How to throw a Bob Ross paint party on the Gold Coast

Paint-Along parties inspired by Bob-show, Ross’s The Joy of Painting, are a regular occurrence for me as an arts facilitator—and with reason: they are always well attended and discussed for weeks afterwards! This style of art party is ideal for both artists and non-artists, as simply playing the Bob Ross YouTube videos with their soothing commentary and simple-to-follow instructions to make a Gold Coast paint and sip party approachable for artists of all levels and ages.

A Bob Ross-inspired Paint Along party is an excellent theme for events for children, adults, and even mixed-age groups. It’s a simple way to keep children aged 8 and older occupied and makes a fun (and relatively inexpensive and easy) birthday party theme. It’s also appropriate for adult parties!

Although themed parties are less popular for adults than they are for children’s parties, I am convinced that everyone loves a themed party! It appears as though introverts, in particular, enjoy a theme that includes an activity. Many people in my social circle are introverted, and I’ve discovered that one way to accommodate them is to incorporate an interactive activity into my parties. I included a Knope-inspired competition at my Parks and Recreation-themed party to see who could collage the best birthday card from a stack of random magazines. I brought supplies for making friendship bracelets to my farewell paint and sip Gold Coast party prior to a year of travel in 2019. A guided paint party operates similarly – it allows participants to socialize as much or as little as they like while painting, laughing, and snacking their way through a shared project.

The Way To:

Following several successful rounds of hosting Bob Ross-inspired paint and sip Gold Coast parties, here is my step-by-step guide to hosting your own paint-along.

1. Decide on an episode

Do not wait until the last minute to choose an episode. Because the required paint colors differ each episode, the first step in planning is to choose an episode. Within the first two or three minutes, the screen will display the names of the paint colors. When they appear on the screen, copy them down—and if you want to be truly prepared, watch the entire episode to ensure that it is a suitable match for your group and to familiarize yourself with all the procedures in advance (especially helpful if you plan to play both host AND participant and try to paint along with everyone). Click here to read about How to use acrylic paint in a Gold Coast paint and sip studio.

2. Adapting Bob’s Supply List to Make It More Fun and Easier to Clean: Collecting Supplies

Bob Ross painted on extremely huge canvases with the use of gigantic easels and oil paints that took a long time to dry. None of those are actual materials for a paint and sip Gold Coast party—but fortunately, this aspect of Bob’s work is quite easy to replace with party-appropriate alternatives.

Because oil paint is notoriously difficult to clean, easels are costly, and huge canvases take significantly longer to paint, I completely abandon this method for paint and sip Gold Coast parties. The material list below replaces oil paint with easy-to-clean acrylic paint, medium-small canvases (usually 810 or 1117) with big stretched canvases, and arranges the workstation on a flat, covered surface rather than easels. With these resources, it’s simple to follow along with an episode and complete an hour-long painting.

PAINT: If no more than four people will be painting (6-8 if using very small canvases), the simplest way to stock up on paint is to purchase this large set of small tubes of acrylic paint in a variety of colors. This will eliminate the additional step of listing and locating the individual colors required for each episode. If you’re holding a larger event – more than 4-6 people – you’ll want to acquire full-size tubes of each paint color mentioned in the episode’s introduction.

CANVASES: Bob Ross recommended against painting on canvas boards (basically, canvas stretched over cardboard), but Bob never had to arrange an event for several amateur painters in a venue that needed to be stain-free at the end of the day! Canvas boards are simpler to work with than stretched canvas for tabletop, easel-less painting. On Amazon, you can purchase 24 of these bad guys for less than $20.

PRO TIP: Keep a roll of masking or painter’s tape on available to secure canvas boards to the table. Children, in particular, can cope easier with this activity if you tape down their canvas or put a couple loops of tape to the back of their canvas to keep it from sliding about on the table as they paint.


A collection of brushes in various sizes is quite beneficial. There should be sufficient brushes to allow each artist to have one of each variety. If you’re hosting this party on a budget, DON’T buy the cheapest brushes (or paint) you can find. Brush quality, like paint quality, has a significant influence on the final painting – and consequently on the partygoer’s perception of their experience. Beg, borrow, and invest in the best brushes you can—and wash them properly after the paint and sip Gold Coast party to ensure they’re in tip-top form for your next job.

Fan Brushes and Palette Knives

Bob Ross frequently used fan brushes and palette knives in his work. Apart from experienced artists, they are not widely used tools, although they may be acquired online or at any craft store. While these ingredients are convenient to have on hand, you will likely notice no difference in the end result if you omit them.

Two Buckets (one for clean paint water and another for filthy paint water):

Throughout the event, brushes will need to be cleansed, and individual paint containers will get too saturated with colour to be effective. If two buckets are placed at the end of the table, one for dirty water and one for clean water, the paint and sip Gold Coast party will run more smoothly with less halting of the camera.

Cups/Jars for Paint

For paint water, reusable mason jars or single-use solo glasses work well. Each place setting should have a paint cup ready for easily washing brushes or diluting paint.

If you choose to spend on these paint cups, the investment will pay off in the form of solid, broad bottom cups that are resistant to tipping over. They’re also somewhat larger, which means they’ll require less water refills.