The Question: [Short] What's the best way to learn to draw and then to paint with no experience? Is it ok to copy from photos?
My Answer: If you want to learn correctly you need to start to draw from the real things an you need some practice to draw objects in perspective on a 3d field starting from simple shapes like cubes, cones, cylinders, pyramids and spheres. There is a reason for that and is cause your eye can't perceive distance on a photo. Someone would say the opposite but it's not real, your brain can let you perceive distance by color brightness and perspective (this is what artists do) but it's not the same thing because of how eyes perceive distance (which is a little different).
So the best way to learn to draw is to study perspective and how perspective is applied to our visual field and how to render simple shapes in a 3d space (with perspective) cause those shapes are used to create everything that can be drawn.
To learn colors the best thing to do is to learn value separation first when you are learning perspective ecc ecc and then study color theory and lighting.
Photos are a great medium to use to learn drawing and painting but only after you've learned the basics and you're 100% comfortable with advanced perspective and value separation.
I think i haven't forgot anything but if you have other doubts feel free to ask!
(And obviously if you have a different opinion i'll be glad to hear it and talk about it cause this can be a very subjective topic for someone!)