Trying to Paint More Realistically

This is an oil painting depicting a black snake attacking the nest of some brown thrashers.  It's based on an old illustration from the great Dover book Animals.  I'm trying to teach myself how to paint "realistically"; I think I get hung up on small details, but I hope to achieve a more painterly style some day!

After 17- 18 hours:


This painting took around 22 hours of active work.  There are lots of things I'm unhappy with (proportions, how the wings/tails of the birds look, some colors, etc.) but I don't want to spend too much more time on it since it's basically a lesson.  I've definitely learned LOTS of stuff I can apply towards my next "realistic" painting!

Does anyone have any recommendations for good sites/videos/books I should check out for instructions on how to paint better?


  1. Your piece looks beautiful. Just keep at it and look up favorite artists to inspire you.


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