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Golden Rays of Sunshine

TonyM 31 Jan 2022

First painting of my life ... Bob Ross S28e4 - Golden Rays of Sunshine
Back Story:
Back in 2007ish, I bought my dad the Bob Ross Master Painting set and a bunch of brushes for Christmas. Unfortunately he never got around to using the set before he passed in 2010. Dad gave me the set back before he passed and made me promise to try it out at some point. Well, here we are 12 years later, and I broke out the set and I am going to give this a shot. I looked through a few BR videos and saw that S28E4 – Golden Rays of Sunshine was recommended by Bob for a beginner. I used a 12 X 16 black canvas.
Now keeping in mind that I am a complete beginner and have never painted a painting in my life, I decided that I would write s self critique of my ‘attempt’ and ask for constructive criticism from the group. I would be honored if you would take the time to read through my self critique, review my painting, and add any constructive comments you may have. Many thanks in advance.
Bob Ross S28E4 – Golden Rays of Sunshine – Self Critique of my very 1st attempt at painting.
- I used the painting sponge to make the larger trees using the technique BR shows in the video. I need to practice a lighter touch when doing this as I had some paint piling up on the edges of a few trees which looks odd to me.
-Another point on using this technique to paint trees is making sure to apply a bit of pressure on the sponge as you draw down to make sure the tree is wider as you go towards the bottom of the tree. A bit tricky, as that is how I ended up with paint ‘piling up’ at the edge of a few trees. More practice with a lighter touch this technique needed to improve on this and item listed above.
-Painting the lighter trees as you go to the edges was a big problem for me. When I first painted the lighter trees with the sponge, they looked horrible (I should have taken a picture at that point). I spent a good 2 hours touching the trees up with the script liner brush to at least make them presentable to my eye.
-Tree shapes: I think I did OK on the overall shape of the trees. I do need to make sure I don’t get too many ‘fat spots’ in the trees where there are abnormal looking fatter sections to a branch or tree trunk.
-Smaller trees/most branches: I painted the smaller trees and almost all the branches with a script liner brush. Besides the ‘fat spots’ on a few branches, I need to improve on the shape of the branches. A few of the biggest branches look too straight to my eye. The lighter colored tree branches definitely need some improvement.
-Shading on trees: I really need to pay better attention in this area. I tried to get the shading right on some of the trees, but I would say I definitely did not pull off that technique with much success. Definitely a major are to practice.
- Bushes: I initially tried the sponge technique that BR uses in the video for this step, but my results were horrible (again, I should have taken a picture at that point). I ended up going over the bushes dabbing with wadded up paper towels. Ended up much better to my eye, but again, an area for improvement.
- Sticks: I added some sticks to the foliage, but they do not look realistic to me.
PATH: The path looks unrealistic to me. Not happy with it.
-Overall, I think I may have had just a bit too much liquid clear to start.
-The lowest of the light beams appears to be coming from the wrong direction slightly.
-I think the foliage ended up being one of the strongest parts of the painting.
As I stated earlier, I would be honored if you would take the time to read through my self critique, review my painting, and add any constructive comments you may have, good or bad. Many thanks in advance.
I'll get a better pic of the completed painting in the morning when the lighting is better.



For your first painting I think you did a great job! I have never used a sponge on any of my BR attempts. I want to look at that video to see how he used it.. Your tree limbs look good. Limbs were one of the hardest things for me.. Mine would all look too fat.. paint thinner on script liner brush helps to thin your paint.. then the smaller limbs were easier.. For the trail I would suggest using pallet knife to add some highlights with white mixed with a brownish color. Let it break as you apply , using no pressure on the knife. I have been doing oils with BR since 2019 and enjoy it. I would encourage you to keep at it. Practice, practice practice! Happy painting and God bless!

flippergirlpaints Top Event Submitter

Really good first painting! A lovely backstory, and glad you finally decided to go for it! It sounds like you learned a lot about the process and tools used by Bob. You will definitely evolve with each painting. As far as the foam brushes go - I have some and I have tried them. I do not like them at all for trees! I agree with your assessment. Now I just have brushes I use for the acrylic/gesso trees, etc.

Thank You KarenKEY and flippergirlpaints. Your comments are much appreciated to this newbie ;)

I think this is a WONDERFUL attempt at a first painting that is so very different from many of the others! Great work here!

I love your backstory. Your dad is proud of you for doing this, I am certain!

I still have the same issue with my trunks getting unneeded “lumps” that I then have to touch up. Practice solves everything though! Same with the liner brush branches and sticks. Some days they work well for me, but most days…eh…

It sounds like you definitely have an eye for “what looks right” to you and what doesn’t, and a willingness to fix it. That’s huge, it took me a good ten paintings to develop both of those skills. Keep going and be FEARLESS, this is a great start on a wonderful hobby that brings so much joy to the world! Welcome!

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