We are surrounded by images that would make beautiful paintings:
- Books and media publications
- Instructional videos (DVDs and online)
- Artist’s web sites
- Internet sites (travel, food, florals, animals, undersea, photography)
However, in ALL of these cases, “All rights are reserved.” The publisher or artist or photographer does NOT grant permission for someone to use their image to create a painting and enter it in a show. One can look at these images to see, for example, exactly how a porcupine’s spines spread out, or a close up of dragonfly wings veining, but you can’t copy the photograph.
We all have access to many books and DVDs and love practicing our painting skills and seeing if we can achieve the same look as the artist. Painters have copied the masters for centuries, and they will continue to do that to continue to improve as painters. But those paintings are for personal growth, not for shows.
At WAS-H, we bend those guidelines very slightly to allow students to enter our annual Student Exhibit, with paintings done from instructor images and/or compositions. The instructor uses their personal photographs and gives permission for the students to use them. This is the only exception to the Reference Image criteria. Instructors on videos do not grant this permission.