a bit of a sticky subject but has to be addressed at least for educational purposes!
if you could go there and take a photo yourself then it’s ok to use someone else’s photo from internet for reference, however, if the original photographer discovers their photo has been used they may demand a fee. They have the right to take you to court if you breach their copyrights.
use internet material for reference only, in other words work your own magic into it - do not copy faithfully
with so much easy access to the internet now, it’s easy for people to copy images. Feel free to copy as part of your learning process but I recommend you do not post them on the internet and do not exhibit the final artwork publicly.
The masters (da vinci, michaelangelo, Vermeer, Klimt, Brandt, Post etc) all learnt SOME of their skills by copying and then moved on to form their own styles and methods - I don't know any artist who hasn't worked long and hard to develop their unique style/subject interpretation, there is no such thing as overnight success.
Competitions and Exhibitions are very clear that all work must be original and not created with supervision or in a class.
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