I already drew the same kitty yesterday, but adjusted it in a new sketch, opening its mouth. It may not be as accurate as drawing from a reference with a cat’s mouth opened, but it is good enough to convey the idea. The sketch still looks like the same cat, more or less.
Now I need this technique of changing a drawing based on a photo reference in order to draw more imaginative, because you just can’t have photo references for everything. The question is always where does the imagination begin to distort reality. Where has the artist gone so far with their imagination that the result looks distorted, and the drawing gets into the realm of cartoons.
Not that drawing a cartoon is a bad thing, but it gets away from reality and may take some people out of the story. I guess it is all about managing the reader expectation. If you introduce more cartoony poses gently and with consideration, the reader may go along with it, because it also makes sense in the story, and perhaps even add to the story.
However, if you’re doing extreme cartoony poses constantly, it may make more sense to design a character instead of drawing based on photo references. But even then, poses have to make sense to the character and the story.
That is all.