Hi! I have a couple of questions I'd like to ask related to this picture, if that is okay. Basically, I've been trying to figure out what pictures you can and cannot use when making studies like this, especially if you'd like to show them here on DA.
As far as I have gathered it is only okay to use pictures that are public domain or if you have expressed permission to use them.
But is it perhaps generally accepted that artists non-profit studies or practice drawings are exempt from this? Or could they perhaps be called "marketing" by demonstrating the artists skill?
I think as long as you are not trying to make money from these and you do label them as studies to make it clear to the viewer.
And if requested, you supply the reference used, there should be little trouble.
If the source/photographer feels you are stealing their work (even though you are not selling your study) you can always take it down.
It is generally accepted that studies are for non-profit use.
A safe way to do studies from photos is to take your own photos or use stock photos (as in this case).
Or just not post them at all. Some people prefer not to post studies ... "Assuming it's not professional" ... "kills the magic of creating art" ... or other reasons.
I like to post my studies or some of the better looking ones to show people how much work goes into getting to a higher level of art and that talent is a myth/excuse for the lazy.
As for marketing to show skill, there is little skill in copying images, I've seen many that just work from photos and when they try do something more creative they never get any where near the results from the photos they use. And top industry professionals all know this.