Question, does the suggestion I made below make sense?
There is a local artist that I encouraged to visit this site and try Mark's technique to help her achieve the results she is looking for in terms of realism. She likes the site but is having a hard time coming up with simple, easy things to paint to develop her technique.
I suggested she look at the work that Robert Papp does for the cover of Cook's Illustrated Magazine (which is primarily simple but appealing still life's using various food items found in most kitchens - such as shallots, pears, etc.). And then create a still life similar to what she finds on the cover of the magazine to practice her technique.
He is not John Sargent, but his work is good, and accessible. It also seems to fit well with Mark's technique. Any thoughts?