Thanks! For any given commission, I use multiple references by picking and choosing the aspects that I need from each of them. I'd love to get to the point where I can render lighting by making it up, but I'm not there yet.
Cool References are fine, I personally don't think of it as a shortcoming or anything. All the time I see even veteran artists of many different mediums resort to poseable dummies, models, photos, other artworks... Both for inspiration and for reference.
I don't know how that sounds. I'm making little sense and inadvertently offending people lately. I meant that in a good way