Art therapy has long been recognised as an effective way of treating grief, loss, mental illness and other mental health problems. Its accessibility means it is also equally effective across a range of different groups of people, including children to adults.
This type of therapy is so useful in these situations as it gives patients an outlet to express their feelings when doing so verbally may be difficult or even impossible. Art therapy can involve a range of different mediums, such as painting, drawing or sculpture.
If you think art therapy good be beneficial for you or someone you know, here are some tips for employing art therapy techniques to keep in mind.
1. When Art Therapy May Help
Creating art can be beneficial to just about anyone and boost mental and emotional wellbeing, even for people who are not experiencing any particular challenges. However, it has been shown to have particular results in improving self-esteem, self-awareness, emotional resilience, social skills, and easing distress. There are many different mediums you can use for the exercises we will discuss in this article. One of the easiest and most enjoyable ways, especially for beginner artists, is with oil paints: see tips on getting started with oil painting here.
2. Art Therapy Should be Conducted By a Trained Professional
Participating in art therapy is not as simple as going to an art class. Art therapists are trained professionals with a very specific set of skills, rather than simply art teachers. Although art in any form is undoubtedly positive and an important part of self-care, if you are seeking to treat a certain illness or address a particular issue, you should consult with a qualified art therapy professional.
3. Art Therapy Can Involve Words Too
Just because art therapy is all about expressing things creatively, this doesn’t mean that it cannot also involve using words to express yourself. Some art therapy techniques could involve writing feelings, such as creating a postcard with whatever artist techniques you desire, and writing a note on the other side. This postcard could be addressed to someone in your life, someone you’ve lost, or your past, future or even present self.
4. Art Therapy Can BeUseful For Anxiety
Anxiety is a long-term condition which can be extremely difficult to treat. It is also something which often goes undiagnosed and untreated for years, despite its prevalence: in the US alone, an estimated 40 million adults suffer from anxiety, 18% of the population. Art therapy can be very helpful in identifying the source of patients’ anxiety, as well as developing healthy coping mechanisms. For example, creating a “panic book”, which contains images and other materials which you find comforting, can help you to stay calm during a panic attack.
5. For Children: Keep It Simple
Art therapy is an invaluable tool for treating children, particularly young children. Young age groups have limited language and communication skills making it nearly impossible to express their feelings or complex thoughts, and art is an excellent way to bridge that gap. For young children, art therapy techniques don’t need to be complicated: simply drawing or colouring can go a long way to letting the patient express their feelings, and helping therapists identify issues.
6. Art Therapy is Great For Adults Too
Although art therapy is great for getting kids to express their emotions, it is also perfect for having adults do the same. Even though adults have better developed language and communications skills than children, they are not necessarily much better at identifying and articulating what they are feeling. Art therapist will be able to recommend specific projects and exercises which are suitable to the patient’s condition, and sites like ipicasso are great places for getting art inspiration.
7. Use Art Therapy to Identify Emotions
Sometimes the hardest part is not dealing with our emotions, but identifying them in the first place. Creating art can help you identify what you’re feeling, in order to work through and address these emotions, preferably with the assistance of a trained professional. There are a variety of art therapy exercises you can use to tease out complex or difficult emotions, such as drawing or painting what you’re feeling, creating an emotional wheel (a visual representation of the emotions you are feeling at a particular time or over a length of time using colours), making a visual journal or making abstract line art to express how you’re feeling.
8. Art Therapy to Reduce Stress
Most people go through times of stress at one point or another, and a significant amount of people suffer from chronic stress over the medium to long term. Art therapy can be used for relaxation, encouraging mindfulness, and ultimately stress relief. Art therapy for relation can be very simple: creating a “stream of consciousness” painting while listening to music, using lines of colour to make a simple scribble drawing, or creating a mandala by starting at the centre and working your way out by drawing circles each with their own symmetrical pattern.
About the Author:
After graduating in journalism and media, Sophie started working as Head of Content for ipicasso.co.uk. Ipicasso is the specialized online store in selling high-quality paintings by numbers in UK.
Taking up painting was something I considered for a while, but always found it too much work to purchase all the equipment and start by myself. The Bob Ross Master Set should help me ease my way into painting. In this article I want to talk about my first painting with the kit and what I learned in the process.
