NEVER, EVER stop copying other people's paintings. This is a great way to learn and put yourself in their shoes. Art is a DO thing, not a TALK thing.
And when you do, please credit the original artist. That's all you have to do to not look like you're up to something sneaky. You can sign it "my name AFTER original artist." If the original artist is living you could email them to let them know, and they might offer some helpful suggestions.
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