Absolute Beginner

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Hang on Studio Wall
Hi all. Quick intro: My name is Andrew, I'm 57, retired engineer, originally from London now living near Lincoln. I was recently given a Bob Ross starter kit as a present having told my sister how much I enjoyed the TV shows and my initial experiments were sufficient to make me feel I can actually do this. I intend to start off basically copying the TV tutorials until I'm reasonably comfortable with the techniques, then use my very suitable local area to inspire me further. I wonder if I could kick off with a question about prepping the canvas. I have a selection of ARTdiscount brand canvasses and would like to know if these are 'ready to go' for wet-on-wet oil painting. They are pre-primed but what I can't tell from the packaging is whether they are sized - and if they are not does it matter? Looking forward to sharing my efforts with you once I get a scanner (or a better camera :-) ) Andyroo

by Andrew Sitton

Hi Andy, and welcome to the forum. For a beginner, you may have been better with canvas boards, they’re easier to work on.   However, your canvases should all come ready to go. All necessary gesso priming will, or should have been done, so don’t concern yourself on that score! As for following in the footsteps of Bob Ross, I’ll refrain from making a comment, but good luck in your progress and my only advice would be to not try and copy someone else’s style, subject matter or methods  too closely, do your own thing once you have the confidence! 

by Alan Bickley

Welcome to the forum Andy! I know a lot of artists not keen on Bob Ross but it’s great that the programmes have inspired you! Personally I found the “happy” trees etc maddening. Agree with Alan about not copying another artist’s style slavishly. Good luck and enjoy!! 
Welcome to POL and the forum Andy, lots of experienced people who are always willing to help. I have to agree with all that has been said bout doing your own thing. I would use tutorials to get an idea but not follow them slavishly. I’m not a Bob Ross  fan, but can understand how he could appeal to beginners , I would strongly recommend that you look at other artist tutorials as well as they will give different ways for achieving tasks. Good look and I look forward to seeing you work in the gallery.
Thanks for the welcomes and comments, and don't worry, I won't be a Bob Ross "magician's apprentice", it's just a place to start until I know enough to look wider and develop in other directions. :)
I've done a bit of more or less random trawling through the forums and I see that the mention of Bob Ross tends to evoke some pretty strong opinions. The gist appears to be "ok for hobbyists but not to be taken too seriously". Well I guess that's ok for me right now because a hobbyist is all I see myself being or likely to become. As a novice approaching sixty I don't expect painting to become much more than something fun to do in my spare time, so I'll try not to ruffle too many serious artistic feathers. :)
Hi Andrew, welcome to the forum, lots of different opinions on Bob Ross, I must say having watched some of his programmes I can understand why, but if it's inspired you to have a go well that's great, you will soon want to develop your own style. There will be lots of good advice from the experts on this forum, good luck with the painting 👍😀
Hi Andrew, glad you’ve had the courage to pick up some paints. COVID and various lockdowns has encouraged quite a few people to paint who have never painted before. Unfortunately, I’m not a fan of Bob Ross either, but it’s a starting point. During the first lockdown Grayson Perry had a great program on Channel 4, called Grayson’s Art Club, his encouragement was infectious, and truly heartfelt. I think the programs can still be seen on catch up. They’re well worth a watch, he used set a task every week and invite people to send him their art. Good luck with your painting. 👍🏻🎨
Hello and welcome to the POL forum, Andyroo :)
Hi Andrew, I took up painting during the lockdown. I had never done it before or sketched. Someone told me to watch Bob Ross but I never got around to it. I kind of muddled through, doing my own things and learning along the way. I didn't know anyone who did any art until I join this site a couple of months ago. People here are helpful and will give you great advice, especially if you don't know what you are doing, I am still very unsure a lot of the time. The community video's are a great source for learning, there are tutorials there also that you can follow. I also took up sketching on the sketching post here and that has help me with my painting. Good luck with your painting, I just love it.
Welcome Andrew! I started out painting with acrylics on a one day course with my mum, somewhere in the back end of north Wales about 12 years ago. It wasn't a 'course' as such,  more of a fun day with great lunch! Anyway.. however you get inspired, just enjoy it 😀 Re canvasses... I have found that the cheaper variety are more difficult to paint on...  Doesn't  mean that you can't paint on them.. They are great for starting out on your painting adventures.