I started my creative adventure by sketching realistic portraits. Eventually I took traditional oil painting lessons, and continued my art in realism. Emphasis was on depicting the image in as much realistic detail as possible, paying special attention to true colour, proportions and form. There was no exaggeration, no enhancements, no prettification. These exercises helped me develop my drawing skills, which is extremely important in any form of art. You need to know how to draw a face in perfect proportion before you can “personalise” it by deliberate bending, stretching or blurring in an expressive style.