As one of five official Bob Ross painting kits, it provides nearly everything you’ll need to get started. It comes with all the required oil paints, three brushes and a painting knife. And of course a DVD on which Bob Ross teaches the painting “Mountain Summit” step by step. I bought a canvas, borrowed an esael, got some odourless paint thinner and paper plates instead of a color palette. Laptop by my side and cover sheeting generously laid out underneath the easel, I was set to go.
The first chapter of the DVD is dedicated to the correct use of the tools in the Master Set, then starts the tutorial to the painting. I was glad to have the tutorial on DVD. The possibility to pause and rewind the tutorial might have been a lifesaver for me (and the painting). It took me around one and a half hours to complete the painting. This may be different from person to person, as I worked at a rather slow speed and paused from time to time to take photos of the progress.
The tutorial starts of with a light blue background for the sky and river. After topping it with dreamy white clouds, Bob Ross creates the illusion of an impressive mountain while only using the knife. Less than a minute into the tutorial I had to press pause the first time, while watching the blue background on my canvas slowly dripping towards the ground. Guess that was either too much liquid white or too much blue color loaded on my brush, probably both. I try to brush some paint off the canvas with the cleaned and dried two-inch brush. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work out as expected and I end up with blue color everywhere. Thank god for the cover sheeting.
I make a mental note of going easy on the color from now on. Still, after applying white color atop the blue sky, my dreamy white clouds seem to move downward just slightly. Finally, I arrive at the key piece of the “Mountain Summit”.
With the help of the knife, I carefully stretch out the color on my makeshift palette as thin as possible and load the knife with thin roll of paint. To create the sharp silhoutte of the mountain, I’m supposed to barely touch the canvas with the knife. While the motion looks easy enough in the tutorial, I find handling the knife on the canvas quite tricky. Bob Ross assures me that even his son Steve had a hard time painting mountains in the beginning. Once he had mastered the trick, he has been painting the most beautiful mountains, encourages me Bob Ross on my laptop screen. By the time it comes to adding white mountain slopes, using the knife feels already much easier.
At this stage of the painting I notice, how much I have to concentrate on painting deliberately and carefully. Bob Ross’ voice clearly has a soothing effect, I actually start relaxing and stop rushing things. Slowly but steady the progress on my canvas becomes visible and I’m quite proud on the mountain chain I produced.
While the mountain makes up the background, the foreground is composed of autumnal trees and bushes on both sides of a peaceful river. I take a new paper plate as a palette for the now required colors. Not having a proper plastic palette clearly is a disadvantage. The paper plates are not as stable as the color palette used in the tutorial. Consequential, I can’t keep up with Bob Ross when preparing and blending colors. Also, my workflow feels somewhat hindered by constantly reaching down to my makeshift palette laying on the floor.
All the while my hands and arms are still a vibrant blue, after what I now call the “blue explosion”. But I’ve learned from my early mistakes and managed not to stain myself with any other color after that. The tools need to be cleaned ever so often and I’ve found a cleaning routine. First, I sink the tools into a bucket with paint thinner underneath my easel. I recommend getting a large enough bucket, because the bristles are then cleaned by hitting the brush against the edge of the bucket. The bucket I used was rather small at a volume of 5 litres (1.3 gallons) and I had to be careful when shaking the residue out of the bristles. Therefore my cleaning routine had an additional step, where I wiped the tools dry on the cover sheeting.
Coming back to the painting and the forest. The fanbrush is used to paint the ground at the edge of the river and with subtle downwards motions of the dry two-inch brush the paint is being blurred. Later, this will illustrate the reflection of the trees in the river.
The way the painting is composed, the water in the river is created by the negative between the forest in the middle ground and bigger trees in the foreground. These happy little trees are the next objective in the painting.
The first trees are part of the middle ground, right underneath and in front of the mountain. My very first try at a tree looks less like an evergreen, but a huge bush. I learn that the darker the oil paint, the less fluid it is. Their heavy texture makes them harder to blend together and at the same time, they tend to stick more to the bristles. With the help of a small amount of liquid white added to the mix, the paint becomes more fluid. For my second try at a tree, I make sure to load my fanbrush with as much paint as possible. The paint comes off easily now and I’m surprised how a little bit of liquid white makes painting trees that much easier. Next are the big trees in the foreground. The huge branches are even more fun to paint. In the tutorial on screen, Bob paints the trees in an even more fluid motion. It’s all about repetition and training.
