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Royal Majesty

dracula 11 Nov 2019

Though I was working from the book, Bob warns in the television episode that this painting is challenging. He wasn't kidding; there are a lot of moving parts in this one. It took me longer than usual to complete.

I like the effect that happens when using prussian blue in the sky. It has a dark, dramatic quality that appeals to my sensibilities.


I really like this, the juxtaposition of the light in the upper left quadrant vs the relative darkness elsewhere is nice. The mist over the stream somehow help to accent the cooler v the warmer halves of the painting.

Felix Creator of

Another great painting by Dr. Acula!
What size of canvas do you use? Also your paintings seem like you use only little color, which creates a kind of 'airy' effect - is that right?

Hi Dracula, this painting is great on all fronts, the structure on your mountains is really good, the trees are very good, the rocks and waterfall are really perfect, big compliment to you, you are a great artiest, keep it up.

dracula Power Painter

Thank you! I am glad you enjoy it. I like watching this episode and it was pretty satisfying to paint it. I appreciate the detailed information you all provided; it helps me a great deal to get a more objective perspective, because after 3, 4, 5, or 6 hours at the easel, things kinda stop making sense sometimes!

@Felix -- first, thank you so much for all the wonderful site updates (and custom tagline!). You have made something really worthwhile and it is much appreciated! To answer your question: all of my Bob Ross paintings so far have been the standard ol' 18x24 canvas. This seems a good size for me, especially with those 2-inch brushes. As far as color, I try to keep things subtle, particularly in the foreground. I'm not sure all of the detail shows up well in photographs, but my underlying philosophy for the foreground is to use a little bit of a lot of different colors, if that makes sense. That said, I may have under-did it in this painting.

lightsnow Community Helper

This came out very nicely. Royal Majesty has been on my 'to-do' list for a long time, but it always seemed really challenging, so I've been holding off. What kind of equipment are you using in terms of brushes and knives? Looking at your style of mountain, I'm wondering if I could paint a mountain that way using the 2 Bob Ross brand knives.

I really like your distant evergreens! Are you creating those with the fan brush?

I'm also wondering about the colors you are using. While I love Bob Ross's paintings, oftentimes the color scheme is a bit 'unnatural,' so I'm always mindful of that. Your paintings always have a color scheme that is more consistent with what one would expect to see in nature.

dracula Power Painter

Thank you @lighsnow! With 24 Bob Ross landscapes under your belt, I'd say you are more than up for than challenge of painting Royal Majesty. I hope you'll give it a try!

I used both of the Bob Ross knives for the mountains and rocks. Between the two, I tend to use the big knife for blocking in shapes and the small knife for highlights and texture. I'd say the mountain in this painting is 90% knife work with some extra highlights put in with a 1/4" flat brush and (probably) the filbert brush. Also, I blended out some edges, particularly on the far mountain, using a very soft, kinda small mop brush.

The distant evergreens were done with the small #3 fan brush. For evergreens with detail I also have been using a bristle flat brush that I cut to a diagonal point (I think that's also called a dagger brush) to gently coax some needle-like texture at the outer edges. There's less of that in this painting than some others I've done recently.

The two colors I make sure are Bob Ross brand are the Midnight Black (I have not found another color that matches) and Titanium White (because it really is drier and breaks better on the mountains). Beyond those, my paints are of mixed brands, but the same colors Bob uses. Because I'm not painting for television cameras, I can afford to aim for more naturalistic colors. I just think about experiences I've had in similar natural environments and try to emulate those colors while staying somewhat within the parameters of Bob's instruction. If you get a chance to look at the Bob Ross books for each series, the versions in those are a little less intense, more naturalistic, and more detailed, generally speaking, than the versions he paints on the TV show.

An absolutely fantastic painting! The distant trees are quite misty and it looks amazing. What brush did you use for the dead trees?

dracula Power Painter

Thanks @Nick Navarra, I appreciate it!
The dead trees were done with the liner brush alone using liquid white and a mixture of browns and maybe some paint thinner along the way.

Dracula, this one is very dramatic overall not only the sky. Recently I did painting with another artist with wet-on-wet technique. The difference was there with more details and more color variations to address the variation of lighting in that one and these details as I realized make very big difference. That painting is my favorite so far of oil paintings I made. So yesterday I was looking at Bob Ross painting in terms of what details I can add and where the problematic points for me. I also tend to try book rather than TV to avoid that stress of the painting with TV sow when you always in hurry even you pause it 3 million times. You always give some level of details at the trees even at background. I'd even say you painting style is neat. I love it so much! Thank you for sharing your info and tricks! I think it will help me a lot!

What pigment is in Bob Ross' midnight black?

