This guide is meant to clarify the use of references in art, including light and heavy referencing along with tracing. The Art Review Team supports the use of references for artistic improvement, but there is a point where it becomes direct copying/tracing, which we do not tolerate.
We support the growth and development of artists, but we strictly prohibit copying or tracing artwork to claim it as your own and/or make a profit. It's important to note that artists cannot copyright the use of specific colors or body positions. This means that if one artist draws a sitting pose, it doesn't prevent another artist from doing the same. The same can apply to characters and their color schemes. If you have any concerns about possible copies of your artwork or characters, please contact a member of the Art Review Team.
Wolfhome has a zero-tolerance policy for art theft. This includes taking credit for content that does not belong to you, posting or using traced artwork, and selling or trading material that isn't yours. You can view our current art theft rules and its consequences here.
Redrawing an image line by line is known as tracing, and can be done either digitally or traditionally. Tracing can be a helpful exercise for artists to learn or warm up their skills, however, Wolfhome does not allow the use of such images as it is considered a type of art theft. Tracing someone else's artwork, photographs, or other media and using it as your own is disrespectful to the original creator and will not be tolerated.
Here is a visual example of tracing an image.
✦ Wolfhome has a zero-tolerance policy for tracing images, even for personal use.
✦ Traced artwork should never be sold or used to obtain any sort of personal profit.
✦ Anyone found tracing artwork will proceed up their respective ban ladder.
Another way to enhance your artistic skills is through the use of light referencing. This involves using a photograph, artwork, or other inspirational item as a basis for your own creative ideas. However, it is important to note that this should be done without tracing or copying directly, but rather by using the imagery as inspiration for your own unique creations. This form of referencing is acceptable and can even be sold.
Here is a visual example of lightly referencing multiple images.
✦ Artwork created in this way may be sold for profit and does not require sourcing.
Using a reference involves incorporating one or multiple images to assist in completing a piece of art. This practice can be highly beneficial when artists are studying light sources, anatomy, and various styles of art. Crediting sources and ensuring legal use of references is crucial for artists who utilize them heavily.
Here is a visual example of referencing an image.
✦ This type of referencing may be sold for profit, but you must specify the original source and ensure its use for doing so prior to utilizing it.
Heavy referencing involves using a complete copy of an image without altering it in any way for the final piece of artwork. Using references in this way can certainly be beneficial, but it becomes an issue if the sources are not properly acknowledged or if profits are made from it. This is considered a form of art theft, which Wolfhome does not condone.
Here is a visual example of heavily referencing an image.
✦ Heavily referencing an image can be used for personal purposes only but you must state a reference was used and proper credit must be given.
✦ Heavily referencing an image should never be sold or used to obtain any sort of personal profit. This includes using images created with heavy referencing as commission examples.