I have always envied those who can paint or draw so well that you cannot tell at first glance if you are looking at a photo or a piece of art. Some are so good that even when the image is enlarged, you may still struggle to tell. With every new painting I create, I am constantly pushing to bring the representations of my ideas, even though they are fantasy, closer to this level.
However, I find myself questioning constantly how far I want to push this. As I have noted before, I am not a big fan of photo-manipulation, especially when attempts are made to take photos of real life and blend them into painted elements. I am constantly being pulled out of the image by the dulled down photo elements that feel forced into the scene. In the same respect, when working on a fantasy image, I feel that too much realism actually hurts the work. Hyper realism in fantasy or science fiction movies is all well and good, but to me it spoils a painting almost as much as really bad artwork.
So, once again I find myself balancing between two different poles on a subject. It is odd, but that seems to be my very nature. I have almost always found myself siding with neither person in an argument, seeing valid points for both sides. In the case of my current project, while the pace has slowed down as I try to make Carrie Fisher’s image more like the photo, there will come a point of trade-off where I will leave it well enough alone even if you can easily see that it is a painting.