Painting to me is to use your creativity, not always what you see exactly but what you feel while making that decision for each brushstroke. By looking at one area of the painting only, you can see if the rest falls into place. Composition, color balance, focal point of interest, etc.. I usually set up a still life to paint from but I change the colors often and add things that aren't there. It isn't finished until that feeling takes place. You really can't explain it, but I am sure you artists know what I am talking about. I don't think Rembrandt's brushstrokes were exactly what he saw, it just made sense to him. I wanted to capture a stream of light hitting the violets, with the left and right side of the painting in shadow. That thought didn't happen until half way through the painting. Thinking beyond the beyond, is what I call it. Painting with your heart and mind will bring forth an image but you cannot go back and retrieve those same thoughts, that's why each painting is a brand new challenge.