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Wet on Wet Oil Painting Lessons

Hi! I'm David Wiles, the painting policeman! Welcome to my website. Watch the little video above, click an image below to find out more.

wet on wet oil painting lessons

“Who is this painting policeman?” I hear you say. Well, allow me to introduce myself.

I was born in Warrington in 1958 when it was still a Lancashire town and at the tender age of sixteen, I joined the Cheshire Constabulary as a Police Cadet. I went on to serve as a Police Officer in the Runcorn and Warrington Divisions before transferring to the Lancashire Constabulary in 1981. After policing the Preston area for many years, I retired in 2006 having served my 30 years in the Police Force.

wet on wet oil painting lessons

Where Does the Painting Come In?

It was in the late nineties that I first happened upon a television programme called the ‘Joy of Painting’. I was mesmerised by this tall bushy-haired, softly spoken man painting a landscape in oils on a canvas using 2” and 1” brushes in 27 minutes. Initially, like many who’ve seen the show, I thought they’d edited the programme to fit into the time slot. They hadn’t, it was truly 27 minutes.

I was fascinated with his technique and accomplishment within such a short time. I had no formal painting background, but I had been bitten by the bug and so started my love affair with this Wet on Wet technique of painting.

I have attended numerous one-day workshops over the years and painted in my studio keeping true to the technique. In 2014 I attended and completed an Instructors Course. So here I am – a fully Certified Ross Instructor.

wet on wet oil painting lessons

Who Is Bob Ross?

Bob Ross was an American artist who sadly passed away in 1995. He was introduced to this “Wet on Wet” style of painting (also known as Alla Prima) by a fellow artist named Bill Alexander. Bob was a student of his and was greatly influenced by him.

The style wasn’t anything new. In fact, it has been used throughout art history and is still used today. Rather, it was their chosen method to paint landscapes and they made it accessible to countless artists the world over.

Bob soon became independent and started his own company, Bob Ross Inc., which is still going strong to this day.

wet on wet oil painting lessons

What Exactly is 'Wet On Wet'?

Wet on Wet refers to a technique of painting where a thin white oil paint known as ‘liquid white’ is brushed onto the canvas before any other oils are applied. This creates a wet surface. As you apply the thicker oils on top of this, you are able to blend and move these paints to your heart’s content, hence ‘Wet on Wet’.

It takes away the traditional way of oil painting where you had to wait for each layer to dry before applying another colour on top. Liquid black and liquid clear can also be used in the same way as the liquid white.

wet on wet oil painting lessons

The Bob Ross Legacy

Bob’s lasting legacy is that anyone can paint.

“This is your world,” he would say.

Painting is not just for the art graduates, the talented and gifted artists of which there are many, but for the ordinary person in the street who would like to think they could have a go and produce their own masterpiece.

Well, the good news is… you can!