Triggering the airbrush haters

When I posted my paintings to social media groups in the past, I was met with a hail of hostile remarks disparaging photorealism, claiming it wasn't real art, or that there was no point to creating it. They also accused me of posting photos and claiming that my posts are paintings, using words like "con man," or "fraudster."

It seems that the loudest criticisms always came from those who were the least capable. The louder the criticism, the more artistically-challenged was the detractor. This was verified by an examination of their online work.

I had several responses to these critics as to why I paint photorealism. The principle reasons were as follows:

Because it's fun
Because it's a challenge
Because it's difficult
Because I can

I suppose these might be the same reasons for climbing a mountain. 

At first, I was bothered by these attacks, but I later came to understand that their skepticism was a form of flattery. Even so, there were rude detractors who demanded that I demonstrate proof that I painted the images I posted. When I posted step by step images, they refused to accept it as evidence, and demanded video instructing them on how to paint it as if I somehow owed them that.

Needless to say, I did not suffer those rude individuals by offering them more. To the contrary, I offered even less proof, and let them stew.

The Ai police

Now, a new wave of accusers has surfaced regarding my experiments into other styles, such as pre-Raphaelite work and Alphonse Mucha paintings. What is most amusing is that they are making the exact same accusations as the former detractors, and demand proof that I painted the images posted. They are completely blanking out the step-by-step images I've posted as well as the testimonials from former students who posed with the original paintings. A few have even offered "proof" that my paintings were not paintings and were only Ai creations.

Again, this is all quite flattering, and I think it will be a new challenge for me to trigger these haters and see if I can continue to fool their "Ai detectors."

The real trigger

On the surface, it appears that the hatred towards photorealism originates from a deep-seated disdain for representational art. However, many of these detractors appear to attempt realism too. The origin of their hatred has more to do with their own self-esteem, where they feel threatened by paintings more true to life than their own.

The same goes for those who screech at anything that they feel resembles Ai. They feel threatened by Ai because the quality of Ai is beyond their reach, whereas the photorealists simply regard Ai as just another source of reference. For myself, I have borrowed some strong color palettes from Ai, as well as inspiration for compositions. To the haters, taking inspiration from something digital that I didn't create myself is a sin. However, the same can be said for when they use photographs taken by people other than themselves. 

They just haven't accepted their own hypocrisy.  ;-)


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Ryan Barkley

April 16, 2024

Ah yes Dru. I completely agree. This was quite comical to see. And people should use images that may be out of their reach, for inspiration.

Angela E

April 16, 2024

What a shame that people prefer to denounce & disregard true talent rather than educate themselves. But it is their loss, so let them ferment in the stew of underachieving & hypocrisy.

Scott L

April 16, 2024

If you can paint photo realistic then you can do anything, the level of understanding of colours, light reflection and interaction etc is astounding.
I look down on digital art because I cannot find anyone capable of doing photorealistic work on it, its always clearly digital and it seems like everyone just stops before any final details. I actively look for tutorials/courses and still have yet to find anything that’s how rare it is, closest I’ve found is oil painting replication.

For anyone going why bother…why do digital art that lacks any character, why let the computer do a lot of heavy lifting, the number of times I’ve seen a bad sketch get corrected with transform tool….Frazetta had to wipe parts of his canvas out and fix that area etc. No lazy mans let the program fix everything I messed up.

Ok rant off, and as always love your work, keeps me motivated to try and AB when I have time.

Sheila Boyd

April 16, 2024

We are experiencing so much negativity, fear, conspiracy, and false information. Glad you wrote this Dru. Your abilities have always been incredible and have accelerated through the years, and your work is such a contribution to the art world. I certainly have benefitted from your inspiration and seeing what is possible with persistence. You are an inspiration in your art and your response to airbrush haters.

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