Professor Gibson
Thought Bubbles

Happy Little Trees and Mother-Daughter Bonding Time with Bob Ross

Hello, creative friends.

Creating has always been a deeply personal journey for me, a means to express, explore, and escape. But recently, it took on a new dimension as a bonding exercise with my daughter. Together, we embarked on an adventurous foray into digital painting, following along with the legendary Bob Ross, using the Procreate app.

Bob Ross and The Joy of Painting

With his soothing voice and magical ability to transform a blank canvas into a mesmerizing landscape, Bob Ross has inspired countless artists. His PBS show, “The Joy of Painting,” continues to cultivate creativity in people of all ages decades after its original broadcast. His philosophy that “we don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents” resonates profoundly, especially when introducing young minds to the world of art. And that phrase added a level of conversation during our time activity. More on that later.

We used the Final Grace tutorial from the end of season 2. 

Our Journey of Painting Along

We started by selecting a Bob Ross tutorial, ready with our iPads and styluses. As Bob Ross began to weave his magic, creating “happy little trees” and serene landscapes, we followed along, mirroring his strokes on our digital canvas.

The process was both challenging and rewarding. We had to adapt Ross’s techniques to a new medium and learn to create the same effects using digital brushes. We may have taken artistic liberties, but it is about expressing ourselves.

My daughter’s painting.
My painting.

Lessons Learned

One of the most fulfilling aspects of this exercise was the interaction and bonding it facilitated. As we painted, we shared our thoughts, struggles, and victories. We learned more about the brushes and how the program works. We still have some learning to do, but everything takes time.

In addition to the fun and bonding, this experience offered valuable lessons. It reinforced the idea that art is not about perfection but expression. It proved that it’s okay to make mistakes (or “happy little accidents”) and learn from them. And importantly, it highlighted the joy of sharing a creative journey, fostering connection and understanding.

The Bob Ross-Procreate painting sessions may soon become a cherished ritual for my daughter and me. She is already planning our next creative endeavor. She plans to continue this journey, painting more “happy little clouds” and “almighty mountains,” creating art, memories, and deepening our bond.

If you’re looking for a meaningful and creative bonding activity, consider painting along with Bob Ross, whether on a traditional canvas or a digital one like Procreate. You’ll create art, connections, and memories that you’ll cherish forever.

Happy painting!