his world". And as he states, "it's your world, you can do anything you like..." What an inspiration to so many through his programs. Here's to you my friend, listen not to the critics, "...do your own thing..."1
  • I believe that Bob Ross' technique is a fanatastic startingg point for anyone who wishes to take up art. Certainly anyone can build there own style if the wish to pursue personal perfection which they can certainly do as they gain more experience. There is nothing to stop anyone to paint beyond their imagination. If one wishes to look study a tree then paint it. I beleive Bob Ross would agree and state that "it's your world" so do what you wish. I just don;t understand one's grip when they criticize a technique which many people would be totally satisfied to utilize. After all his works are wonderful. They speak for themselves. 1
  • i think bob was fav, he also said be free enjoy ur work, make mistakes feel free and have joy in what u do painting .i think he was a great person to encourage uplift the weak, his stylee stands the test of time..and in his memory i have spent hours and hours leanring to be the artist i am form bob. but most of all if u listen carefully to his words, he said be happy enjoy ur painting. but be urself he did say this often1
  • Bob Ross was spontaneous, innovative, and creative. Perceptive and imaginative.1
  • I have taken quite a few Bob Ross classes and it revived an interest in art I had as a youngster. I have gone on to do my own paintings of animals, birds, florals, etc. and just recently sold my first commission piece. Not bad for someone 70 plus years old. Although I admit I don't have a lot of original ideas, I can take an idea from something once saw and expand on it and make it my own. I am going to start my 9 year old great granddaughter who has only painted in watercolor on the Bob Ross technique this summer.1
  • Bob Ross was inspirational and great for beginners, but for the enlightened artists it's a bit pre-mature. Maybe his work is the purest form because it's still rooted in reality.1
  • bob ross rules !1
  • Bob Ross is God!! 1
  • A joy to Watch 1
  • Bob Ross was a very good artist and gifted teacher. He not only taught a good basic foundation for the beginer, but encouraged people to seek to continue learning. He said that there are no mistakes in painting, just happy accidents. Some of those accidents have actually made my work better. He gave me the foundations to start. But it is my talent that carries me on.1
  • Bob Ross is incredible as a person and artist. He gives everyone the notion to give themselves a chance to believe in themselves and to do something for the love. Who cares if his trees aren't totally life like? Man us busy destroying the real ones anyway! Thank you Mr. Ross for the joy and stress relief you have provided to me over the years. One of the goals I have in life is to purchase an original of your work. I would rather that than the Mona Lisa. Happy painting and God bless.1
  • We all cant be great artists,but we all enjoy what Bob Ross taught us. 1
  • i used to watch bob ross when i was a teenager and he inspired me to pick up a paint brush and start painting. I do know how to draw and i don't follow all his style. What he has taught me through watching his videos is how to blend clouds and i apply this to different elements of my paintings. I do have my own style and i do paint from photos. I do agree that his paintings are all the same but if you look at some of the techniques he used is his paintings you can apply them to your own with your own unique style.1
  • Like Van Gogh, Bob Ross died too young. As an Artist I put myself in his mind and method as he painted. he was so happy doing it. if one starts out learning the Bob Ross method...it's not that hard to branch out into your own style. 1
  • What I like about Bob Ross is that his method of art is a great way to learn to handle paint and learning to make the paint do what you want it to do is essential to art. His technique allows the student artist to just paint and learn to work with the paint itself without having to worry about drawing and composition although both of these things are also essential as well. His technique teaches drawing with the paint using various brushes and this helps to develop artistic judgement in a freestyle technique. I have had fun with the Bob Ross methods of painting, but I already had experience as an artist and was not new to drawing. I took what I gained from his technique and combined it with what I already knew about fine art and then continued to learn more about art when I had the opportunity. I paint mostly from photos and I shoot a lot of my own pictures to paint from. But, I did gain knowledge from Bob Ross as well as other instructors and from experience itself.1
