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There is still some room left for this weekends class.  

This weeks class will focuses on painting with an oval.  It's 
a good example of how Bob brings out the trees beyond the oval to add interest to a painting.




Artist Corner:


What exactly is Gesso?

Gesso is used to prime or cover a canvas to give it some tooth to grab the paint and some flexibility to prevent it from cracking.

Originally gesso was used with oil painting.  It was made of an animal glue binder, usually rabbit skin, chalk and white pigment.  The animal glue soaks into the fibers of the canvas to help protect against the corrosive nature of olis.  The chalk gives it texture that allows the paint to adhere to the canvas.

Today Acrylic Gesso is generally used to prime a canvas.  Acrylic gesso is made from an acrylic polymer medium which replaces the animal glue as a binder; a pigment, usually titanium white but grey, black and other tints are also available;  calcium carbonate or chalk;  and other chemicals for flexibility and archival purposes.

There are several different consistencies of gesso from thinned to thick.  Which one you use is determined by what it’s being used for.   For the Bob Ross painting technique a thinned gesso is used.

The use of gesso in the Bob Ross painting technique.

Black gesso is used to cover the canvas for night time scenes.  Black, grey and white gesso are used to create trees, bushes or other effects using a crumpled paper towel, sea sponge or foam brush.

For wildlife painting, the canvas is covered with grey gesso.   The grey acts as the medium value during the acrylic phase of the painting.  It makes touch ups or corrections much easier.  Cover an area to be touched up or corrected with the grey gesso to bring back the medium value.  Once it dries you simply go back and change or correct the area.

You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to make different effects when you use Gesso.  A transparent oil paint like Alizarin Crimson or Phthalo Blue can be applied over a black gessoed canvas and then covered with titanium white to create a beautiful soft sky or lake. Bright colorful grassy areas and highlights on bushes can be added just by applying color over the black gesso.  Distant trees and bushes can be created with a crumpled paper towel.  White, grey and black gesso can be used to create rocks and stones that appear under water.    

Come to a class that uses gesso on the canvas and see for yourself how easy and effective it can be.

If you have any questions regarding the new changes or anything else related to the Painting Bug and/or Bob Ross contact me by email at or phone 518-852-9160.

Happy Painting,




Painting Tips: Mixing Colors.

When mixing paint for mountain highlights/shadows, land/rock highlights, cabin highlights and tree trunks don’t mix the paint too much.  The color should be marbled. That means turning the paint over just a couple of times to give it a nice marbled appearance.   This will create a more realistic effect.

Mixing highlight colors for bushes and leaves.  Mixing with the knife will create a solid color which can look dull or muddy.  Try tapping the brush into a couple of different colors.  The individual colors will be on the ends of the bristles when you go to paint and you’ll get a lot more brightness and variation in your highlights.  You’ll see a big difference in using the brush to mix the highlights from using the knife to mix.

Reminder:  You will pick up the dark under-color on your brush when highlighting.  Make sure to wipe the brush each time you reload it so as to not muddy up the color with the dark underpainting.

Quote of the Day:

“Anything we don’t like, we’ll turn it into a happy little tree or something; we don’t make mistakes, we just have happy accidents.”   ___Bob Ross

1049 Raymond Road Ballston Spa, NY 12020

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