I recently watched an instructional painting video by Richard Schmid. I don't know how many of you are familiar with this artist, but he is mostly known for his landscape paintings I believe, although he also paints some magnificent portraits and figure work. Anyway, I learned through watching his video that he creates his landscapes, which look very realistic from a distance, by relying mostly on tricks of the brush. He begins by loosely scrubbing in washes of flat color all over the canvas, and then works into this with loose strokes of thicker paint loosely mixed. Later he will work into the wet paint things such as buildings or objects that require more precision using a variety of brushes. I was amused by the way he swings and "pushes" his brushes in all directions and with such confidence, that almost looks like carelessness, with very impressive results. The picture is at first rather abstract in all of its shapes, but he gradually pulls it all together and soon begins to achieve the image he is after. I admit that the results he gets are highly impressive, but I felt that he was taking lots of short cuts to get those effects. But don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to knock his style, he is a great artist, but if you compare him to many painters of say, the 19th century, you know, those classical academic methods, Ingres, Leighton, Bougeureau, among many others, the styles are radically different. Just thought I'd share these personal observations.