I’ve spent the last several days devouring James Gurney’s new book Imaginative Realism: How to Paint What Doesn’t Exist.
It’s a treasure. Using samples from his illustrious career, he takes the reader through his thought process and explains principles both basic (setting up an efficient studio, thumbnail sketches) and advanced (shapewelding, counterchange, flagging the head).
Read it once and flip back through to see where he’s applied these principles. You’ll also start seeing your work with new eyes, which is the mark of a great teacher.