This journal is for those that have experienced issues with people not sourcing/crediting material, as well as for those that may be new to the site.
Whether it's base work, stock, commissions, referencing or doing a collab, sourcing is important. It shows respect to the original artists of the subject you're working with. A lot of the stuff covered on here is pretty self explanatory or is similar in instruction. There should be no excuse not to source art from a fandom or from a base maker or what have you. Especially if you have a description--don't pull any "I didn't have time to source". If you had enough time to write a description, you had enough time to put credits. Even if your description doesn't contain anything but credits it's better than not sourcing at all.
And so, without further ado, I will go ahead and split things up into segments. I apologize for there not being any pictures in demonstration, I don't have a PM and so can't have this option.
If you're doing an art piece for....say an OC from a certain fandom. Always. Always. ALWAYS credit the original artist. I usually credit them last if I have more than one credit going on...the order in which you choose to credit is up to you. The ways you can do this is by putting the name of the fandom you're drawing for and either a (C) or a © (alt+0619) and then the original creator/artist of the fandom.
Naruto Shippuden (C) Masashi Kishimoto / Naruto Shippuden © Masashi Kishimoto
Red vs Blue (C) RoosterTeeth / Red vs Blue © RoosterTeeth
Avatar The Last Airbender (C) Michael Dante DiMartino, Bryan Konietzko and Nickelodeon/Avatar The Last Airbender © Michael Dante DiMartino, Bryan Konietzko and Nickelodeon
==Commissions/Drawing other people's OC's==
You may recieve a commission from (making up a username) DADummy to draw his OC Tyrant Arthur. So you go to draw it, and you upload it. Is Tyrant Arthur yours? No. Someone paid you to draw their characters with Points--it's crucial to credit them lest you have a different sort of Tyrant on your hands.
Tyrant Arthur (C) DADummy / Tyrant Arthur (C) : devDADummy : / Tyrant Arthur (C) : iconDADummy : (be sure to close the spaces with the codes in order for these to work. These codes also helps the commissioner know their request is done)
If the OC requested is a part of a fandom...say, Soul Eater for example. Credit BOTH the owner of the OC and the original creator of the fandom. Again, in whichever order is your choice.
Tyrant Arthur (C) DADummy
Soul Eater (C) Atsushi Ōkubo
Usually when you go to look for a base to use, the base makers usually enclose rules on how to use the base either in the base's description box, or in the Base Maker's Page itself. The most common rule you'll find is to credit the maker of the base. You'd think this would be common sense, but I've seen a lot of Base Makers on DeviantART who complain about users who do not credit/link back to the base as instructed. This is often controversial since they're initially taking something from one work and creating a "clean slate" from it, but it's still time-eating work that they put into it. Especially if the bases they made on their own and not from a screenshot. Again, it's about respecting the effort that's put into it. And while most of the time it's optional unless otherwise specified to link back to the base, I personally always link back to the base so that way others can find it if they wanted to use it as well. Believe me, scavenging for bases is a looot easier when this is done. So, what to take away from this? Whether it's an original base or taken from a screenshot, credit the base maker. And if it's taken from a screenshot, credit BOTH the base maker and the creator of the fandom. If using someone else's character, credit them as well.
Tyrant Arthur (C) DADummy
Soul Eater (C) Atsushi Ōkubo
Base (C) ALLURBASSRBELONG2UZ [link]
One of the things I absolutely love about DeviantART is the stunning photography. The close ups, the lens flair, there's a bunch of high quality stuff if you look hard enough. With that said, if you see something you like that you want to do Photoshop with, be sure it says that you may use it for stock. If it doesn't, it wouldn't hurt to ask the photographer. Whether or not he or she will allow you is at their sole discretion. And if they say no, or post a "You are not allowed to use this" alert on their description, please respect their wishes and try not to go behind their backs and use it anyway. Sometimes photographers just want to share the natural beauty of their shots without any additional bells and whistles. Also, please don't be that stick that downloads the stock image and slightly alter the hue or contrast or brightness and then re-upload it as your own. Any monkey with computer skills can do that, and it just shows how much creativity is lacking in your life.
