Photos For Artists

Free reference photos for artists to paint or draw

Using our photos

Downloading the photos

  • Go to your chosen gallery and click on the thumbnail of the image you wish to use.
  • This will open up a useable image. Click again to open up the full size image.
  • Click f11 to lose everything but the image from your screen.
  • If you wish to save the image to your computer, just right click and then save.

Cropping the images

If you have Photoshop or a similar image editing software you can use the crop tool in various ways.

The most obvious use of the crop tool is to crop the image to your size and shape.

Traditionally, an artist might use two halves of a mount to help plan the design of his/her artwork. The crop tool can be used in the same way.

Just make a landscape or portrait shaped rectangle and move it around over the photo. For example, in the case of the photo on the left you might want to crop everything but the statue to leave the image on the right.

Some images will offer up at least two or more different possibilities for a painting or drawing.

Other tools

Another helpful tool is the blur tool. This will help you to 'knock back' or 'blur' all or just certain parts of the images.

Why would you want to blur the image? A photographer uses various methods to blur all but the centre of interest. This artistic device is used to highlight just that part of the image. When painting you might want to do the same. Using photoshop or your image editing software to blur all but the centre of interest might help to focus your mind when painting.

Photoshop has plenty of other tools that can assist you, such as Filter > Artistic > Poster edges, if you want to bring out some definition. Play around with them to see what you can do. You need never ruin the original image either.

Adding or transferring an object or feature from one image to another

Taking objects or articles from one place or image and transferring or adding them to another is an age old way to compose a picture - think sketch books and practice sketches. Even the masters would make watercolour sketches prior to putting oil to canvas for their masterpieces.

You have the facility on photos4artists to browse through all the photos and to save, cut or crop certain parts of a photo to add to any other.

Are the photos really free from copyright restrictions?

Absolutely. Our Terms and Conditions page explains in greater detail the restrictions we impose. However, if you paint or draw or in any other way produce a completely new piece of artwork using any of our photos as reference, we place no copyright restrictions whatsoever.

The photos on this website exist for the sole purpose of providing reference photos to help artists paint and draw. They are provided free of cost. Adding copyright restrictions on finished artwork would render the website pointless.

All Photos Copyright © Photos4artists 2010