Because there are times when you need to study some known or unknown object, get in details, to find an inspiration, new art style, color palette or interesting composition. But finding a really good reference can be a problem. You need images. And you need the best images so that your art can be outstanding. But where to find them? Or better, where to download them for free? Don’t worry, we did the some research for you! Below are the top reference image websites with great resources for your next art project. Most of them are free from copyright restrictions or licensed under Creative Commons 0 (CC0), which practically means you can use these photos for any personal or commercial use. Some of them, on the contrary, ask you for attribution when you use the photograph. We recommend taking a look on the license before you download and use the reference photo for your own use.
MorgueFiles is one of the oldest and largest free image resources on the internet with over 350,000 free images in their archive for your inspiration, reference and use in your creative work, be it commercial or not. MorgueFiles doesn’t use the standard CC0 license but have their own agreement which works very similarly. It is quite standard - you can use their photos for any purpose, including commercial as long as you change them.
Pexels collects the most beautiful pictures under one roof. It practically searches all reference images from various resources (like Unsplash, Gratisography, etc.) so all you need to do is enter a keyword or search through the displayed categories to find that perfect piece for your art. Pexels provides high quality and completely free stock photos licensed under the Creative Commons 0 license. All photos are nicely tagged and easily searchable through their discover pages. It can save you quite a lot of time which you can spend on your creativity. If you are a photographer, consider supporting Pexels by adding your own photos to be available for others. You can also show your appreciation by donating few bucks to their Paypal account.
Paint My Photo (PMP) is a social networking site dedicated to sharing photos for artistic inspiration without fear of infringing copyright. In order to search and download photos you must create an account first.
CopyrightFreePhotos.com has recently relaunched with a new design and there are now 12 free photo galleries to choose from. Whether you want photos for personal or commercial use, have a look at the galleries to see if there’s something you want to use.
This website encourages you to use their photos as references for paintings. Photos on this site are completely free - no subscriptions, memberships or hidden fees. Just go to the free galleries, click on the images to download and you can start painting in seconds. Take a look inside the free galleries and you will find photos of landscapes, seascapes, boats, tractors, bridges, canals and all manner of similar subjects, taken from a variety of angles, all of which will enhance the design of your picture.
IM FREE is a great source to find photos or templates for almost anything you need. All of the photos are divided into categories for easy searching and are free for commercial use. Since the photos are curated from various sources, some photos may require attribution so be sure to read terms for each photograph you plan to use.
What about you? Do you use reference images during your creative process, or do you prefer to paint more intuitively? If you use references, what are your favourite image libraries? Share with us what works for you!
Your Escape Motions Team
Photo credit: Josefa nDiaz | Unsplash.com
We love to interact with the CG community that’s why this time we’ve partnered with CGTrader Awards - a digital design competitions triving to spot and acknowledge the best 3D artworks globally organized by CGTrader.
The competition’s aim is to engage both CGTrader’s own community and artists around the world to show the projects they are proud of the most. For this competition, CGTrader is looking for unique images from artists’ portfolios that fit at least one of the six categories: character, cartoon, environment/scene, sci-fi, fantasy and photorealism. Artists can submit any artwork from their portfolio, whether new or created a while ago.
“Artists can submit their artwork until December 1st, 2017, and the winners will be announced December 18th, 2017. Though this is the first time we are running this type of awards, we truly believe that global artist community will enjoy the challenge and this will become an annual tradition” - says CGTrader Awards coordinator.
If you haven’t decided yet, make sure to check fantastic prize pool valued at over $50,000. Such invaluable winnings are wonderful motivation to step out from your comfort zone, take a second look on that unfinished work and take part. ;)
We at Escape Motions wish a good luck to all the 2017
Once I was in a huge art gallery, I don’t remember where it was exactly, but it was full of original artworks, statues and fantastic machines. There were just a few people and it was possible to examine them. Many of these machines were pretty crazy. I specially remember one, it was hanging from the ceiling, kind of a mechanic shell with long arms. I put my right hand into the hole and started to rotate a lever. The whole machine began to turn, its arms were swinging around, creating beautiful symmetric trails in the air. I was thrilled, thinking how creative people are. If I had such ideas that would be awesome! I would love to create such gadgets too.
Then, I woke up.
I looked around and realized - all these ideas are in my head, they are my imagination! That’s fantastic, all of them are my creations inspired by… hmm… where are they coming from?
This is how Inspirit was created. It is a realization of my imagination. It was materialized on the paper, later written into the computer code and now everyone is able to paint beautiful harmonic mandalas or crazy kaleidoscopes on their devices. Isn’t that awesome?
Peter Blaškovič, creator of Inspirit
Inspirit is a delightfully easy to use relaxing painting app for creative souls of all ages. User can create mandala and kaleidoscope artworks and watch how they slowly evolve in time. The application beautifully combines art, spiritual and relaxing elements while serving as an endlessly regenerating well that allows everyone to unwind in the most artistic way.
Inspirit is available worldwide from today through the App Store for iPhone and iPad in the Entertainment category for an introductory price of $0.99.
Find more information about Inspirit on our website: inspirit.escapemotions.com
Join our community on Instagram: follow @inspiritapp and use hashtags #inspiritapp and #createdwithinspirit
Love your life and be creative!
Your Escape Motions Team