I recently posted a few of my ship paintings on Instagram, one of which was a piece I did for my soon-to-be sister-in-law. I’ve always enjoyed taking little snapshots of a work-in-progress, but this time, I was careful to document the phases so I could talk about them here.

So… here we go!

At one point in the not-too-distant past, I took some time and watched a bunch of Bob Ross videos. About three weeks. About twenty videos. Anyhow, I discovered some beautiful patterns in how he creates his paintings. This one took a lot longer than his usual twenty minutes because I anticipated doing a lot more detail, but I started with the same basic framework.


Gradient and landscape blocking.

Look at that gradient: that’s a beautiful gradient. I loved that gradient. It hurt me to put the black on top of it. What hurt me more was starting on the clouds. I didn’t start quite as I should, so the entire sky felt like flying down a chaotic mineshaft of peril before I landed in the soft fluffiness of these clouds, and I added a little more light blocking to the waves.


Throw a little more detail on top the waves…


Then time to start on the goal of the piece. The ship.


I outlined it and then filled it in with grayscale. Added another round of detail along with the color…


And a final round of detailing finished her off. By the way, a happy little trick for any artists who might want to try this kind of detailing on a ship: ink pens. Micron ink pens in varying sizes do brilliantly for the delicate even lines needed to create good lookin’ rigging. Take a look at those beauties.


And once more I would love to thank Pinterest for this beautiful inspiration. I hope you all enjoyed this voyage as much as I did!!