I just started reading Dali's book "50 Secrets of Magic Craftsmanship" (great title, like his paintings and other book "Diary of a Genius") in which he divulges some of his methods.
He begins by making a strong case for realism, and derides some of the art of his time, comparing the painting the painting of an actual door as superior.
Also mentions that he's give his left hand to know the recipe for Vermeer's paint mediums, lamenting that we can make an atomic bomb, but Vermeer's medium recipe is unknown.
Very interesting read so far. A very colorful character, to be sure.
Dali is one of my favorites, and I hope to learn realism well enough to be free to move towards surrealism.
Of course I have a lot of work ahead of me.