I've been looking into how to structure an art style guide (ASG); it's a document which helps guide artists how a project's visuals should look. They often have sketches and illustrations from artists working on the project, though I am unsure about using external images.
I am working on a commercial videogame project and I have been writing both a game design document (GDD) and currently an art style guide. Is it legal for me to add artwork I came across while browsing the internet into the ASG? I know that most artists can add external images outside of their project into a section talking about inspirations, but could this be done for areas that loosely talk about, say, an overall aesthetic of something, such as creature or environment design?
For example, say I have a section which talks about the design of fantasy monsters in a chapter about characters. Would it be legally viable to use various images I come across to help show artists what I'm looking for in each creature? I'm guessing that it is legally viable because I don't think I'd be profiting off of an ASG. I hope somebody could verify this for me; I don't want to cause any trouble.
I apologize for making this a bit wordy; I wish I knew how to articulate myself better.