After finshing with the beautiful happy trees, I decide to invest into a proper palette and a brush cleaning system for my next painting. Although more professional equipment won’t improve my painting skills, it will improve the experience. And by now I know, I’m going to paint more regularly.
Happy little accidents
When I started my painting, I went for an exact replica of Bob Ross’ “mountain scene”. Looking back, this is very unlikely and a bit naive, more so for a first time painter. I’ve realised quickly I’m not yet able to copy every of Bob Ross’ brush strokes. But that’s not the goal of the exercise.
The kit and the tutorial are primarily designed to make beginners acquainted with painting equipment. It gives guide lines on how to use the brushes and knife to the best effect. It’s not about getting the same painting as Bob Ross, but being creative and also taking own decisions.
In the end, it is your creative process. There’s no need to follow the tutorial strictly. It’s no “color by numbers” painting. Although, I would recommend to listen to Bob Ross advice when it comes to utilizing the tools. Especially when you’re a beginner to the painting equipment like me.
The most precious thing I learned while painting was to relax and find joy in creating something. It’s beautiful how rewarding the process itself feels. At the end I felt pride to have finished the tutorial and to know where my capacity lies. Hands blue, cover sheeting blue, easel blue – I don’t regret it. I didn’t expect to have as much fun at painting as I did. Seeing the outcome, I’m actually proud of myself, even though it didn’t fully live up to my high standards. I’m already thinking about my next painting. If I can do it, so can you.
Let yourself be convinced by a longer review on the Master Set, you can find it right here.
The Bob Ross Company makes several painting kits and sets that contain (almost) everything you need to paint with Bob Ross. Their flagship painting kit is the Bob Ross Master Paint Set and contains painting supplies which let you create almost any painting on ‘The Joy of Painting’. But is it really worth it? We bought one to give you all the information you need to help you decide for yourself in our Bob Ross Master Paint Set review.
The Content Of The Master Paint Set
The Bob Ross Master Set contains eight tubes of paint (1.25 oz / 37 ml), four brushes, a painting knife, a bottle of liquid white base color (4 oz / 118 ml) and painting instructions for a painting, both on paper and on a one hour long DVD.
It comes in a cardboard box featuring the typical Bob Ross aesthetic. We imagined it to be a bit bigger than it was, but with a size of 1.9 x 14.9 x 11.7 inches (4.8 x 37,9 x 29,7 cm) there is more than enough room for its content. The painting kit we are reviewing features text in English and German since we ordered it from a European marketplace.
Inside the carboard box we find a plastic inlay that holds the Master Set’s content and secures it from moving around during transport. There is some empty space on the right side of the inlay which looks like it would hold some kind of bottle. After some research we found that there are special versions of the Bob Ross Master Set that contain an additional small bottle of paint thinner. Underneath the plastic inlay we can find the instruction folder and the Getting-Started DVD.
The set contains four brushes and a #10 painting knife. The brushes are
1 inch landscape brush
2 inch background brush
#6 fan brush
All Bob Ross brushes are natural bristle brushes made from animal hair and shaped to Bob’s own specifications to work perfectly with his wet-on-wet technique. The tools come with a handle painted in white and three of the brushes have a protective plastic wrapping. They also have a very nice weight and feel a litte heavier than other tools we have used before. All these things make the products feel very high quality and nice to use.
One Inch And Two Inch Brush
Arguably Bob’s favorite brushes. He uses these two brushes for almost anything in this paintings, from clouds and trees to bushes and waves. We are pretty sure you could paint using only one of these brushes and no other tools at all. As Bob himself said: “I really believe that if you practice enough you could paint the ‘Mona Lisa’ with a two-inch brush.”
As mentioned above these two brushes are made from natural bristles and the very first thing we noticed when picking them up was their almost absurd thickness. These brushes really pack a ton of very dense bristles. The thick round handle and the brass metal feel very well made and nice to hold.
