Bob Ross Most Expensive Painting

Most Expensive Bob Ross Paintings – Bob Ross Painting Values

Almost anyone who loves to paint (and even those who do not) has heard of the legendary Bob Ross at least once in their lives. Known for his famous television series in which he instructed the viewers how to paint landscapes in his distinctly peaceful manner, there are thought to be more than 30,000 original Bob Ross paintings. Did Bob Ross sell his artworks though, and if so, how much are Bob Ross’ paintings worth? Today, we will find out which is the most famous Bob Ross painting as well as Bob Ross’ most expensive painting.



The Legendary Bob Ross

Date of Birth29 October 1942
Date of Death4 July 1995
Place of BirthDaytona Beach, Florida, United States

Bob Ross is a timeless icon thanks to his unique hair, soothing voice, and characteristic expressions. Yet, even decades after his passing, he remains beloved not just by fans who remember him affectionately, but also by children who were not even alive when his series first aired. Bob Ross, who was born in 1942 in Daytona, Florida, stopped attending high school in the ninth grade to assist his carpenter father. He joined the Air Force at the age of 18 and relocated to Alaska, where he spent the next two decades as a drill sergeant shouting at cadets. But his life was transformed when he found art. In Alaska, he began to paint landscapes on gold mine pans and then went to the local markets to sell them.

At this point, he was highly inspired by the television artist Bill Alexander. His earnings from painting rapidly eclipsed those from the army. Therefore, in 1981, he returned to Florida to learn under Bill Alexander and become a licensed art instructor. Annette Kowalski, one of his pupils, was mesmerized by the jovial artist and urged him to set out on his own. They combined their life savings, formed Bob Ross, Inc., and attempted to make Ross a television celebrity. As a company, Bob Ross Inc. still thrives in the present day, and it possesses hundreds of highly coveted original Bob Ross paintings.

They are very rarely sold, though, so Bob Ross’ original painting values can be rather high when they are sold.

While the show stopped its run in the 1980s, today, Bob Ross’ official YouTube channel boasts more than four million subscribers, and as of 2020, in excess of 360 million views in total! And the company sells a large variety of products with his face printed on them. Even the pandemic played a role in his revived popularity, as many people were stuck indoors and looking for new hobbies to keep themselves busy with. His show, Joy of Painting, has proven to be timeless and has impacted a whole new generation of potential artists, and even those who watch just for the relaxing sound of his voice and calm demeanor.



Discovering Bob Ross’ Most Expensive Paintings

What is the most famous Bob Ross painting and how much are Bob Ross’ paintings worth? These questions will all be answered in this chapter about Bob Ross’ most expensive paintings. We will be looking at Bob Ross’ original painting values and discussing the details surrounding each artwork.

Most Famous Bob Ross Painting A cosplay of artist Bob Ross at New York Comic Con in 2016; Bob Ross, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons 


Winter Moon (1983) – $17,950

Date Completed1983
MediumOil on canvas
Episode Season 1, Episode 6

This oil painting was created for Season 1, Episode 6, which was aired in 1983. Many of Bob Ross’ distinctive elements may be found in Winter Moon, including snow-covered mountains and a cabin, scant trees, and a dark night sky. Although there aren’t many man-made buildings in Bob Ross’ works, Alaskan cabins, which he got used to while serving in the military, appear frequently. This piece of art is a perfect illustration of his rural Alaska fixation. 

There are several personal and public-use cabins in Alaska, and this picture may represent one of them.


Towering Peaks (1980) – $17,950

Date Completed1980
MediumOil on canvas
Episode Season 10, Episode 1

This is a Bob Ross signed original artwork from circa 1980. The artwork was later shown in Season 10, Episode 1. The artwork is 45 cm x 60 cm in size and in fair shape, with the exception of minor water damage on the right-hand side, which has resulted in some fading. The trees in this artwork’s foreground are substantially more realistic than his customary “happy trees”, evoking a more particular, neo-realistic manner. Towering Peaks, perhaps one of Bob Ross’ most detailed landscape works, sold online for $17,950. In painting, neorealism opposes the works of the impressionists as well as post-impressionists, who emphasized ornamental elements above natural form. Ross is not well-known as a neorealist, yet his attraction to nature has resulted in works that display neorealist tendencies.


Mountain Waterfall (1980) – $14,959

Date Completed1980
MediumOil on canvas
Episode Season 2, Episode 12 and Season 5, Episode 1

The artwork was featured twice on Bob Ross’ show, once in Season 2 and again in Season 5. The artwork, which was produced in oil in 1980, is one of Bob Ross’ more distinctive works, depicting a vertically oriented landscape, which sold for $14,959 online. This causes the picture to be taller than it is wide, which is unusual for his art. This is one of his rare vertical paintings, and he uses its height to create the impression of a majestic waterfall that runs through trees in the foreground and fades out in the background with blue and pink mountain ranges. 

Vertically oriented artworks, such as this one, are usually of human subjects, particularly portraits, whereas horizontally oriented works of art are usually of natural subjects. This is also true of Bob Ross’ works, with the exception of this picture.


