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Reference Photographs for Artists

A collection of photographs and illustrations for you to refer to when you're painting, including animals, trees, waves, and textures.

Where to Find Free Reference Photos to Use in Paintings
Find out where you can obtain free reference photos that you can use in your paintings.

Artist's Reference Photos: Terms of Use
What are the terms of use of the artist's reference photos that can be found on the Painting section of About.com?

Abstract Art Painting Ideas
If you're looking for ideas for abstracts, this collection of photos, and explanations of ideas developed, is the place to start.

Reference Photos for Artists: Butterflies, Insects, and Bugs
From beautiful butterflies to mysterious mantises, the variety of insects and creepy-crawlies is astounding. Use this collection of reference photos for inspiration and observing the details.

Reference Photos for Artists: Cats
A collection of photos of cats for artists to use as reference in paintings.

Reference Photos for Artists: Cheetahs
A collection of cheetah photos for artists to use as reference in paintings.

Reference Photos for Artists: Clouds
Ever changing, clouds merit a painting of their own, not being merely an element in a landscape. Use this collection of reference photos of clouds for inspiration.

Reference Photos for Artists: Flowers
A collection of flower photos for artists to use as reference in paintings.

Claude Monet's Garden at Giverny
One look at Monet's gardens and waterlily pond at Giverney, near Paris, and you'll also be wanting to paint the lilies and reflections.

Reference Photos for Artists: Landscapes
Reference photos for artists: photographs of landscapes to use for inspiration and reference in your paintings and artwork.

Reference Photos for Artists: Lions
Photographs of lions to use for inspiration and reference when painting.

Reference Photos for Artists: Seascapes and Waves
Want to paint seascapes or waves? Use this collection of beautiful photos for inspiration and reference.

Reference Photos for Artists: Sheep and Lambs
Looking for reference photos of sheep and lambs to use in a painting? Here is a collection of reference photos for inspiration and observing the details.

Reference Photos for Artists: Still Life
A collection of reference photos of various still life objects and set up, that you're free to use to paint from, or for inspiration.

Reference Photos for Artists: Sunsets and Sunrises
A collection of glorious sunsets and sunrises to use for inspiration and reference in your paintings.

Reference Photos for Artists: Snow Landscapes
Brrrr, get ready to feel the cold with this collection of snowy landscape reference photos!

Reference Photos for Artists: Textures and Details
Looking for textures or details to add to a painting? Use this collection reference photos for artists for inspiration.

Reference Photos for Artists: Trees
A collection of free tree reference photos for artists to use in their paintings.

Artist's Reference Photos: Barns
A collection of reference photos of barns for you to use when painting.

Reference Photos for Artists: Colours of Venice
Venice is a city made for artists, as this collection of reference photos from Venice showing the city's colours shows.

Reference Photos: Artists Painting in Venice
Venice is an inspiring city for artists and provides plenty of opportunities for plein-air painting, as these photos show.

Reference Photos for Artists: Zebras
Want to paint a zebra? Use this collection of photos of zebras, both individual animals and groups, for reference.

Christmas Reference Photos for Artists
Find inspiration for painting your own Christmas cards from this collection of Christmas reference photos.

Reference Photos for Artists: Red Penguins in Venice
Why were there red penguins in Venice and who put them there? It's all to do with installation art...

How To Take Reference Photographs
A few tips on taking reference photographs for use in your paintings.

Reference Photos for Artists: Figures
A collection of photos of figures for artists to use as reference in paintings.

Reference Photos for Amusement Painting Project
These reference photos of an amusement park were taken for a Painting Forum project to paint some summer fun in the sun. The shapes and colors lend themselves to painting.

Reasons Not to Make a Painting from a Photo
Turning a single photo into a painting won’t make you a good artist, ever.

Tips on Painting from Reference Photographs
If you're finding the paintings you're making from reference photographs aren't working, it may be because you're not taking enough photographs.

Altering a Reference Photo for a Painting
If you have a reference photo that might make a nice painting with a few changes, using a photo editing program is an easy way to get an idea of what the final painting would look like.

Is it Okay to Alter a Reference Photo for a Painting, to Change Reality?
Is it okay to alter a scene in a reference photo when you paint it, or not?

Tips on Digitally Fixing Your Photos of Paintings
Some helpful tips on how to fix or improve your digital photos of your paintings with a photo-editing program.

Artist's Reference Photos: Hands
A great variety of clear, black-and-white photos of hands in all kinds of gestures and poses. Click on a photo to get a larger picture.

Reference Photos: What Can or Can't You Photograph?
You've got your new digital camera and you're heading out with it to take reference photos. Have you thought about whether or not there are things you're not allowed to photograph? This guide (written by a lawyer) explains the situation in America.

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