Since these brushes are designed for Bob’s wet-on-wet technique we now understand why our clouds and brushes never came out half as good as Bob’s own. The high amount of bristles allow the brush to pick up a lot of paint. The length and thickness enable you to paint fluffy clouds and happy bushes with very little pressure.
Comparing the Bob Ross two inch brush to another brush we have used before really shows how specialised these tools are. Below you can see the difference in thickness and length. The other brush is a standard natural bristle two inch brush for oil paint. The difference really is extreme. We’ve often been frustrated when painting bushes because the shorter, thinner (and therefore stiffer) brush didn’t allow us to paint with the amount of freedom that is needed for best results.
And since this review wouldn’t be complete without a video of a finger going through the brush here it is. Just an amazing feeling.
We noticed that these brushes lose a few bristles when using them for the first time. According to the manufacturer this is normal for natural bristle brushes. Bob himself allegedly said “Because these are natural bristle brushes they do have a tendency to shed a little bit. Especially during the mating season.”
Another stable in Bob’s toolbox is the fan brush. He uses it to make clouds, folliage, waves and to put highlights on grassy hills and evergreens.
Just like the other brushes this one is made from natural bristles. It is a #6 fan brush, meaning that it is the larger one of the two variations made by the Bob Ross Company. The other one is smaller and called the #3 fan brush.
Again we have a nice protective sleeve for the bristles themselves and a round white handle with a nice weight to it. This time we have silver metal parts instead of brass.
Bob Ross often mentions how important it is to have well made tools because of their superior characteristics. One of the most important of these characteristics for a fan brush is a certain ‘springiness’. It is especially important when painting trees.
For Bob’s method you have to put quite a bit of paint on your brush when painting evergreens and then use the edge of your brush to paint the limbs. If your fan brush is not firm enough you risk that the heavy paint clogs up your brush and makes painting the next limbs harder. We did not have any problems like this when doing our trees with this brush as it always jumps back in its original form even when using a very thick coat of paint.
The Liner Brush is the last brush we take a look at. Bob uses it in every painting even though often only to sign his name. Besides that it is used for thin limbs and sometimes blades of grasses on beach scenes.
Just like the other brushes we have natural bristles on a nice ergonomic white handle with silver metal again. The bristles on this one have a nice length to them that gives you a certain freedom and makes for very nice curves.
#10 Painting Knife
To finish our collection of tools we take a look at the #10 Painting Knife. Just like with the fan brush ‘#10’ means that it is the larger of two knifes, the smaller one being the #5. Bob uses the painting knife mostly for his almighty mountains, altought there are paintings that he does with knife only.
The knife itself feels rather heavy. This makes it a great tool for when Bob tells you to use the weight of your knife to put snow on your mountain tops. We have used plastic painting knifes and non Bob Ross knifes before and their light weight makes it hard to apply the highlights when doing mountains.
We noticed that the knife says “Made in China” while the brushes are all “Made in Germany”. We assume that the reason for this is the better treatment of animals in Germany than in China and therefore a better quality of the finished products. (Remember that we have the Master Set version for the European market. The brushes for the US version are all made in the USA.)
The Bob Ross Master Paint Set contains eight tubes of oil paint and a bottle of liquid white. The tubes contain 1.25 oz / 37 ml of paint. Seeing these medium sized tubes was a nice suprise since we somehow expected to find only small tubes with 0.4 oz / 12 ml. (Despite reading the product description beforehand.) Most of these medium size tubes cost around $10 on Amazon.com. With the Master Paint Set’s price being around $100 it really is a good deal. But more on that later.
The eight colors included are
Van Dyck Brown.
These eight colors let you paint a lot of Bob’s typical mountain paintings. As always with Bob Ross oil paints the lighter colors have a different oil-to-pigment ratio than the darker ones. Remember: thin paint sticks to thick paint. This makes painting highlights on trees for example way easier than with ‘normal’ oil paints.
The bottle of liquid white contains 4 oz / 118 ml of liquid white, which should last for quite a few paintings. Along with the 1.25 oz / 37 ml tubes the paint included should let you paint at least 3 to 5 paintings without using up one of the tubes. Maybe more if you are carefull not to waste paint.
The painting kit contains instructions for a painting in the typical Bob Ross style called ‘Mountain Summit’. There is an hour long DVD for you to paint along, as well as two booklets. One repeating the instructions and one with additional tips. Since we have been painting for a while we can’t really say anything about how easy it is for beginners to follow along, but we asked someone else to test it for you.
