You can only cheat if there are rules and about the only rule that could be argued as holding universally is "don't lie". Don't claim you did work you didn't do, but if you are honest about how you did it there's nothing wrong. There will of course be opinionated idiots who will complain, but that's true whatever you do.
LOTS of pro's do that exact same thing, DNP. It's not cheating at all, especially if you're under a time-constraint. For example, a lot of comic-artists use some kind of reference for poses or angles that are really out of the ordinary. It's just a matter of what you want to focus on. It could be a stepping stone to learning or you could use it when you need it if it's not a huge issue to be able to draw people from any position imaginable.
Definitely NOT cheating. It's just creating and using reference material which is totally normal and acceptable. The fact that its reference material that you're creating yourself even makes it less cheating (if its possible to cheat less than not cheating at all).
The bottom line is, if you really want to get something right, then having something to reference is a good idea. I don't tell my accountant he's cheating if he uses a calculator!
In the short time it's fine, but as others have said you're really cheating yourself. Just about anybody can copy a photo, but taking a 3d form and reducing it to only 2d is a skill that anybody that claims to be a drawer needs.
If you're going to create models in 3d, you may as well just be a 3d modeler. (Not that there's anything wrong with that, it's just a different type of art)
But, if it allows you to perfect other skills like modelling or coloring, then it's perfectly fine, just be aware when you're no longer working on other aspects.
I used to do that! xD There's nothing wrong with it, but don't use it as a crutch forever - experiment and try other things too. Eventually you'll know enough about anatomy that you won't need it anymore.
There's no such thing as cheating. There's only lying about what you do to make yourself seem more impressive, and that tends to catch up with an artist, whether they're using other people's art or pretending they don't trace. But most artists don't copy 3D models (at least ones of non-artificial things) too closely because they're stiff and don't act or pose like real people. So you might find this method attractive at the beginning, but as you develop better judgement about art you'll notice the problems. Even using photoreference too literally results in stiff, static art.
But this is a terrific method to use for buildings, mechanical things, or even entire city scenes which you plan to draw from different angles.
A lot of artist work that way or using real references from photos. Is not cheating, it's other way to do work, old artist looked at references, so I think perhaps is necesary to search first references to work and make your art more realistic. If you don't do it perhaps you'll have some mistakes. If you want to learn first you need to see how the real light impacts over objects, or how the shadows works, even anatomy. I've seen a lot of awesome artist making their art with models or 3D models searching a reference, so, if they do that, why not? The result it's brilliant as well
Naw. Though maybe tracing the whole thing might not be a good idea, not so much because it's "cheating" more so that you're kind of giving in to not being able to do something, and thus you just trace it. Like you're fooling yourself. Though I can understand if you use it as an exercise, like trace it to get shapes down, and then not use it in something you're actually finishing. But then again if it's not a fully detailed model, but it's boxes and cylinders, I don't think that'll actually help you. I honestly really don't like the idea of tracing things to use in your final work, but that's just an opinion/pet peeve of mine. XD
ToPaintARoseFeatured By OwnerJan 9, 2013Student General Artist
It's not cheating at all! In fact, it's a really good technique. When you think about it, many life drawings aren't of pictures the artist has taken his/herself or even objects that they arranged. They just find a picture or person or scene. and they draw it! Tat's the same thing you're doing except you use it as a base for your own imagination!