  • Bob ross deserves respect R.I.P my inspirational and carasmatic friend1
  • Any class a soon to be artist takes will be what someone else has done. The artist comes from within and from technics learned from a mentor or many mentors. It's your imagination and how you put it all together that makes you a good or bad artist. Heck someone out there is stuffing a brush in an elephant trunk and calling it art and they're selling them.So Bob Ross good or bad is a good place to learn from.1
  • This survey is way, way to long. I've never seen anything like it. Surley this is some form of humourous parody. Very funny...Ha, ha, ha. O.k. I'm going to paint right now...1
  • You can take a little from all artist!! Then do you own style! 1
  • I am a fan of Bob Ross and his technique and approach to painting. I always enjoy watching his shows and hearing his Rossisms. He was a kind and gentle man that inspired countless people to pick up a brush and create their own personal utopias. I am an accomplished artist and don't always use Bob's approach to painting, but from time to time enjoy doing quick paintings using Bob's wet on wet techniques. I encourage anyone that always wanted be an artist and never thought they could to try the Bob Ross method.1
  • Bob Ross is like that magician that tells all the simple secrets of the tricks. So all the so called Artist and Art Teacher out there get mad, people that just want to have a little fun painting our own painting, we are not trying to create a master piece. For the ones that would like to create a master piece this is just a start and everyone knows that even Bob Ross himself. His teaching still live on and will live on for a long time to come and all his critics will die away with no one knowing of them. So take Bob Ross for what he has done, giving painting to people who would never have tried it with out him.1
  • Bob Ross isn't in art history books. I wonder why...1
  • Bob Ross's mom, Betsy was "Da Shit" as an artist. Her use of primary colors, stars, stripes make me want to salute her. They sell her stuff everywhere in the US. Not so popular in the Arab world.1
  • Wow! Such controversy. Using a musical analogy, you learn "Mary Had a Little Lamb" before you learn Prokofiev. The snobbery in the art world is SICKENING, at best. If I learn a Bob Dylan tune will it stop me from learning Charlie Parker? Bob Ross Rules! 1
  • I'm a Digital Graphics student, and have never been confident with drawing by hand let alone painting. By chance, we talked about Bob Ross and saw a quick video in one of our classes, and as a project decided to do some painting. Not only did I surprise myself, but my daughters as well...all thanks to the Bob Ross method! It's inspired me to buy some painting supplies and PRACTICE! Ever artist, from the serious to the hobbyist, needs a starting place! Does the Bob Ross method "limit you", as the owner of this blog seems to think? IMO, not really. The only limitation is in the artist him/herself, if the artist CHOOSES to use only this method. Most artists, however, choose to step beyond these limitations and learn more.The do choose to grow, and try other methods. Think- isn't the Jackson Pollock "method" of dripping paint actually more damaging? All that does is encourage me to hang up a drop-cloth and call it "art", yet Jackson Pollock's paintings bring such high prices and even controversy at the possible discovery of a "lost" Pollock painting! Everyone needs a start, and when a method actually produces rewarding results, it encourages growth and exploration. Thanks for allowing me to state my opinion. ~ Steve1
  • Bob Ross gave joy to many people who might not ever have touched a paintbrush out of fear of failure. If that person progressed in his vision of appreciation of art to go on to learn more sophisticated ways of painting, there was nothing to stop them from doing that. If they were satisfied with their Bob Ross style paintings, well then, power to them.1
  • I work in a collage where adults attend classes. You can spot a Bob Rosser a mile off & they are so hard to move on. They seem rooted to his techniques & will not try new ones. Because Ross is on TV 7& was cleverly marketed it is often difficult to persuade learners he is no good & what thye are doing is wrong.1
  • Bob Ross is the gateway to the Joy of Painting. I watched him faithfully 20 yrs ago- did a few fair paintings on my own but was too shy to take a class. I'm finally taking classes and loving it. Without Ross's gentle encouragement it would never have happened. 1
  • guess this said it all..... RIP beautiful man.
Total Votes: 2182 Started: January 20, 2008 1 = Added by a guest Back to Vote Screen


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