Please enjoy this short time lapse demonstration of painting a tree in alcohol ink on Yupo paper.
I was excited to view the alcohol ink paintings at a local art show, but was disappointed to find that the painting that had won an award was not entirely original. I studied that video years ago myself and have seen that recognizable scene reproduced countless times online. I have also seen others teaching the very same techniques and composition based on that image! Looking further, there were also a couple of copies done from my own step by step tutorials. I was saddened, because I thought my students knew better. At least I have tried to educate people on the difference between the right and wrong way to go about these things.
When you follow an example from a class or tutorial, look at the piece as a learning exercise, rather than your own art. Please DO share it and give credit to the teacher wherever possible, (ie: "After Sandy Sandy, date"). Online, a link to the artist and where more information can be found should be included. It should also be written on the back of the physical copy as well. This helps the teacher's sales and directs others to the tutorial or resource. It is not morally or legally correct to physically show or sell this as your own work, unless the copyright owner gives you specific permission to do so.
A technique or an idea can't be copyrighted, however if an artist makes her living teaching the technique, it would be very nice to give credit to them. This is kind and thoughtful, but not legally required. Study the technique and follow along with the project. Just don't enter the tutorial painting in art shows, reteach someone's same lesson, sell it or claim it as your own.
Once the technique has been practiced and grasped, your own idiosyncrasies will emerge. If the work is a derivative of someone else's creative work, yet has changed or evolved over time and is unrecognizable, you then hold the copyright and have the legal right to determine who uses it and how.
Bottom line - Follow along with tutorials as practice. Learn the techniques and perfect them, but give credit where it is due. Practice, practice, then practice some more. Throw in your own unique twists. Share your new ideas and discoveries. Make the art your own. Using, sharing or teaching the same technique learned in a class or tutorial by another person is okay as long as you change the subject matter, vary the approach and use your own design, examples or projects. Simply reproducing, re-painting or re-teaching someone else's work is not acceptable.
Note: It's good to study another artist's work to learn techniques, but copying their work and presenting it as your own is a copyright violation.
A NOTE ABOUT USING PHOTOGRAPHS ... If you are using someone else's photo for reference, make sure it is specified that it is "copyright free, in the public domain with complete use granted". Even if it is on a site like Pixabay, it is kind and good spirituality to give credit and link back to the place you got the image. When posting online, only share photos with a link to the photographer's page, website or portfolio where the image was originally found. When you copy, or even just get inspiration from a really awesome photo, you are literally dipping your brush into someone else's soul. You are seeing life through their eyes and perspective, tapping into their skill and unique point of view. So be grateful for their gift and honor it as you would want someone else to honor your own. This is why I prefer to use (at least) several reference photos for any one piece. Now days, I usually use my own previous work and my imagination for reference and with time and patience, anyone can do the same.
Check Out This Handy Info Graphic