Recently we've had a few questions about selling artwork inspired by demonstrations you've seen on ArtTutor.
Here's our position on copyright:
What you CAN do:
- You CAN copy any ArtTutor lesson image for your own personal practice and portfolio.
- You CAN display your copy with ArtTutor Galleries without giving any credit to the tutor (because we'll all know whose lesson it's based on).
- You CAN display your copy in any third party public place (such as Facebook, your own blog and other art forums on the web) so long as you credit the tutor. An example credit would be: "Based on an image by Artist Name". Ideally, you'd also provide a link to the artist's website or ArtTutor.com but it's not always possible.
- You CAN make significant variations to the lesson image and then do what you want with it, including selling it, without giving credit (although it's always nice). What constitutes a 'significant variation'? See below.
What you CANNOT do:
- You CANNOT make an obvious copy of an ArtTutor lesson image and then sell it (either for your own personal gain or for charitable reasons).
- You CANNOT make an obvious copy of an ArtTutor lesson image, make print or digital replicas and then give them away. If you make several original copies and give them to close friends and family, that's fine.
- You CANNOT make an obvious copy of another ArtTutor member's artwork and either sell it or make print or digital replicas of it.
So what defines an 'obvious' copy?
That's always open to interpretation of course, and being all about support and encouragement, our interpretation will be more relaxed than most. Here are some examples to paint a clearer picture...
An image like Joanne's Sunflower could be quite closely followed but perhaps with a different shaped sunflower, or 2 sunflowers or slightly different colours in different places. In fact, it would be very difficult to copy Jo's style slavishly. Lot's of artists have painted sunflowers so the actual subject matter isn't highly original.
Now consider an image like Steve Ormerod's Greek Lady. Here's a photograph that Steve owns the rights to and that is completely unique. Reproducing the image of that particular lady so that it is recognisable as her, wouldn't be acceptable . Of course, you could use the techniques to create an image of an elderly relative, perhaps in similar clothing... and then sell that if you wanted to.
So in a nutshell...
Feel free to copy our artist's images like-for-like for your own personal improvement and to display on ArtTutor. If you want to sell your work, use the methods and techniques you learn at ArtTutor and apply them to a different subject matter and/or composition.
Finding Legally Free Reference Photos
We've complied a list of free photo sites where you don't have to worry about copyright. Here it is:
Taking Your Own Reference Photos
You don't have to be a David Bailey or Annie Leibovitz to take a great reference photo for your next masterpiece. And with the quality of today's smart phones you don't even need a separate camera.
But there are a few tips and tricks that will help you take more inspiring and helpful pictures.
I've put those tips into a short downloadable guide for non-photographers. It covers landscapes, portraits and still life: