B.O.B. R055’s Art Lessons In The Rage Of Painting

This alt text can just be our little secret

“Hello and welcome to the show,” says robot Bob Ross. “I’m your host, B.O.B. R055.” Today B.O.B. R055 and I are going to be learning how to draw a black square on a white background.

Now, as someone who used to work in an art store which sold Bob Ross art supplies and videos I must say my memories of non-robot Bob Ross have him muttering his way through paintings of forest trees rather than taking on the work of Malevich. Non-robot Bob Ross also didn’t host The Rage of Painting, nor had he been created as part of a month-long game jam on the Something Awful forums themed around public access television.

We’ve spoken about that game jam on here before, thanks to 2:22AM, but for some reason The Rage of Painting crept under the radar.

Modern art? I could have done that. Wait. No. It seems I really couldn't.

What you’re aiming to do in the game is to follow along with B.O.B R055’s increasingly taxing art tutorials aiming to replicate whatever he’s creating in a limited timeframe. You are unlikely to be able to produce a perfect copy because, as B.O.B. explains, “you are a weak arcane machine made of fat and proteins”. Also because the scoring system seems pretty arbitrary and I got full marks from one judge for leaving the canvas blank.

The reason I bring it up, though, isn’t to be glib but because the image in the final tutorial – a pretty complicated rendering of a Kerbal posing in front of an explosion – reminded me that this method can actually produce some not-terrible images.

There’s an exercise in a book called Drawing On The Right Side Of The Brain which gets you to practice drawing using an upside-down picture of Igor Stravinsky. The point is that your brain struggles to interpret upside-down images and thus you start drawing the lines and shapes you actually see. The exercise is about switching off the interference you get from pre-existing knowledge. It feels like a similar process with The Rage of Painting (if you don’t use the button which tells you what the finished image should look like).

There is a slim chance that I’m reading far too much into The Rage of Painting, but played straight-faced it could – at the very least – lead to some vaguely recognisable Kerbal portraits. I mean just LOOK at my vaguely recognisable Kerbal.

Do you recognise this Kerbal?

If you have a go at B.O.B. R055’s tutorials you should definitely let me know how you get on. In the meantime I will be hoping for an expanded version which teaches me how to make blotchy renditions of all the Dota heroes.


  1. Spacewalk says:

    I drew a penis for each one and got plenty of sexes and sevens even a ten!

    • Harlander says:

      Well, a lot of penises is probably handy for a lot of sexes.

  2. TonyB says:

    I’d never heard of Bob Ross (apparently he is shown in the UK, but I’d never come across him, presumably he’s much more niche); can someone make an alternative version of this where the robot is named after Tony Hart instead, so people like me can understand the point of the game? Bonus points if they include the music from The Gallery.

    • Neurotic says:

      How about a wee Morph to caper about on the loading screen?

    • Gap Gen says:

      link to mypenmyvoice.files.wordpress.com

      Art Attack: Modernist Warfare 2

    • LionsPhil says:

      Honestly, “Bob Ross but angry” is a joke that was old, tired, and not actually that funny two decades ago, when he died.

      Pretty amazing guy, though.

      • FataMorganaPseudonym says:

        Yeah, it’s sort of like the urban legends and “jokes” that people tell about Mister Rogers where he supposedly wore the sweaters to cover up his prison tats or that he was a sniper in Vietnam with 57 confirmed kills and other such asinine nonsense.

        Also, inb4 “M1st3r R0g3rs, It’s a Beautiful Rage in the Neighborhood,” or some such equally stupid thing.

    • foop says:

      I think you had to be of a certain generation to see Bob Ross in the UK. My hazy recollection suggests that he existed in that television vacuum in the summer holidays in the mid afternoon when BBC 2 was showing pages from CEEFAX and the only concession to children was an episode of Mr Benn that you’d already seen twenty times. I assume he’s still shown today, but on a digital channel that has eleven viewers and constantly shows adverts for incontinence pads and pay day loans.

      He was actually quite soothing to watch and I’m given to believe that if you follow his guidance it’s possible to create a pretty passable picture – although the pictures are all stuck in the same landscape idiom.

      • Baines says:

        You had to be of a certain generation to see Bob Ross at all.

        Yes, it still airs. But it isn’t like a kid in America is going to flip channels and discover Bob Ross today, the way you could when there were only four broadcast networks (not counting PBS) and cable and satellite weren’t practical options for most families. Back when kids might actually watch PBS, see a white guy with an afro talking about happy clouds, and realize that painting landscapes might not be as hard as they thought it was.

        I miss Bob Ross. And Mr. Rogers. And Jim Henson.

        • felisc says:

          I always listen to Bob Ross while stretching after sport, it just helps relaxing the whole body. Not the, er, most original painter, but that voice is the stuff. I recommend it to anyone feeling a bit too stressed.

        • bonuswavepilot says:

          He’s one of those folks who I know of pretty much exclusively through references in British comedy. They refer to him as ‘God’ in an episode of Peep Show, Mark using what he is painting as a random decision-making device.

      • LionsPhil says:

        I think I’m only aware of him due to satellite TV picking up German channels that broadcast him undubbed.

        Because to dub over his calm, soothing voice would be a crime beyond measure.

  3. 9of9 says:

    “The scoring system seems pretty arbitrary and I got full marks from one judge for leaving the canvas blank.” – and in the game, I presume?

  4. Barberetti says:

    I thought the text in the picture said “The rage of printing”. I remembered the shitty Lexmark printer I had a few years ago, and was like “Yeah, I’ve been there”.

  5. golem09 says:

    Reminds me of Pokedraw without the instant humiliation.

  6. Shadowcat says: