Image credits: Macdon401, oliko, Ben Balistreri, OEffeO, H.B. Lewis, J.M.F. Oli, Ryan Wood, StephenSanchez
Looking at the concept art world shows multiple "schools" of concept art with completely different goals and opinions about appeal. These differences can be boiled down to a struggle of two artistic forces: construction and expression.
Construction is like rhetoric, and appeals to audiences through accuracy of description. Expression appeals to audiences through purity of design, emotion, or ideas. Construction can be devoid of expression, and expression can override the need for accuracy.
Every school of art uses some combination of construction and expression, but great artists recognize that expressive elements connect with audiences in ways that crude construction can't. But my point isn't to prove that expression is better than construction. In fact, without construction there can be no expression. The reason why Acadamia has difficulty producing good artists lately is because most schools have rejected construction-focused education and focus almost exclusively on expression, leaving artists without the tools necessary for powerful expression.
Rendering this monster's arm with a few expressive lines took some thought, and relied on years of studying anatomy and how to use line to describe form.
The moral of the story is: if you're struggling to find expression in your art, your problem might stem from gaps in your knowledge of construction. There is also another roadblock to expression that I'll talk about in a later post.