The effects that make a painting distinctly Leynes, are his perfection of detail and the sense of being more real than real. His paintings look so real in fact, that a humanities teacher once accused his bigas paintings of being fake that they are real grains pasted on canvas. Though he uses pictures as a basis for his paintings, mere photographs are hardly comparable to a Leynes painting.
“A photographer captures what is there and what he sees. A painter has the power to change and rearrange what he sees. As a realist, I consider the camera as an important tool in my art equipment. The camera broadens the artist’s horizon. With the camera’s aid I can freeze the action, capture an expression or a particular sunlight effect, compose from an unusual angle or viewpoint. Even when I’m merely looking through the viewfinder of my camera I am already in the process of creating.
But I prefer whenever possible to have the original or a live model in front of me whenever I am in the painting stage. The photograph is merely used as a stable reference and never copied as is. Move a tree, change an expression, crop extraneous details, add, subtract and as the song goes…eliminate the negative and accentuate the positive.
It is not merely a case of ‘have photograph, will paint’ as some critics will put it.” – Nestor Garcia Leynes (Visions 107)