Key elements to simulate
1. Quantized patches of color, aka brushstrokes. Disregarding the mixing of colours, the basic principle of painting is to put some colour on your brush and put it on the canvas.
2. Break up object edges. Nothing shouts "hey i'm 3d" as much as a perfect object edge.
3. Correct layering of brushstrokes. Painters often start with big brush strokes and detail selectively with small brushstrokes.
4. Correct orientation of the brushstrokes.
The answer to this ended up being a rendered point cloud as camera-facing cards. Ofcourse not straight out of the box, so let's dive into the details:
Correct layering of brushstrokes
It's important to layer multiple sizes of brushstrokes. Start with a sparse pointcloud with large cards, and layer smaller sets on top to selectively add detail into places where your eye should focus.