Is it worth it financially? How much do I save?
One of the biggest deciding factors in buying a painting kit instead of everything separately is the money you save by doing so. So let us take a closer look together:
The Bob Ross Master set usually costs $100 to $110 on Amazon.com, so let’s use $110 as our base price and look at the cost of purchasing everything separately. (All prices are as of March 22, 2018 and can change over time.)
Adding up these numbers we arrive at $91.95 for the tools. So getting the Master Paint Set is almost worth it for the brushes and the knife alone!
As mentioned above one of the 1.25 oz / 37 ml tubes of oil paint costs around $10. Since we have eight of them this puts us at $80 for the tubes and an additonal $12 for the liquid white. (Since you can’t buy a 4 oz bottle we just halved the price for the 8 oz one.) So we get another $92 for the included paints.
Buying all contained items separately sets you back $183.95. With the Bob Ross Master Paint set priced at a maximum of $110 on Amazon you save $73.95. Most of the time you can get it for $100 anyways, saving you almost $85.
What else do I need?
While the Bob Ross Master Paint set contains almost everything you need to start painting there are three things you need to buy in addition to the painting kit:
Canvas: You need a pre-stretched and primed canvas of a good size. We suggest the Arteza Canvas 18×24”. While any canvas will do for starters we found that it is worth it to spend a few bucks extra to not get the bottom shelf ones.
Easel: While not really necessary (you can mount your painting to the wall or a ladder) it makes everything way smoother to work with. We have a cheap aluminium one from Amazon. While not the most stable one it does its job perfectly.
We think the Bob Ross Master Set is a great way to start painting. It gives you high quality tools and paints made specifically to work with Bob’s wet on wet technique for around $100 and even with the needed additional purchases (canvas, paint thinner and easel) it enables you to start a new and exciting hobby for as little as $150 without having to get low quality supplies.
We hope you give it a try and it gives you as much enjoyment to paint along with Bob Ross as it does for us.
Maybe you have experienced it too. Watching Bob Ross paint makes your head tingle and when he drags his brush along the canvas it almost feels like he is scratching the back of your neck.
This fuzzy feeling that some of us experience has a name: ASMR, short for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response.
What is ASMR?
Wikipedia describes it as “an experience characterized by a static-like or tingling sensation on the skin that typically begins on the scalp and moves down the back of the neck and upper spine. “
People often describe this sensation as a “brain massage”, “head tingles” or even “brain orgasm”. Another term might be “pure bliss”.
The feeling often starts on the head or neck and moves down to the rest of the body. People that have experienced it say it reminds them of a mild electrical current or the bubbles in a glass of champagne.
What causes ASMR?
While there is little scientific research about the physiological or psychological causes of ASMR there are a number of triggers for it. Triggers are sensations or stimuli that make people experience these “head tingles”.
Very often these triggers are specific sounds, videos or touches. Examples are
Softly spoken or whispered voices
Quiet and repetitive sounds or videos of people engaging in mundane tasks
The sound of people chewing and slurping (We don’t get this one either)
An example for a video that triggers ASMR for a lot of people is this scene from the movie Toy Story 2. The video has been altered to remove all music and dialog.
ASMR and Bob Ross
Time and time again we hear from people that experience Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response while watching Bob Ross paint. This is so common, that the ASMR community on reddit has Bob Ross listed as one of the common triggers. But what is it with Bob that makes peoples brains tingle?
Besides the great hair ‘The Joy of Painting’ with Bob Ross features almost every stimulus we mentioned above. Bob is soft spoken and calm, talking only about happy things. His actions are well practiced and predictable. And the sound of his palette knife scraping along his canvases or his trusty brush hitting the easel when he beats the devil out of it fit the description of ASMR triggers almost perfectly.
Where to find more
The biggest online community for discussion about ASMR is on reddit. People share their favorite videos their and talk about their experiences. The forum also uses an extensive tag system so you can search for your favorite kind of videos. There are also countless videos on YouTube, featuring almost every trigger you can think of.
Did you ever experience ASMR personally? Or do you just like to watch Bob Ross paint his little bushes and trees? We would love to know more, so please tell us in the comments below!
