What's your opinions on using references for your drawings? A lot of people say using references isn't being original, and you're ripping off the original artist, or that you don't have enough talent to draw it straight from memory. Sometimes I need to look at pictures to be able to draw something, or I want ideas. I just wanted to know what you guys thought? (Or what you think since only one admin is answering this ^^). Thanks!
I actually have never heard from any credible source that artists should only do things from imagination (although this doesn’t mean you can’t work this way). This is highly impractical and unrealistic. Although it depends on what you mean by “using references,” because there’s a difference between referencing and “copying.”
My opinion is better expressed in this ConceptArt thread. Here’s an excerpt from the original post:
“Is it ok to use other people’s photos as reference?
It depends. Just like you own the copyright to your art, a photographer owns the copyright to his or her photos.
If you copy all or most of someone else’s photo without permission, this could be a copyright violation. There is no rule that says “if you change it X%, then it’s ok.” In U.S. courts, the test is if a reasonable observer could look at the original and the copy side-by-side and tell that it is a copy. It is ok to copy someone else’s photo as much as you want if it is only for your personal study. It is considered a courtesy to acknowledge your source if you then show that work to anyone.
Here are some examples of ways artists can use others’ photos as reference:
Using individual, generic parts of a photo. Ex. A tree, hills, clouds.
Using individual, specific parts of a photo. Ex. The Empire State Building, a Jeep.
For historical research. Ex. Looking at pictures of WWII uniforms to get the design accurate.
Gathering multiple photos of a subject without using a specific one. Ex. Looking at many photos of lions to see how they are built and how they move.
Using multiple photos for general inspiration. Ex. Gathering photos of different kinds of machinery in order to get inspiration for your own machine design.”
I recommend checking out the link for the whole thing. I hope I answered your question :)