So, you find this stock image you like and want to use--and can use. Like the base maker, credit the photographers for each piece you plan to photoshop. If you are really good at Semi-realism, you may only need a background stock and you can paint a person in the foreground. As long as you okay it with the photographer, of course. Trust me, I'm sure it'd be better to know if you can/can't do that before you've already done it. If you do this, then you'll just have to credit the photographer of the background. If you photoshop people, animals or insects or anything else, credit must be given to those stock recourses as well. And like the Base Maker one--I highly recommend linking back to the original stock you took from.
NOTE: This also applys to brushes you may find and download from here. BBs-Brushes and FantasyBrushes are examples of people who make really good brushes and has crediting in their rules.
Winter Forest Stock(C) MichaelQualmwell [link]
Caribou Stock (C) LianaDuvai [link]
Glowing Moon brush (C) TwiNight brushes [link]
Cloaked Model : devMiaSiveranto :
While I don't generally condone tracing, if you do--Credit whoever you're tracing from. Especially if it's another person's work--which again, isn't something you should do. At least mention that you took this pose from this person or this anatomy from this character. One of my friends of whom I've RPed with and known for years now had this problem. Believe me, save everyone a headache and credit. Don't trace at all if you can help it. If you feel like your anatomy needs some work, use a base. An even better solution is to pick up a how to draw manga book and research how to draw anatomy for yourself. From there, it's just years of practice from observation. Start small. Look at a screenshot from your favorite anime and study the facial structure. Then draw. Then continue looking up occasionally to make sure you get certain details in the right place. I would not suggest holding your paper infront of the screen and drawing...that can't be good for your computer.
If you're drawing digitally, resist all temptation to trace over the picture. instead, keep the picture to one side and lock the layer. then, on the other side, draw from what you see beside it.
And again, credit the appropriate sources! If you're drawing from a different person's OC, credit that OC and their owner. If drawing from a screenshot, credit the original source of the screenshot.
Say you want to draw a chibi from the Naruto spin off Naruto SD: Rock Lee and His Ninja Pals. Let's use Tenten as an example--she's delivering the punchline as she rages at Lee's stupidity. Take the screenshot of the scene and then crop it so that way it's just the picture you want to draw from. As mentioned above--if drawing traditionally, just observe the screenshot and make a sketch using short pencil strokes. Don't be afraid to look at the subject you're drawing from time to time. If drawing digitally, put it in a corner and lock the layer so that way you won't be tempted to trace over it. Then beside it, or if the picture is big enough to show on the whole canvas, draw on the empty white space and make a sketch. Then, once you get the sketch done, clean up the lines by using the pen tool on photoshop or by carefully inking your drawing. If you're drawing digitally, you then can use the screenshot for a color pallet to get the correct skintone and hair color. If doing this traditionally, just go with whatever color is closest.
==Coloring Over Screenshots==
While I admit to being guilty of doing this, I stamp this as a huge artist no-no. It's tacky, not very creative and not original. Even if you were to take Usagi from Sailor Moon and give her bright red hair and call her the grown up version of Chibi-Chibi, she's still Usagi underneath that red color filter. And if you make an OC from a color over, it only adds to the non-creativity. Kakashi with purpilish hair and greyish-brown eyes is not your OC Seiji Hatake the son of Kakashi and Anko.
Even if you credit your source, chances are you'll still get flamed from coloring over a screenshot. So the best rule of thumb is to not do it.
I hope this review helps. So now that you've read this, there should be no excuse to not credit/steal art. At All.
Even if all you can draw is scribbly MS Paint work, it's still better than taking art from other people's gallery and claiming it as your own. Why? Because that Scribbly Paint art came from you. No matter how much pride you think taking other people's art will give you, you'd only be fooling yourself. Not only that, but you'd be risking your account getting taken down by the DA mods because an angry mob came after you due to taking a friend's art piece.
So, bottom line: Credit, Source, Don't Steal.