Adobe Creative Cloud

The Joy of Sketching: An Homage to Bob Ross

With his soothing delivery and the obvious joy he took in his creative process, Bob Ross made painting look easy and, perhaps even more important, fun. In the 11 years that his PBS show The Joy of Painting aired in the United States, he inspired countless painters at every level and became a true American icon.

That’s just one reason Ross came to mind when we were thinking of ways to show people the almost limitless possibilities of Adobe Photoshop Sketch, a free mobile app whose natural-feeling drawing tools allow artists of all kinds to create expressive works of art. (You can watch all four Bob Ross–inspired Photoshop Sketch tutorial videos on Adobe Create.)

Like many of us, Kerensa Hogan, the Adobe Creative Cloud product marketing manager who dreamed up this mashup (after a conversation with her boss, director of product marketing Jane Brady), grew up with Bob Ross. “I thought Bob Ross’s style and what he represented made him a wonderful fit with Sketch,” she says. “I spent many of my childhood mornings with him at my grandmother’s house in the summer. She started my day out with a piece of sliced buttered toast, a glass of orange juice, and Bob Ross on PBS.”

Joan Kowalski, the media director for Bob Ross Inc., says she hears these types of stories all the time. And when Adobe approached Kowalski with the idea of combining a Bob Ross tribute with a Photoshop Sketch how-to, she was thrilled. “Bob’s wish was to inspire as many as people as possible to be creative and to share their creativity with others—Adobe’s Joy of Sketching series clearly has the same goal.”


Enter artist and teacher Chad CameronJoy of Sketching’s “Faux Bob Ross.” Hogan went to Cameron with the idea, and he liked it right away. “Of course I know Bob Ross from growing up,” he says. “I teach for a living, and although I don’t work in Ross’s style, I definitely think of him as a kindred spirit. At the broadest level, he exposed a lot of people—including me—to painting. Whether you were trained or not, it was fascinating to watch him put a painting together.”

Learn more about the project, watch all four videos, and download some of the custom brushes that “Faux Bob Ross” created for the project—all on this Adobe Create page.

Apps & Services, Illustration & Drawing, Mobile