I’ve finished Wooden Boat. All final details have been added and I am finished. The interesting thing about detail is that they don’t have to be complete. If I see some detail I try to put it in but almost as soon as I start I find that it looks complete. I only add detail until I don’t notice it anymore. It is an odd feeling when it looks like I’ve added much more detail than I actually have. I’ve noticed this a few times when I’ve just started a painting and the image suddenly looks real. I have the impression/illusion that it is jumping off the painting surface. My theory is that when a small suggestion of detail is introduced my mind incorporates it into my visualisation and adds the rest.
When the painting starts to match my internal visualisation of what the scene should look like, the illusion of reality starts. This is a little shocking because it often happens so suddenly. I expect it to start slowly and incrementally increase. Final details do add somewhat to the realistic effect but mostly they just change or enhance the focal point.