Guide to the perfect reference sheet
A good reference shows all sides of a character, the style and expression wanted, and clear accurate markings and colors. Unless I'm told otherwise, i will be following the reference so this matters for things such as the expression, presence of claws, style of nose, and so on. Below I have a small guide to what makes a perfect fursuit reference sheet. Some of these are just nice extra features but the only thing required is that there is at least a front and back view, and possibly a side view for characters with more than a few simple markings. Drawings of just the parts needed for a partial is totally fine! Just make sure that it shows all sides of the part if needed.
Examples of good references
This shows a clear 3 view turnaround, has consistent style and expression, and shows every feature wanted on the suit such as flat toony eyes that look forward, perked up ears, tail sticking out, and claws on all the paws! These are all things I would follow the reference for unless specifically told otherwise.
This turnaround for just a head is a bit sketchy, but still shows the markings and style clearly!
Examples of bad/ok references:
This only shows the front of the character! I would have to ask or guess at the design of the back and this wastes time and delays the fursuit progress as well as making the quote process more difficult.
A reference like this isn't actually that bad, but unless you state in the quote I won't know the exact look you want the fursuit to have, as this shows a variety of expressions and mouth styles but the fursuit can only have one. While this won't affect your ability to get a slot its just something to keep in mind if you are making a fursuit reference and want it to be very good, consistency is important.