Typically, to call something art, you have to put your own spin on it.
Even when the stereotypical oil painter sets up his easel on a hillside to paint the sunrise, he doesn't paint the scene exactly as he sees it. He tweaks colors here and there. He leaves out the telephone wires and the rotting log. He adjusts the sizes of some of the trees and arranges them more pleasantly.
Copying stuff is great for practice, and bragging rights, but not really appropriate for this site.
How is it not appropriate? I see this site as a way to share and to learn from other artists. A way to get critique and to improve your skills. You have to show your work, even sketches to get constructive criticism, and you have to begin somewhere.
There are a LOT of people on here that are doing reproduction...even if it's only to practice, it helps to get the point of view of others on our work.
I'm certainly not against it. I don't draw a lot, but my best and favorite drawings are exact copies of other pieces.
I'm just not familiar with DeviantArt's rules on exact copying. I know photomanipulators aren't allowed to post work for feedback that has things copied and pasted from Google images. You might find out you have to restrict yourself to copying photographs you've taken yourself. (Then you could post the original photo next to your copy.)
They're good for an exercise or two, but no - I wouldn't post them online and I wouldn't call it art.
There are a few reasons for this. First of all, it's more of a learning exercise than an actual piece. You haven't selected the pose, you haven't selected the characters, you may not have even selected the colors - you're just doing something for the sake of doing it (to learn why, etc., etc). Second of all, there are BIG legal copyright issues. Some artists won't care, but those who are living hand to mouth only on their art will. They won't see it as a kindness done from a fan; they're going to be angry that instead of paying for the piece itself, you're trying to draw it. (Disney actually prohibits the public dispay of any fan-art of their characters - drawn in their style or not. The more famous artists sometimes have similar policies.)
Of course, if it's "inspired by," that's a whole different realm. Some of my favorite drawings were based on one of my friend's sketches. I just cleaned it up and added my own style to it. But in that case, communication is key. I'd be loathe to even attempt the process without the express (kind) permission of my friend. If you were curious to do an "inspired by" piece, I'd message the artist and ask their express permission. Most of the dA artists are really nice about that sort of thing, especially if you have artwork to show them you aren't going to completely ruin it.
You got either copying or remixing. I think a closer term to any art you do is a remix of something original. So no matter what, its not going to be truely original idea.
Copying is totally wrong. It has it benefits like an observation practice, and retracing the artist steps. My figure drawing teacher said that copying a master drawing is a practice that's been done since the Renaissance time. I know that certain Chinese painters which I forgetting my periods of which painters, would copy a master line art. Artist who do HyperRealism, wouldn't really exist from copying photos, unless they had an actual photo reference.
You can argue alot of Fine art will use something from Real life or photos.
Especially if your drawing fan art, you can't really learn about the character unless you seen it before.
So really it comes down that if it befitting you or is it a crutch. Usually to copy a photo, you take the photo as an observation exercise. Are you learning something out of it, or are you just copying a photo? Are you applying the fundamentals as you draw (sometimes it may not apply)?
Make also sure if your copying a character exactly, don't expect to sell it. Keep it as a learning tool. But photos get a bit more fuzzy and you should probably ask permission.
If you feel like though you need to do more and you feel like your doing the same thing, fundementals are your best friend. You should learn anatomy, colors, and learn how to achieve depht enough.
Well, that's exactly the reason why I copy for now: to learn. I started drawing a few months ago, and I just want to improve or learn some different skills. I try to use my own pictures as reference, or famous characters or people, so that I don't copy directly the work of a talented artist.
I found out that, since I began to copy, I really improved some of my abilities. I can't wait to try to draw without copy, but I'm not at this level yet.
your question is also mine ! I learnt how to draw copying pictures. I never used them for anything apart showing them to my friends. I really don't see what the problem is with this as long as you don't try to sell it or to make it appear as your own... + I 'm thinking about submitting my copied pices on my DA Gallery , saying very clearly that they are not mine, but to show what i did : what do you think ? is it a bad idea ? is it "using without the artist authorisation" if i say it is not mine ... ??
and i would add that copying may not be talent. But it is training and improving. And it's right you can't call it "inspiring" because even we see it that way, inspiring is more like =nelche described it . copying is still very fun and usefull and it shows something about your art (and mine ) but i'm not sure what it is exactly yet...