I don't think that using textured brushes or photo textures is cheating. I don't use photo textures often and if I do it is almost always a texture I photographed. That said, the use of these tools can be used to train your eye to see how the textures create depth and add interest. In time you can duplicate (for the most part) similar textures by hand. Also, what about using say photoshop and it's effects to create a texture that you then convert to a brush. It's completely made from scratch, by you, so I don't think that any misgivings would apply in that sence either.
If I use a sponge loaded with ink and stamp it down on a paper is that cheating? or crumple up plastic wrap and drip paint over it then press to a canvas. I'm using the texture of the sponge and the plastic wrap to create something that I didn't do by hand alone! Texture brushes are basically the same thing as the sponge or plastic wrap, nothing more then tools to help you. Many concept artists and illustrators use photos to set up their paintings : example( [link]) but the photos are so lost in the final, that they are really just a quick way to make a color palette to use. Watch this guys (Mike Nash) [link] u-tube videos on how he does his paintings and tell me you think after that he's cheating by using small amounts of texture files and brushes. This guys is an amazing artist and no amount of fancy brushes or textures will compensate for shear knowledge, understanding, and practiced skills over time that this guy has. He doesn't really use a whole lot of special brushes that I can see to do his work. I use to think some what like this myself awhile back, until I really started watching what was being done with them and now I think it's just another means of being able to do better work in a digital format. Heck you could say using use a computer to paint with is cheating as well as it's not really you putting pigment on paper now is it? see how silly that sounds!
Mind you their are limits to the use of special brushes and textures , over done it looks bad, taking photos and just pasting them in as texture looks bad and cheap as well. if you really feel that using ones made by others is cheat then make your own. but not everyone has the luxury to learn to use a camera to a proficient level as that is how much of the brushes are made, or the time or resources to run around the planet snapping shots of exotic subject matter to use as brushes/textures. Stock resources are a great alternative to that. hopefully I give you a new light to look at on the subject matter, as well as some amazingly talented artists! cheers
its not 'cheating', tools are tools. You can compare that to a pencile, or the tools you use on traditional/paintings. there arent any rules for art as i know, except stealing/copyright. Those tools are made to USE. And many artists make their own textures,brushes. Just give credit if you use a texture,photo etc that someone made TO USE.
but... when you use photoshop or sai or wut eva you're using, then you are just using other people's tools too?
no it is not cheating. tools are tools. if you don't wan't to "cheat" then take some mud and go paint on a cave wall. with your hands. not a brush.
but well, as long as you don't run around commenting on people's deviations like : "LOOK AT YA CHEATY FACE AND LOOK HOW MUCH IT CHEATS!!1!!!!1" then i respect your opinion and will not try to change it.
I didn't say it was cheating, I asked if it was, and in my paragraph, I never implied that it was cheating, I simply said it's unappealing to me. Re-read my question, and feel free to tell me if I ever wrote, "Using brushes and texture is cheating."