‘Realism’ was a reaction to romanticism. These artists aimed to show the ‘reality’ as it is, the life of ‘ugly blood, sweat and tears’. But an effort to reproduce the reality as it is has a risk to become quite boring. Such work may be too easy to ‘digest’ by the spectator. In my view a work of art should rather challenge the spectator, give him/her an incentive to ‘come into action’, in one way or the other: a thought, an association or interpretation, a reflection, a phantasy or an (inner) dialogue….
So I would prefer the artist not to become too realistic. The artist should rather transform, translate his/her perception and image of what he/she consider as ‘reality’. So leave gaps, keep ambiguity, allow the spectator space to ‘complete’ the work of art, or to add new elements to it. Allow the spectator to find something in the work, something that he/she needs or looks for at that moment.