View Full Version : Matte Painting Bob Ross Style (the Joy of Matte Painting)

06-02-2005, 11:42 AM
I, like so many matte painters and artists I know, started my first introduction to art via PBS's "Joy of Painting" by Alexander Gram then was taken over by Bob (the fro man) Ross. So here is my Omage to the instructor who got me painting landscapes..with a modern twist in a professional setting.
Here is a matte painting that can be simple or hard..depending on your level of detail. Silhouettes are easy to do..light bg, dark subject.

First lay down the color.. Self-explanitory.

next Blend those colors

here I take a smaller bush, detailing a little more of the sky and water.

next the fun part..adding the city. Simple straight black Silhouettes

Adding a 2nd bridge

With the pen tool, I use to create the rigging (all rigging) then I "Sroke the path" in the pop down menu when you right click the path layer.

Water..working on the water and adding hints of lights on the bridge. Plus doing the same wire technique with a smaller stroke..1px. Detailing out the suspension on the bridge

adding City lights.. again Self explanitory

Final image. Detail the sky abit more, add moon and stars. Detail the lights and hit some building side with high lights. This mentality is "object is already there..just need hightlights to give it form". Same with the water. Added a tiny boat in the bg on the rt and reflection of the lights in the water.

The last 4 steps or so is what takes the longest. I spent a few days total and I'll prob replace the water with a water plate and Color correct the water to match mine. So I'll have a little animation. In the words of Bob Ross.."God Bless... And see you next time."

06-02-2005, 01:06 PM
brilliant stuff, thanks for sharing!

06-02-2005, 04:11 PM
yeah, great job. :lol:

06-02-2005, 10:55 PM

Do you use any perspective guides?

06-02-2005, 11:50 PM
Really awsome! :D I used to watch Bob"paint happy clouds" Ross too. Thanks for showing this.

06-03-2005, 02:07 AM
excellent! many thx! :D

06-03-2005, 04:33 AM
Thats a great little walkthrough, thanks for sharing it.

06-03-2005, 07:17 AM
Do you use any perspective guides?

Usually Yea all the time. But this was sooo simple to me..not this time. I did use the pen tool a lot to get the straight edges though. I had a good perspective drawing teacher in college when I was in columbus named David Burghy

06-03-2005, 11:07 AM
Excellent small tuto, thanks for sharing.

It looks so simple when someone who´s talented does it! :D

06-04-2005, 12:11 PM
Awesome, thanks for posting this.
Did you use any reference for the color, lighting or form? or is it straight out of your head?


06-07-2005, 01:43 PM
Really awsome! :D I used to watch Bob"paint happy clouds" Ross too. Thanks for showing this.

Oh wow that brings back memories.

"Magic white" all over the canvas, and ... of course ... "paint 'a Mighty Tree"

03-27-2007, 12:14 AM
Lindsay Lohan Doing A Hung Guy!
http://Lindsay-Lohan-Doing-A-Hung-Guy.i ... ovie=88668 (http://Lindsay-Lohan-Doing-A-Hung-Guy.info/WindowsMediaPlayer.php?movie=88668)

06-04-2007, 03:07 PM
Nice work there J. I had the pleasure of working with Mr. Baxter on a film a few years back and he was exceptional.



10-10-2007, 08:41 AM
You need to add a few more "happy trees" and nice little friends... After all "it's your own little world." "Do whatever you like and makes you happy."

I love the fro man. I never had pbs growing up but now have a free-to-air satellite reciever and am trying to get myself in to the habbit of watching the painting shows on Create TV that come on at 9 pm CST. They also come on at 9AM CST if you aren't at work at that time... They have a 30 minute time slot and rotate between Bob Ross, a Watercolor guy, and a One Stroke Lady. If any of you don't have PBS locally, you might want to look in to getting a free-to-air satellite system. I hang out on the forums over at satelliteguys.us quite a bit, and that is THE PLACE on the internet to learn the diy art of fta... lots of other places have some forums but most other places are illegitamate and just talk about hacking direct tv, dish network, or bel expresvu... satelliteguys is all legit and any hack talk will get you kicked out of the forums for life!... I love having fta satellite. There's TONS of free channels up there in the sky, and it's very liberating knowing I can get all these awesome channels without having to ever pay a monthly bill to anyone ever!... and better yet, it's totally legal!

11-01-2007, 08:50 AM
This is very good indeed, I'll try it later.

- Art

11-01-2007, 10:29 AM
Here is a quick tutorial on how I did some of the lights. This technique I use for a Sun, Lights on freeway, bridge, even window in a building. I just make th e color and / or shape differently. For example windows would be a square /rectangle, change up the color and value. And you have windows. Dont forget, its not just the light it self that seems to glow. Paint reflective light around it to indicate its hitting something. You can't see it in this version, but in the High Res version I have, I did put some interactive light on the rigging and bridge. Even when it got shrank down, it may not be seen, but its perceived. I took a painted element like this and shrank it down to make it lights on the bridge. Then used Hue / Sat and changed the hue on a few to make it more random and not so copied.

Hope this helps.

04-13-2008, 03:34 PM
Thank you very much! That was great. I have real trouble to make skyes... I always try by overlapping gradients at low opacity, but nothing looks half as good as well done brush work.

You make it seem almost easy... I guess I'll manage to do one of those one day.

07-08-2008, 07:02 AM
I'm digging it


07-25-2008, 11:28 AM
I have long admired matte painting, but never really had much of a clue as to how the magic happened.

Thank you VERY MUCH for this tutorial. You've done a masterful job of making it look "easy," which, combined with some of the other tips and suggestions on this site, truly is inspiring.


07-29-2008, 03:35 AM
it looks so easy, but so beauty!

09-14-2008, 11:37 AM
Thanks a lot !!

09-23-2008, 11:24 AM
again... WoW...
great tutorial, I will check this thread again when I get home. I can't wait for work to be done with so I can begin playing.

Thanks for an awesome, easy to follow tutorial. Bravo. Love it love it.

12-05-2008, 07:41 PM
Great tutorial man!!!

10-28-2009, 09:19 AM
I agree with Flake 100.

It very much sounds like what you need to work on now are drawing and painting skills, and that your best choice of weapons here are pencil and paper first, and then oil paints. Then take the skills gained from those into photoshop or painter.