Norman Rockwell was in my opinion the most brilliant at creating scenes with HEART and plenty of it. Artists and photographers have tried to emulate his staging, and even his characters with only limited results. While they may get the look, they just seem to miss that special Rockwell quality.
Yes, he painted in oils. He photographed all his models in the poses and costumes he wanted them to ultimately appear in, and projected the image onto a canvas, traced it, and then painted it from very clear photos (albeit with his own exaggerations already worked out).
Illustrators of his high profile strata had to present rather complete tonal drawings and sometimes color comps to show the editors to get approval to proceed. That means he had ample time to really know what he was going to paint, as opposed to just blowing through a job cold for speed as so many seem to anymore.
Sometimes they even had several top illustrators all competing for a cover of a famous magazine. Rockwell often won.
Keep studying his stuff, mate. Learn all his chops and even though it will turn into your own style, it will take you far.
Glad you are looking at him. He was GREAT! And when I was an art student many people thought him far to bourgeois. I thought they had their heads neatly tucked up their derrieres.
Bartender, fix me a moon river. . .in a TIFFANY GLASS!!!!!!!