A lot of people are asking me lately, "Is it alright if I use references when I draw? Is that considered cheating?" and to that my answer is a strong, emphatical...
"YES, IT'S TOTALLY OKAY! NO, IT IS NOT CHEATING!"
Example of reference use:
Here is a picture of a goldfish. In order to make sure I drew a goldfish as accurately and as true to life as I could, I used this stock image of a goldfish I found on Google when I painted "Orangeberry Lemonade".
As you can see, the goldfish looks similar, but it is not the same. This is because the process of using references is studying the image and using your brain almost as a photocopier to the best of your ability. When done like this, no two images will ever be the same. There are many differences between the stock photograph of the goldfish, and my digitally painted goldfish such as colour choice, textur