During ‘The Joy of Painting’ Bob Ross often talks about his friends and students and about what great painters and instructors they are, especially his son Steve. But did you know that almost everyone can become an instructor for the Bob Ross painting method by visiting a Bob Ross Instructor Course? All you need is the desire to paint.
About the Courses
Bob Ross Inc. offers several courses that aim to teach you how to be a better painter and a great teacher and continue the legacy of Bob Ross. After finishing you can call yourself a Certified Ross Instructor and spread your love for creating beautiful paintings to the world.
There are four courses available, each covering a different topic. These are
Landscapes (CRI, Certified Ross Landscape Instructor)
Flowers (CRFI, Certified Ross Floral Instructor)
Animals (CRWI, Certified Ross Wildlife Instructor)
People (CRPI, Certified Ross Portrait Instructor).
Each of these Teacher Training Seminars consists of three levels, each one building on the one below.
Level 1 provides a strong foundation in painting your desired subjects and places special emphasis on the proper use of the different available tools.
In Level 2 you will work on more advanced projects and start honing your skills as a teacher.
Level 3 is the final step in becoming a Certified Ross Instructor and does not only feature advanced painting techniques but also teaches you everything you need to know to become a successful teacher, from demonstration skills to product sourcing, class setup and even promotion.
Interview with an Instructor
We talked with Grant Wells, one of our followers on Twitter that successfully took all three levels of the Landscape Instructor Course and is now an official Certified Ross Instructor, about the course and his experience with it. Here is what Instructor Wells has to say:
“As a child of an art teacher growing up I always connected with Bob Ross. His mellow voice and supportive words always felt right at home watching him paint. So fast forward a few decades to me being a painting teacher myself at an art gallery it only seemed logical to learn the technique that inspired me so long ago. Bob Ross was more than an artist to a lot of people. He was a mentor, a teacher, and a cheer leader for those who couldn’t believe in themselves.
I went to the Bob Ross certification with only 6 months of oil painting under my belt. Most of what I did in the medium was my best attempt at doing what he taught in his videos so long ago. While he makes it look easy, Bob had a technique that he learned from William Alexander that was quick and effective. He took that technique and turned it into an amazing system of supplies and knowledge. While he looks like he’s just poking the canvas with the brush, there is so much more going on. Whether it’s the amount of paint used or just the pressure and direction of the bristles against the canvas.
The greatest thing I’ve learned from his technique is that with these tricks anything is possible, there really are no mistakes. In a world where everything is certain and forever, the style leaves room to be adapted to and fixed in any capacity by artists from beginners to the most experienced. The course taught me all these lessons, and that there is always more to learn. With enough practice anything is possible, it’s our world so we can sculpt anything we envision.
I definitely recommend the course to anyone interested in bettering themselves or learning a new skill. They are extremely knowledgeable and helpful for whatever your goals may be. I was able to use the technique and paint my own style of science fiction landscapes of surreal alien planets. Just acts as a testimony to what can be done with the technique, and knowledge learned from the course. After the first day of class I noticed a massive difference in my abilities from the little tricks and tips I was taught. I may not be as good as Bob Ross, but I’m that much closer to being up there, I’ll give myself another 30 years. “
Below you can see Grant’s progression during the course, with the first painting done before starting and the other ones during or after finishing the CRI course.
If you have any questions about the courses or want to tell us about your own experiences visit us on Twitter @2InchBrush.
We all know that the act of painting is not only fun and often times incredibly satisfying but also a great way to relax and relieve stress.
But did you know that it also has wonderful effects on your mental health? And we are not even talking about art therapy guided by a professional but your ordinary slap-some-paint-on-a-canvas fun.
So join us and find out why painting is great for your mental health!
What we and everyone that has ever held a paintbrush already know has now been confirmed by scientists: painting reduces stress.
Girija Kaimal, assistant professor of creative arts therapies at Drexel University, led a study examining the effects of making art on stress-related hormones in your body and has found that even only 45 minutes of creative activities like painting reduce symptoms of stress in the body. And the best thing is that this happens regardless of experience or talent. But as Bob Ross always said: Everyone can paint!
