Just completed, "A Balanced Meal" Oil on canvas 26" x 24" $4,200
This painting is high realism with lots of detail but I still have incorportated plenty of soft, blurred and lost edges. Why? To add some mystery, movement and softness that paradoxically can make it look more real than super sharp photographic realism. I am guessing the reason this happens is because our eyes do not see every square inch of what we are looking at in sharp focus all at once.
Think about how we look at things or a view. Our eyes move from one point to another, focusing in on each point one at a time and letting the rest go slightly out of focus. A good painting composition will do the same thing for you. There is a main point of focus with plenty of secondary focal points. The artist composes the piece in a way that will move your eyes around the canvas but always lead back to the main focal point. Yes, we really do this on purpose, planning and designing our compositon carefully to engage the viewer. If a painting grabs you it is usually no accident. You could even call it a science mixed in with the art. See if "A Balanced Meal" artfully or even scientifically grabs your eye.