Originally Posted by contumacious
Confusion like this is why some of my artist friends will only paint from their own photographs. I am considering doing the same. That way you never have to be concerned in the least about any copyright infringements or proper permissions.
Some of this, below, is repeat info but now that we're on pg 2 I hope that new readers of this thread will see this.
Your own photos, drawing from life, are still the best not only legally, but to capture the subject most effectively. There are lots of bad paintings online with animals whose legs bend the wrong direction, etc, not intentionally abstract, but because the artist had no personal familiarity w/the subject and didn't know the camera distorted or hid something.
Finding actual public domain images is one way to avoid trouble: http://www.publicdomainsherpa.com/10...ic-domain.html
Asking permission is another.
Looking at LOTS of photos to see lots of poses, anatomy, angles, coloration, proportion, etc, can be done without copying any of them to the point they'd be derivative of (infringing on) someone else's photos. Even if you had permission or it was public domain, you could be copying distortion if you only used one reference.
It's important to avoid the many sites that offer 'free images,' because many are offering copyright protected works, AND are infecting viewers' computers with malware or operating phishing scams, especially if you click, buy or download anything.
I bolded this because I have personally wrecked an ipad just going to a site once that someone said might be infringing my work, and that they deemed safe. Well, it wasn't, and ipads are usually thought of as pretty safe form this stuff, but it was infected.