It rains a lot in American Samoa, I've yet to see a pig without a muddy face. It doesn't seem to bother them much though.
Harriet who works at the library asked;
"How do you make them look so real?"
It starts with getting in the habit of carrying a camera around. I’ve taken thousands of pictures in American Samoa over the years. I choose a photo then open it in Photoshop to remove stuff like telephone wires and trash. Then I use the dry brush filter that softens the detail and delineates the highlights and shadows more clearly. I enlarge the image with a digital projector and make a quick pencil drawing. Organizing the paint on the palette lessens the time spent looking for a color, but those are just the steps. It takes practice looking at things to see the colors in the shadows, the shapes of the highlights and everything in between. Learning how to mix colors and draw perspective is necessary to create a realistic painting. Architectural rendering classes teach how shadows fall and reflections in water are cast. But the best way to learn is to practice, a lot. It’s pretty obvious when it’s not working. And include details that give an image a sense of place, even if they are icky.