I decided to take a challenge and after my last post went to do the same painting. Well.... it was a challenge as my canvas was almost toothless and paint was not holding well too it. So now I know how to make mud and I am almost pro at it. That was a lesson that canvas are very important too. It took good 5 hours with clean up after.

dracula Power Painter

@SunnyLady: Thank you, I appreciate your kind words!

The Bob Ross black seems to lean pretty far toward purple compared to other standard blacks like ivory black or lamp black. I tried making my own on Christmas Eve Snow a few months ago using lamp black and dioxazine purple, but it didn't really work. If I had to hazard a guess, I'd bet it's more like a blend of alizarin crimson, prussian blue, and van dyke brown with perhaps a bit of ivory black to tone it down. I may try again to make my own, if only for the color mixing practice.

I am glad you tried Royal Majesty. That's unfortunate that your canvas was not up to the task. I recently upgraded to (slightly) higher quality canvases and it does make a difference. For me, I was having lots of trouble with ghosting from the stretcher bars showing up while I was painting. The better canvases don't seem to do that. I hope that you'll be able to try this painting again; I look forward to seeing it!

lightsnow Community Helper

@Dracula - Thanks very much for this fantastic advice. By the time I wrote out this comment, I had already purchased a dagger brush and I used it on evergreens in my latest painting. I found it great for adding additional details, particularly due to the brush's shape,

I'll completely agree with the Ross brand titanium white. I had to break and order a large tube online as the WN brand white I bought (value pack, 2 big tubes for 25$ [Canadian, mind you]) was simply not cutting it. Consistency of creamy custard. Impossible to make paint break. Take a look at my crack at 'Mountain at sunset.' This was the first painting where I was very mindful of naturalistic colors but unfortunately, my mountain looks like a cake slathered in icing.

I didn't know about the midnight black, however. Perhaps due to my having absolutely 0 experience with anything painting related, I naively believed black is pretty much just black, and got a big tube of ivory black from the WN brand. I'm really looking forward to cracking open that titanium white and trying my hand at mountains again. I think I used up my small tube of it in the first 4-5 paintings I made, and looking back, I can tell where I switched to the WN brand!

I have Bob Ross' the new joy of painting book and have been considering following along in that way. I just haven't made the plunge yet.

dracula Power Painter

@lightsnow - Glad to hear you've had success with the dagger brush. I actually don't have a proper one yet. I just cut a long-hair flat to make the shape. I am going shopping for supplies soon, so I will look for an actual dagger brush then.

I couldn't agree more about the Bob Ross Titanium White. I suppose, in a pinch, we could leave the Winsor & Newton out in the open for a day or put in on absorbent paper for a bit to dry it out, but it's just easier to get those big ol' tubes of Bob Ross white---sounds like you got a good bargain!

Yes, in both the black and white paints available, there is a surprising range of subtle difference in color, consistency, and transparency. Eventually, I'd like to practice more doing Bob Ross paintings with a more conventional black, but I've got the big tube of Midnight Black, so that'll do for now.

@dracula: I figured out what pigments are in the midnight black, i had to google a while to find a good photo of the cover. So it is Pg7 which is Phtalo green from Winsor and PR83 which is Alizarin crimson.
I have not tried to mix myself yet, but I'll surely do as it will help to bind the picture elements and colors together however we don't use phtalo green often with Bob.
@lightsnow: i was also naive to think that black is balck with black pigment but after little research there are 2 ways to get black oil color: use complimentary colors or mix of 3 (winsor has it for sell as ready mix) no black pigments involved in this case or buy black color that actually contains black pigment in it.

Felix Creator of

dracula I absolutely love the amount of knowledge transfer that's happening in your posts!

I am thinking about adding the possibility to write guides and share them with other users, so valueable tips don't get lost in the comment section of an older painting.

Would you use such a feature and share your knowledge with the community?

dracula Power Painter

@Felix - Yes, there does seems to be a lot of good information tucked away in the comments on the site. I would ABSOLUTELY use a feature for writing guides to consolidate information and experiences I glean from painting. The community here is very knowledgeable, encouraging, and generous; it would be great to harness that a little bit more while we're all learning and improving together.

Felix Creator of

Great! I'll try to get it out during my Christmas holiday. 😊

dracula Power Painter

Thanks Felix, I'll look forward to it!

Oh, wow, such a wonderful news! For sure I'd love to learn from Dracula!

Voy Kay Conqueror of Challenges

A true masterpiece … words escape me for the moment. And thanks SO MUCH for all your great advices and comments, this is really helpful and enjoyable to us all! 😊

Felix Creator of

Articles are live! 😊

Thank you Felix!

dracula Power Painter

Indeed, thank you Felix! I will begin assembling some articles!

Stunning! The way the background trees flow and that misty area by the rocks makes this a memorable painting. Just lovely.

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