I’ve had a few people ask me about detail. Some are looking for more in my work and some comment on how much there is in it. They are all surprised when I tell them that I’m trying to put in less.
Detail is a two edged sword. More detail doesn’t necessarily mean a better reality illusion although it can certainly add to it. Putting in more detail is time consuming and may not make the painting look more real. It’s also not much fun. The reality illusion, as I call it, can present with just a few brush strokes but it can also hide until the very last moment, or disappointingly, never appear at all. When I did Pebble Beach the reality illusion didn’t appear until after I completed the painting. I was considering repurposing the canvas (great euphemism). As I was putting it on my website and debating the euphemism the boat jumped out at me as did the mountain side foliage. That is when I decided that it probably wasn’t a failure.
I can add detail to any painting at any time. I constantly put detail into my work until it’s screaming not to add any more. Sometimes it doesn’t scream loud enough. If I see a place that needs more work I add more. I do this until it has the reality illusion or until I get really tired of it. The painting is then finished.