How to Choose Reference Photos for Your Art

Finding good reference photos for your artwork isn’t always easy! This video explains what specific qualities to look for when looking for reference photos for your art. Factors to consider include the resolution of the photo, lighting, focus, and more. Tips for sites that provide a diverse range of references are talked about as well. Discussion led by Art Prof Clara Lieu and Art Prof Teaching Artist Cat Huang.

Video Walkthrough

  • Why is it hard to find a reference photo?
  • Homogenous search results
  • Magazine photos
  • Don’t use another artist’s artwork
  • Don’t use a really famous photo
  • Don’t use a diagram or chart
  • Don’t limit yourself to a literal references
  • What makes a good reference photo?
  • Shooting your own photos
  • Cat’s Cowboy illustration
  • Cat’s Library illustration
  • Recommended sites