painting

You Can Find Every ‘Joy of Painting’ Painting in This Searchable Bob Ross Database

We spoke to computer programmer Felix Auer about his archive of every painting made in ‘The Joy of Painting.’
April 5, 2017, 6:59pm
Screencaps,via

From 1983 to 1994, American painter Bob Ross hosted 31 seasons of The Joy of Painting, a half-hour instructional art show that taught techniques for landscape painting. At the end of each episode, Ross would complete a single composition made over the course of his lesson. Now, thanks to Bob Ross superfan, Felix Auer, you can browse through all 403 of the paintings made during the Joy of Painting days in a searchable database called Two Inch Brush.

Auer first discovered Bob Ross in 2015, after Twitch played a marathon for the late painter's birthday. Quickly falling in love with the show, Auer got some painting supplies for Christmas and tried to paint along with Bob for the first time. He soon discovered that choosing a new episode to paint along with takes quite a bit of time: "You have to click on a random youtube video on the Bob Ross channel, go to the end to see what the finished painting looks like and if you like it, and then you have to go to the beginning of the episode where he tells you which colors are used for this paintings and check if you have them at home. I was sure that somebody already build a database that shows you the finished paintings and tells you which colors are used, so you can save yourself some clicks," says Auer. "But nobody did."

The 22-year-old studies mathematics in Vienna and does computer programming work on the side. He quickly put together a small prototype of the database and post it on some forums to get some feedback. After hearing some positive responses from other online users, Auer decided to add some more features like title search and color search functions filters. Over the last few weeks, Auer has uploaded every painting every made on the show. Astoundingly, he says it took 14 hours to listen to the first two minutes of every episode at double speed in order to record the colors used and the take screenshots of the finished paintings. "I've gotten so used to the way Bob sounds at double speed that I can't watch the joy of painting anymore because it sounds so weird to hear Bob talk at a normal speed," Auer says.

In addition to a search database, Two Inch Brush also features a Getting Started page and a section about the tools and paints that you need to paint along with Bob. There's a "Fan Made" thread where Auer posts pictures of work made by users of the site, as well as a Twitter account that posts random Bob Ross paintings everyday. Auer also manages a blog on the website, where he writes article like 5 Things You Didn't Know About Bob Ross, and Show Your Love For Bob Ross With These Awesome Articles of Clothing.

Check out the Two Inch Brush database for yourself here.

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