If you take a different path, you see different things. You might end up at the same destination as someone else, if you were both traveling to the same place. But the things you saw along your route will be different from their sights.
Much art pedagogy is based on certain recurrent ideas. First you do this, then you do that. I have tended to resist prescriptions in art for as long as I can recall. I come from a long line of stubborn, contrary people. But I have always wanted to be able to draw “realistically” and I always believed (from some instinct) that if I merely observed things keenly and recorded what I see that I would be able to draw accurately. So I took a perceptual route.
Along the way, I’ve learned about “technique.” You cannot copy old masters without learning about technique since many sorts of ideas-about-what-something-looks-like are encapsulated into effects. Cross-hatching, for instance, doesn’t occur in nature — it’s a human graphic idea about how to create tonality using densely placed lines. But I approached old masters in the same way that I approached nature. I looked at them, copied, and let their images teach me by osmosis.
Since our art is composed from our journeys it does matter what path you choose, and the round-about path will leave traces. I love the paths I found while being stubborn and so I do heartily encourage some stubbornness in others.
So different strokes for different folks. Different marks, different motifs, methods, rules-or-habits and whatnot.
Whatever works. What route are you taking? What advice would you give to others?