Art Prof Reference Photo Collection

Art Prof offers a wide selection of high resolution photos you can download and use freely as reference for your art.

2022 November Art Dare
Flickr album: Male Torso, Ken


Sal Devito, Art Dare, Ken, reference photo
Sal Devito

Can I really use these photos for free?

Yes! All of our photos on Flickr are labeled under Creative Commons as Attribution 2.0 Generic. This requires that you credit Art Prof when you use our photos.

2022 November Art Dare Entries
Sonja ColluNovember Art Dare

How do I give Art Prof credit?

Anywhere you post artwork that was created from our collection, please explain in the accompanying text caption that you used a reference photo from Art Prof.

Be sure to tag us on social media and/or link to 1 of these sites: 

2022 November Art Dare

“I know there are lots of stock photo sites out there, but I have found, as you say, most of them have a certain aesthetic which feels almost fake and artificial.

I try to make sure the reference photos in our collection that I shoot are not clean, not Photoshopped, etc. so you get the real thing.”

Prof Lieu
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Can I sell artwork I create using one of your reference photos?

Yes! As long as you credit Art Prof wherever you sell the artwork. Please read about how to credit us.

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Who shoots the photos in the collection?

All photographs in the collection are shot by Prof Lieu with a DSLR Canon Rebel camera. Our photos are high resolution and corrected for color, brightness, etc.

Prof Lieu shoots these photographs in a manner that is customized to maximizing a photo reference, you’ll get access to wide views, detail shots, animals and figures who are photographed without cropped areas, and more.

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Clara banner photo collection

Can I contribute my photos to the collection?

We don’t accept photos from the community for the collection.

Prof Lieu’s Tips

Clara cartoon

I tell students that it’s not a good sign if your reference photo is better and more exciting than your drawing, it really should be the other way around!

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Flickr album: Amanita Muscaria mushrooms

I like to think about reference photos as being the raw materials for an artwork, the same way that eggs or raw material for baking a cake.

Flickr collection reference banner, Jellyfish

What subjects are in the collection?

Our photo collection includes diverse landscapesanimalsfoodplants, the human figurearchitecturevehicles, and much more. Prof Lieu is always on the hunt for useful shots, so our photo collection is always growing!

Tell us in our Discord if you have suggestions for images you’d like to see in our reference collection.

Flickr collection reference banner, Linda

Timed Drawing videos

We have timed drawing videos created from our photo collection that you can use to practice. Hit play and start drawing! See all our timed videos here.

 all our timed videos here.

We want to share your progress!

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