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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Bob Ross and Red Dead Redemption, together at last

Illustration for article titled Bob Ross and Red Dead Redemption, together at last
Screenshot: tworuru (YouTube)

Red Dead Redemption 2 is usually characterized as an action game, but it’s also a really good way to virtually tour through a fictional version of 19th century United States wilderness, happy little trees and all. Its landscapes, from snowy mountains and dark forests to swamps and grassy plains, are all detailed enough to feel like TV-sized nature retreats—something that hasn’t escaped the notice of Two Ruru’s Josh Drummond.


In his latest video, which follows up earlier clips showing him painting a kookaburra in a firefighter’s hat and art based on a No Man’s Sky screenshot, Drummond has decided to celebrate Red Dead’s vistas by capturing one of them in a style modeled on Bob Ross’.

The video opens with Drummond explaining that a friend had commissioned the work, which he set out to make by traveling to the game’s Rocky Mountains analog—the Grizzlies—and recreating what he found. The painting is then created through a time-lapse narrated by Drummond doing his best Ross impersonation, complete with a scene of him beating the devil out of his brush, before wrapping up with a look at the finished work. The piece, titled Redemptive Snowscape, is available to download from Drummond’s website, and shows a lakeside home at the base of a mountain range being visited by a horseman. “Now, this is Red Dead Redemption,” Drummond says, “So you get to decide: Is he there to rob the cabin and murder the inhabitants or to go home to a happy family?”

The concept works well, considering a lot of Red Dead 2 already looks like an interactive Romantic painting anyway. Let’s hope Drummond decides to follow up on this initial work with pieces exploring other aspects of playing the game, like, say, getting the main character shitfaced in a saloon or watching a horse fold itself into a horrible ball of twisted flesh and hooves.

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.