For the study the researchers invited 39 adults between 18 and 59 years old and provided them with resources to create whatever they wanted in 45 minutes. The participants also had the opportunity to ask an art therapist in case they had any questions. Before and after the 45 minutes the researchers measured stress hormones in the participants’ bodies and discovered that around 75 percent of them had a significantly amount in their bodies after the experiment.
“It was surprising, and it also wasn’t. It wasn’t surprising because that’s the core idea in art therapy: Everyone is creative and can be expressive in the visual arts when working in a supportive setting. That said, I did expect that perhaps the effects would be stronger for those with prior experience.” Kaimal explained.
The scientists also noticed that there was a correlation between the age of the participants and the lowered hormone levels, meaning that younger people benefit even more from creating art.
According to Kaimal “one reason might be that younger people are developmentally still figuring out ways to deal with stress and challenges, while older individuals ‘just from having lived life and being older’ might have more strategies to problem-solve and manage stress more effectively.”
Effects On Depression
Painting does not only reduce the symptoms of stress but also helps with depression. A lot of people suffering from it have reported that painting gives them newfound energy and invokes feelings of pride and accomplishment in them. Feelings which some of these people have not felt in years or never at all.
It is no surprise that painting and creative exercise in general have long been recognized as important and effective tools to help people who suffer from depression. A 2015 review of randomized controlled trials on art therapy’s effect on depression found that subjects in 6 out of 9 studies saw a significant reduction in depression. The review, published in the journal Health Technology Assessment, also included studies that found art therapy reduced subjects’ anxiety and distress and improved their self-esteem, mood and quality of life.
Leading art therapists recommend people who are self conscious or emotionally unstable to start with more controlled and predictable mediums like pens, pencils or markers on paper, and only move to looser mediums like oils, watercolors, or acrylic paint once they have started to gain more confidence, since the looser nature of these mediums tend to make them rather unpredictable and can lead to frustration in beginners. A great way to start with a very controllable medium are adult coloring books. These books were first popularized in France, a country that is number one in per capita consumption of antidepressants, tranquilizer, and sleeping pills.
Increased Empathy and Tolerance
A study of over 10,000 students found that a one-hour trip to an art museum changed the way they thought and felt. Students who visited a museum not only showed increased critical thinking skills, they also exhibited greater empathy towards how people lived in the past and expressed greater tolerance towards people different than themselves.
The study showed that children who toured an art museum became more observant, noticing and describing more details in an image, than their peers who did not. Being observant and paying attention to detail is an important and highly useful skill that students learn when they study and discuss works of art.
Visiting a museum also made the children more tolerant of people who disagree with them. While the results of a standardized test that measured their change in tolerance have not been huge even a small difference from only half a day at the museum is a great improvement.
Halloween is just around the corner. Are you ready to woo your friends and random strangers with the best Halloween costume known to mankind?
We’ll show you how to dress up as Bob Ross and one of his happy little paintings and be the star of every Halloween party!
If you don’t want to DIY your Bob Ross Halloween costume for you and your partner we have great news for you!
Because of the big demand you can now buy a Bob Ross Couples Costume. Get it quickly before it sells out for this year’s Halloween!
A brown makeup pencil for the beard, or a fake beard
A blue dress shirt and a pair of dad jeans. While Bob sometimes was seen in different colors like red his blue shirt is the most recognizable.
A paintbrush. You do not need a real brush for oil painting, a cheap one from the hardware store is perfectly fine.
A wooden palette. If you don’t want to buy one you can also make one yourself out of cardboard. Don’t forget to add some paint to your palette.
With just these few items you have got yourself a pretty good DIY Bob Ross Halloween costume! Get ready to be the star of every party. And be careful of happy little accidents on the spookiest night of the year 😉
Did you wear a Bob Ross costume for Halloween? We love to see your pictures! Send them to us on Twitter and Facebook!
We probably all know and most likely love Bob’s son Steve. Bob Ross mentioned Steve several times during ‘The Joy Of Painting’, talking about how his son makes a pretty penny selling his masterpieces.
Steve appeared in no less than 13 episodes on ‘The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross’, most noteably in the final episode of the first season, ‘Final Reflections’, where he helps his father by reading questions from viewers, which the old master answers. Besides his appearance in this Q&A style episode he also painted 12 other original paintings for the show.
