This is a touchy subject, but I am diving in. As an artist, I use my "artist eye" to see and paint. Mostly, if I see a beautiful subject I'll take a photo of it, and then go back to the studio and paint it. Easy right? Well, sometimes I find I need a picture of that beautiful magnolia in detail. So I go to the internet and find a picture of it and use that, for the research of the flower. I always go to a site that shows the plant, because then I really get a good view of the plant and its leaves, etc. Is that copying? I do not believe so, but it could be if I make the magnolia look exactly like the internet photo. I am then taking the photo that someone else took and making it mine. NOT GOOD! If that photographer saw my painting and said "That's my photo, and you stole it!", I could be sued for stealing. Many say, if I change it up, or just keep in my house, or whatever excuse it may be, it's fine. But it's still not right. I had a student that was in the law field and argued with me to the end of minutia...and I decided not to let this subject go without telling you about it. I know we all like to copy the Masters, for training purposes, and that's okay, but you must state that on the painting to protect yourself. ......and never sell it..never.....unless you get permission from the photographer or the old Master. Good luck with that....they are all in heaven! Let me know if you can reach them cuz I have a few questions.
Just so you know, that little symbol (that "c" in a circle (not on my keyboard) that I use under my signature of my paintings, it's my way of reminding others that I have copyrighted my work. Even the world of art has legalities. This is just one of the many things you will learn when you take my online watercolor classes.
Besides the basic skills you will need to paint, there are many things to learn. I will also be answering many questions on our RecolorYourWorld Facebook group.