Talent

I was watching some Bob Ross clips online to get some painting tips and trying to learn a little something before I tackled painting #2, when good ol’ Bob said something that really struck a chord. Here’s the quote:

What is talent? Talent is nothing more than a pursued interest. In other words, things that you’re interested in you’ll spend a lot more time working at than something you’re not interested in. So that’s all talent is – it’s if you’re willing to practice and spend the time to perfect something.

I love that. It really goes with what my previous post was about. So many people keep themselves from trying new things because they have no “talent” for it. But like Mr. Ross says, talent is simply something you choose to work at and develop. Sure, some folks may have a natural gift for whatever it is, and make it look easy right off the bat. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be just as good – it might just take more time and effort.

Food for thought, anyway.

So with my first painting I didn’t really experiment at all with the palette knife I purchased, and decided I wanted to go after it in my second painting. After watching several videos of Bob Ross making mountains, I figured it looked easy enough and that’s what I would do.

It turns out, it’s not as easy as it looks. After finishing the painting, I went back and watched the video I had learned the technique from, and realized I missed a crucial step of blending the base mountain color before trying to add snow-capped peaks. Such a rookie mistake. Next time I’ll know.

To be honest, about midway through the painting I was seriously at a loss for what to do because it just wasn’t turning out the way I wanted. The thought of wasting a canvas loomed heavily. So I didn’t take as many pictures this time around documenting the process. I was too busy stretching my creative muscle trying to figure out how to fix the darn thing.  It still didn’t turn out the way I wanted, but I was able to salvage it just a little bit from the direction it was originally going…so that’s something.

So without further ado…

I started with the background sky again, this time going much lighter than my first painting.

I started with the background sky again, this time going much lighter than my first painting. Da Vinci, eat your heart out.

Then I tried to get handy with the palette knife to make mountains. I got the first part right, but this is where I should have blended the brown paint before adding snow. Dammit, Matt, you fool!

Then I tried to get handy with the palette knife to make mountains. I got the first part right, but this is where I should have blended the brown paint before adding snow. Dammit, Matt, you fool!

Added some clouds. Also added the snow as mentioned earlier. Then I added trees at the base, but these would ultimately disappear.  The painting is upside down so I could work on the bottom without painting up the easel. Once I get some masking tape to cover the easel, I won't have to do this.

Added some clouds. Also added the snow as mentioned earlier. Then I added trees at the base, but these would ultimately disappear.
The painting is upside down so I could work on the bottom without painting up the easel. Once I get some masking tape to cover the easel, I won’t have to do this. Thanks for the tip, dad!

At this point I tried adding very large trees to the foreground and wound up messing up the whole thing. I erased them somehow, turned it into a lake, put red/yellow/orange bushes at the base of the mountain for color and called it finished.  I tried to get fancy with some reflections in the water, but as you can see it didn't pan out so well. I also messed up the signature again - way too big.

At this point I tried adding very large trees to the foreground and wound up messing up the whole thing. I erased them somehow, turned it into a lake, put red/yellow/orange bushes at the base of the mountain for color and called it finished.
I tried to get fancy with some reflections in the water, but as you can see it didn’t pan out so well. I also messed up the signature again – way too big. Smaller brush next time. Or maybe this will just be my thing. Who knows?

Not as good as I was hoping, but considering where it was midway through, the end result is better than what I expected. All in all, a night well spent. And if you’ve made it this far, thanks a ton for reading!

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