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Artist Photo Reference Sites

It is always great when you can take your own photos but sometimes that just isn’t possible. What do you do when that happens, you can use Artist photo reference sites.

These are each individual sites with their own rules and terms, you must follow the terms of the site or group in order to use their photos to paint from.

Some of these are free and some are a small fee. There are many great sites to browse for some amazing photos.

If you know of any other sites for photo reference you can contact me here and I will add them to the list.

Reference Sites for artists


Facebook Groups

Each group has individual rules on what is allowed, credits that need to be given and other requirements to use photos for art. Please read the group rules for each group.

Google Maps

For those of us who do not have the financial means or ability to travel, did you know that Google gave permission for the artist to use their street views as references for paintings and other artwork? If you use Google maps and click on the satellite view, you can drag and drop the little man icon to any street location. Once there, you can wander around the streets and roads of any location around the globe! You can save a screenshot of the view you want, and I use photo editing software to resize and edit the photos to use as a reference.

Information about copyright and creative commons for those who want more info