Meadow Lake (1982) – $18,950

Date Completed1982
MediumOil on canvas
Episode N/A

Meadow Lake, a 45cm by 65cm Bob Ross painting, was completed in 1982, only a year before he began painting on air. Bob Ross Inc. provided an estimated date of 1982 after inspecting the artwork. It was sold for $18,950 on the Artsy website, a figure that was made even more astonishing by the fact that the artwork did not come with a frame included. It is one of several works by Bob Ross motivated by his 20-year career in the United States Air Force when he was largely based in Alaska. He left the army in 1981 to pursue a career in art, therefore this would be one of his first works after that.


The Old Water Mill (1984) – $19,500

Date Completed1982
MediumAcrylic on canvas
Episode Season 3, Episode 9

This is one of Bob Ross’ most renowned acrylic paintings, rather than an oil painting. Many of Bob Ross’ most recognized techniques are used in this work, such as the pink sunset sky and also the “happy trees” in the foreground. The mill isn’t one of Ross’ more intricate buildings, but it does show off his straight-line approach to blocking off wood surfaces. The artwork was sold for $19,500 on the Artsy website, earning its place as one of Bob Ross’ most expensive paintings. Although many of Bob Ross’ works are now available on online platforms, he has had works exhibited in the past. 

The MORE is a Dutch museum that was the first to host a solo exhibition of Bob Ross’ art.


Misty Waterfall (1980) – $19,950

Date Completed1980
MediumOil on canvas
Episode Season 7, Episode 6

Misty Waterfall is an oil work completed about 1980 before he began painting on tv. It’s a painting with the grade of “museum quality” and featured on Modern Artifact. The artwork was not originally created for the show, but it appeared in Season 7, Episode 6 of the program. The color is more dramatic in this rendition, with a pinker sunset and deeper woods around the reflected surface of the lake. The artwork was sold for $19,950 and is currently in the private collection of its unknown purchaser. Bob Ross is said to have produced 30,000 works throughout his lifetime, thus themes and motifs would inevitably reoccur.


Gold Pan Signed (1971) – $69,000

Date Completed1971
MediumMining pan
Episode N/A

This artwork is one-of-a-kind because it has a decorated velvet surface painted on a novelty mining pan, which is a copy of what explorers would have been using in search of gold in Alaska. Bob Ross’ wet-on-wet painting methods are used, as well as hand-glittered embellishments. This picture depicts a snowy lodge in an Alaskan setting beneath the famed Northern Lights. The mining pan has been authenticated as genuine and one-of-a-kind, representing Bob Ross’ lone production of its type. It is currently still available on the eBay website for $69,000. 

It is also the earliest work on our list, dating from circa 1971, long before he began painting in public.


Row Boat on the Beach (1992) – $95,000

Date Completed1992
MediumOil on canvas
Episode Season 24, Episode 10

Row Boat on the Beach is Bob Ross’ most expensive painting. The painting is unframed, and it is another of Ross’ unusual vertically oriented pieces. The oil on canvas artwork depicts a row boat lapping to shore on a beautiful day, with grasses and a beach discernible in the foreground. This artwork, which was presented in Season 24, Episode 10 of Bob Ross’ show, allows the artist to pay close attention to how the sunshine hits the overhead cloud formations and how to lightly rub the edges of the waves to achieve that white foam. This original Bob Ross painting sold for $95,000 on Modern Artifact, which makes it the most expensive and the most famous Bob Ross painting presently.


Oil Painting Original Signed (1980) – $88,000

Date Completed1980
MediumOil on canvas
Episode N/A

Bob Ross created the artwork in 1980. The vendor claims that they purchased this picture, along with four others, in 2018. The Northern Lights are depicted at nighttime in a wintry environment with an icy lake, frosty trees, and a snow-covered cottage in the foreground. One of Ross’ most typical lectures is depicted in the artwork, which is the way color can reflect light. The artwork has not yet been purchased, although it is priced at $88,000, ranking it as one of Ross’ most valuable works at present. It also includes a certificate of authenticity for both Bob Ross’ signature and the actual artwork.


Bob Ross served in the United States Air Force for two decades before becoming an artist, retiring with the post of master sergeant. He was inspired to establish his own firm after observing another artist teach painting on television. One would think that the show’s success meant that the artist was making tons of money from it, but he actually did it without payment and made money from selling the merchandise produced by his company. His works were very rarely sold after he started the show, yet when they do pop up, Bob Ross’ original painting values can often be quite pricey. Now that you have learned about the most famous Bob Ross paintings, maybe you will be motivated to watch his show for yourself and give painting a shot!




Frequently Asked Questions


How Much Are Bob Ross’ Paintings Worth?

Bob Ross created tens of thousands of paintings in his lifetime. Yet, we rarely see them up for auction. When one of his works does go up for sale, it can fetch anywhere between $15,000 and $95,000!


What Is Bob Ross’ Most Expensive Painting?

The most famous Bob Ross painting is called Row Boat on the Beach. It was originally painted in 1992. The artwork was said to be sold for the incredible sum of $95,000! Although there are several of his works that have almost reached the same value, many of them have yet to actually be bought.


Cite this Article

Isabella, Meyer, “Most Expensive Bob Ross Paintings – Bob Ross Painting Values.” Art in Context. January 26, 2023. URL:

Meyer, I. (2023, 26 January). Most Expensive Bob Ross Paintings – Bob Ross Painting Values. Art in Context.

Meyer, Isabella. “Most Expensive Bob Ross Paintings – Bob Ross Painting Values.” Art in Context, January 26, 2023.

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