Steve also quickly became a fan favorite during the Twitch livestream and on Tumblr because of his double entendres, such as “pound it into the brush real good”, “it can be dirty, it doesn’t have to be clean. Oh yeah, sure, tell me more”, or “It’s getting bigger all the time. Oh no, it’s huge. Look at that, it’s a monster!”. Combined with his heavenly voice, the hair and his mustache it is no surprise that Steve Ross was quickly titled Tumblr’s Sex God.
Jokes aside, what really happened to Steve Ross after the death of his father Bob?
It seems like Steve cut every and all ties to the public and went completely underground. Besides the obvious results like the YouTube videos of his appearances on his father’s TV show there are almost no traces of him to be found on the internet. One of the only sources that mention Steve is an announcement of the death of his late father.
The New York Times wrote in an obituary for Bob Ross that “he is survived by his son, Steven, of Ronkonkoma, L.I.”. It seems like Steven (or Steve for short) left Florida to live in the state of New York.
From this obituary it is also known that Steve became a Bob Ross-certified instructor, but after checking lists of practicing instructors it appears that he is no longer teaching people to paint. It is also not known if Steve still paints at all. One of Bob’s oldest friends however stated on his private Facebook page that Steven was still painting the last time they have spoken, but this was around 10 years ago now. Another commenter said that she believes Steve is doing software work now. Further questions about Steve’s whereabouts however remain met with silence.
It seems that Steve Ross does not want to be in the spotlight, as he is completely untraceable on social media or the internet in general. According to this book Steve also has no part in the Bob Ross company and rumor has it that he and the executives did not part on friendly terms after the death of Bob Ross in 1995.
Wherever Steve Ross might be now, we wish him the very best.
You have painted along with Bob Ross for several episodes now and might even have tried fancy stuff using black gesso or contact paper. Your girlfriend/boyfriend is threatening to kick you out if you ‘put one more stupid mountain painting on the living room wall’. Your big two-inch-brush is losing its last hair and you feel like it is time for you to move on from ‘The Joy of Painting’.
While Bob Ross is a fantastic source of information for first time painters most of us feel like painting something else after a while. Armed with Bob’s basics of mixing colors, creating the illusion of distance, and applying highlights (remember: thin paint sticks to thick paint) there is nothing keeping you from venturing further into the realms of painting.
Since most of us already have the tools recommended for the Bob Ross technique we will take a look at some options in oil painting, so you don’t have to go out and buy new equipment. Or at least very little.
Kevin Hill is a 21 year old painter from California. He started painting by watching painting shows on PBS (most likely ‘The Joy of Painting’ with Bob Ross) when he was 15 years old, and has since become a master of the wet-on-wet-technique which he developed further. Kevin is not only a great painter, but also a wonderful instructor whose soft voice and friendly demeanor very much reminding us of Bob Ross himself.
Painting along with Kevin feels like the next logical step to take once you have mastered Bob’s technique. He sticks with the same nature themes and colors (which might annoy your significant other), but paints with much more detail. Most of the brushes Kevin uses should already be in your toolbox, but you might want to stock up on his beloved filbert brushes.
Today Kevin has his on painting show on PBS called ‘Paint with Kevin’. In each 30-minute episode, he provides instruction in a calm, reassuring manner and coaches viewers as they expand their painting skills.
Dave Usher is a painter from the United Kingdom. On his YouTube channel he focuses on oil, acrylics and watercolor painting. With over 40 years of experience Dave certainly knows what he is doing and in the several videos he uploads each week he proves to be a great teacher as well.
While Kevin Hill paints his nature scenes with more detail Dave Usher does it in a more impressionistic way, often using nothing more than a palette knife. Painting mainly motives of the british countryside most of his paintings are done in thirty minutes or less. Since Dave paints in three different mediums you might have to search a little bit until you find an oil painting.
If you have enough of following along with videos of other people painting here is an idea for you: just look through your smartphone, camera or photo books for motives you would like to paint and do it. Even if you have never painted a cityscape or a bowl of fruit before it is a great experience and you will learn a lot from it. Just be careful with paintings, as some people might get offended by your first try. Maybe stick to self portraits for the beginning.
Know another great painter to follow along with, or want to show us your own creations?
Send us a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us on Twitter.