Myths often surround the painting process—for example: painting is always inspired; accomplished artists find painting easy and always succeed; painting is always fun; good artists only paint when they feel like it; and creating a good painting is unpredictable. Let’s dispel some of the myths.

First, an artist does not have to be inspired to paint. A successful painting is predictable and logical, particularly in the realistic style. I have often dragged myself into the studio, not feeling like doing much of anything. But then things start developing and I do feel inspired! Another common experience is “artist’s slump.” Sometimes, about halfway through a painting, I feel as if it is a loser and I simply want to heave it—but ...

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