Most individuals have no idea of the process involved in creating a painting, particularly realistic paintings. There are two primary genres today in creating realistic paintings. Photo realistic and Hyper-Realistic.
Photo-realistic artists create paintings that are as lifelike as possible and mimic, as the movement’s name suggests, a photograph. Technical precision and as close a representation of the reference are at the center of a Photorealist’s work.
The painting though a close facsimile of the original, has emphasis on certain elements, such as the play of light and shadow or a cleaner more precise rendering of the outlines of the various pieces of the composition and although it has the appearance of the reference it does not contain the high resolution of a digital photo.
Hyper-realism concerns itself obsessively with the subject it depicts, embellishing a heightened sense of reality onto the objects, whether by emphasizing the colors or the contrasts. Hyper-real images are as sharp as the digital photographs (which themselves are high resolution) creating a very distinct (supra-distinct) image where one cannot distinguish the painting from the reference