Have you always wanted to paint wildlife, birds and landscapes but never had good enough Reference Photos to paint from?

Getting good photo references for your art can sometimes be difficult either because:

  • You don’t have a good enough camera or all the knowledge to use the one you have
  • You don’t live in an area where the particular animal lives.
  • You can’t for whatever reason travel to jungle, plains or forest and heading for the mountains to get your own good photos of them is not possible

If you struggle to think of something to paint and then to find good reference photos, then I suggest you head for these sites and get the inspiration you need. These many “Artists Reference Photos” are just what you need. Not only that but they Royalty Free Photos and are FREE (or very affordably priced) for you to use in your paintings and art projects. Of course you have to abide by the use requirements, rules and regulations. Respecting the photographer’s rights is extremely important.

You will never have to paint from a calendar or magazine again and you will have all the inspiration you need to paint from for YEARS!


Paint My Photo (PMP)

This is one of the best photo reference sites that I have come across. This is the grand-daddy of all photo reference sites with 1000’s and 1000’s of really good photographs of every subject you can imagine. PMP is a social networking site dedicated to sharing photos for artistic inspiration without fear of infringing copyright.

You can post your own photos as well as your art. Make sure you read the User Guide Information


 Jason Morgan, a professional wildlife artist has all kinds of Royalty Free Photos on his web site for you to use in your paintings and art projects.  They are available as download or on CD (very reasonabily priced) and these include

African Wildlife Photos: 75 high res photos

Wildlife Photos Volume 1

Wildlife Photos Volume 2

Birds of Prey Photos

British Wildlife Photos

Landscape / Seascape Photos

Flower Reference Photos

He also has free photos reference photo’s for artists. Every Friday he uploads some new photos that he has for you to use for FREE in your artwork

As a bonus he has lots of wildlife painting instruction books, CD’s and downloads. Many of these are also free.


Improve My Paintings is a great web site where Johannes Vloothuis, an award winning professional artist, offers instruction, beautiful reference photos and much more. Johannes is considered a master painter in all the leading mediums.

Johannes’ Reference Photos

Over the years and during all his travels Johannes has been accumulating his own personal library of reference landscape photos.  From all these photos he has handpicked the best from some of his favorite painting spots. These will make good reference photos for painting landscapes for your paintings as well. The difference with these photos compared to others is that they were carefully selected and taken by an expert landscape artist so they are very supportive in composition.

When you purchase these reference photos, Johannes grants you the right to use these photos and waves the copyrights for you to use for paintings. Of course you must read and follow his requires for use of these photos


You won’t be disappointed with the photo reference material available on these sites.

Published by dustyoldchips

I'm am artist, woodworker, carver and rocking horse craftsman.


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