Data on the paintings by Bob Ross

Paintings by Bob Ross featured on PBS's "The Joy of Painting."

Data points in paintings are intriguing indicators of what the artist’s style and intentions are. Bob Ross, the famous TV persona who runs the show “The Joy of Painting” on PBS, certainly followed a pattern when sharing techniques with his audience. Of the 381 pieces he’d done on PBS, trees, clouds, lakes and other elements of nature frequently came up, whereas there was only 1 painting with a human figure. There are more interesting findings, such as “given he had painted 1 Happy Tree, what is the probability he paints another Tree Friend for it?”. This result came back to be 93%. Overall, his paintings were more simplistic and nature-focused. This aligned when I found out most audiences are tuning in for “his calming voice”, rather than learning elaborate techniques.


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