Let’s talk a bit about using references and other media for your (digital) paintings. Everyone has a right to their own opinion, however there are some assumptions that people make that we are better off clearing up.
Often during my Twitch streams people ask me:
‘I want to paint characters from imagination, how do I do it without copying from a reference?’
You have to train yourself with reference before you get the information memorized in your brain. That's why we do anatomy studies with live models, 3D models, photos of naked people etc. When doing these studies you must try and understand the thing you are studying and not just blindly copy what you see. If you understand how the body moves, what muscles are used, proportions, curves etc, you will have a much easier time sketching out the human figure without reference. But even then, depending on the purpose of your work, you do well with checking your sketch for mistakes