Hi from Australia

Hi All,

I’m Craig from Newcastle, Australia. I did some art subjects in school but never really put any time or effort into and then never touched it again for over 20 years. I spent 18 or so years working in the printing in the printing industry before developing a chronic (undiagnosed) illness most likely related to dust/powder exposure. I ended up retraining in web development and have involved in that on and off since.
I started dabbling in art again a few years ago and purchased the Evolve Artist course about 18 months ago. After a slow start I’ve really been pushing myself into it over the last few months. I always avoided oil painting due to my health issues but through the course became aware that you could oil paint without solvents and have really taken to it.
Style wise I’m drawn to realism but not hyper-realism, more realism with some creativity thrown (don’t have the language to describe it better).
Why I’m here; I came across some of Anthony’s very informative posts and then that eventually (took a few months) led me to this forum. The information looked interesting and seemed to click with the way I think so I thought I’d join and see how it goes.

If you made it this far, thanks.


Hi, I came here via a similar route. Actually this seems a good enough place to ask what the difference between hyper-realism and realism, or photo realism even is. I suspect here you mean the difference between realism and obsessive realism. But I’ve also heard some people claim that hyperrealism is the less rigid of the two and it somehow involves going off piste? Not sure.

Anyway, welcome to the club!

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Greetings Craig,

Welcome to our growing community! My wife and I built this site to house all of the educational resources that we have developed or gathered to assist those that are pursuing a no-nonsense approach to effective visual communication via imagery (often representational.) While I am indeed active on Facebook and Instagram (as well as my own site), this resource offers us the opportunity to be less limited in terms of content, image compression, and reliability. So by all means, dig through all that we have here. The site is searchable and robust with much, much more on the way.

Hope you enjoy it!!!

PS-Thomas–a thread exploring hyper-realism vs. realism vs. representationalism might be very helpful for many. :heart:


Hi Thomas,

I suppose I consider hyper-realism to be the paintings that look like HDR photos (and usually take hundreds of hours). Don’t get me wrong, I look at most of them and go WOW as they look amazing and the skill required is obviously high, they just don’t retain my interest for more than a few moments.

It’s hard to describe what I like, probably because I’m not even certain of it myself. I suppose most of it comes down to emotions (especially for portraiture/figure), either by triggering emotions through messages in the painting or emotions displayed by the sitter.

Below are some images by artists I like, please let me know if I’m not allowed to post such things (works by other people). I have a very poor memory so have started keeping a list of artists I like, although most of what I have come across in the past is no longer available to me (no idea who it’s by).

I use the term realism loosely and I’m not even sure if that’s how you would categorise the images I like.

Istvan Sandorfi

Richard Bunkall

Max Ginsburg

I have no idea if this answers what you were asking. Please feel free to try again if it doesn’t.

I’m with Anthony, a post along the lines of what you mentioned would be brilliant.

Thanks for replying.


Yes I think I can understand your perspective. I started out as a big fan of Impressionism, and I wanted to be an impressionist painter. I had certain ideas I wanted to communicate but needed to acquire the technical skills to be able to do it.

But in learning to draw and paint, and wanting to improve, I necessarily ended up admiring technical skill in and of itself. I think it’s a very difficult philosophy to grapple with however. On the one side, I want to improve as an artist, and I don’t like the shoddiness of some of my efforts. On the other hand, is my only goal to become some human version of a camera?

I think artistic skills give you the freedom to express yourself. But on the other hand, trying to be excessively realistic can stifle artistic freedom – or it feels like it for a lot of people – as if you have to live up to an impossible standard – unless you really have the right skill set to pull it off.

I also agree that first and foremost an art work should convey emotion or move you in some way. There are very realistic paintings which do this and there are others that don’t. However, I have to say that even if a very realistic artwork shows no sign of real imagination or compositional awareness, I still have to grant it some respect based solely on technical considerations.

I think this is a peculiarity of art, that there are really two things on offer at the same time: technical excellence and emotional effect. Conversely with something like literature or music I can’t imagine myself ever admiring a work for being technically good but compositionally meaningless. I’ve never finished a bad book or a listened to a tedious piece of music and thought ‘well, emotional impact aside, I can’t believe that a human being actually did that?’

In regards to a thread on hyperrealism vs photo-realism vs representationalism: I’m not sure I would have the savoir-faire to do it. However I am about to do another post that I think really gets to the heart of the matter. It concerns the difference between small artworks and large artworks.

I will go into this in more detail soon, but basically, 97% of the artwork that you see where you think ‘oh my God, that looks like a photo’ is actually of paintings so large, that when they are shrunk to the size of a thumbnail, they look very realistic.

In fact only about 2-3% of artworks that have the ‘it looks like a photo’ wow factor, are truly of that kind. They are small works with incredibly high resolutions. In reality there are only a handful of artists in the world who operate in this fashion.

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I’ve noticed that as ours skills improve so do our tastes. As I’ve improved my skills and my knowledge I’ve been attracted more and more to realism.
Interesting thoughts on technical vs emotional. I wonder if the visual vs auditorial difference may be due to using completely different parts of the brain… I’ve got some thoughts on this just can’t find the words.
That makes sense with regarding to the sizing as all the realistic artworks I have looked at have been online. I’m sure that some of them are bloody amazing though.

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Welcome! This is a great forum. Full of interesting information and fantastic solutions!

Thanks. I didn’t expect to be this involved this early (or at all :grin:).

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