One of the core ironies of realistic drawing and painting is that the thing we’re trying to do – make an image that looks like the subject – often isn’t possible. This is because our true subject isn’t actually what we think it is. When we look at a still life arrangement, or figure, or landscape, were not actually seeing those things directly. All we can see is the light they reflect. Our true subject, regardless of what we’re drawing, is in fact light itself.