Art or just plain cheating?

I went to a local ‘Meet the Artist’ event held as part of a bigger festival.  There was a good mixture of artists and disciplines.

I came across an empty table/stand, and peered at the workstation to see what the artist was working on. I saw what looked like a inkjet colour printout of a photo of a field of poppies and some daisies, on top of which the artist had started painting using acrylic paints.

Now I am all one for using a photograph as reference and study aid, but had never heard of anyone painting directly onto the photograph.  My friend said that it was like ‘painting by numbers’. I am afraid I don’t approve and it was a good thing the artist was not present otherwise she would have received a disapproving look from me.