The two similarities my favorite artists have in common are two basic things:
1. Their artwork is real – from the sheen on the horses flanks and muddy water, to the historically correct clothing.
Truthfully, this is what I really love. There are many magnificent artists out there. But to see it come to life, and be able to step inside the picture and know that it is correct. Its almost like living inside of the artwork.
2. The ability to tell a story.
The ability to tell a story is actually a gift. So many talented artists are not able to do that. It doesn’t come easy either. While combining the composition, lighting, and masterfully tell a story is truly a gift.
Exposing myself to artists who are able to do both, tell a realistic story, encourages me and motivates my creative juices. It helps me to develop as an artist and look for the story. A truly great artist, such as Howard Terpning, can make it look so effortless. Here is one of my favorite paintings of his, titled “The Rivers Gift” which is a wonderful story of mishap and fortune.