I was thinking about this because of my next workshop on perfecting your voice. Some of the greatest realist painters, in my opinion, were not renderers, they were inventors. They mastered the elements/fundamentals first and then made them their bitch. I learned that in prison. Just kidding. I was never in prison though i was in jail once for about 2 hours in college, it’s a great story. But I digress. The elements are drawing, value, color, edge, composition, paint handling, etc. You need to learn the rules before you can break them. In most workshops, I encourage the students to paint what they see, not what they think they know. In this one (it’s more advanced) I’m going the other way. Encouraging them to take what they want from what they see and rephrase it however they see fit, within the guidelines of good picture making. I take issue with the instructors who tell students to paint what they feel first without understanding what they are doing. Though there’s nothing wrong with painting what you feel, you need a little structure with your emotions. That’s why God made Adam for Eve.
Here’s a list of inventors that I admire, both deceased and alive and in no particular order: Sergei Osipov, Edwin Dickenson, Gary Kelley (illustrator), Maynard Dixon, Tim Bell, John Burton, Monet, Henri de la Toulouse Lautrec, there’s a lot more but I’m blanking right now.