In need a of a quick reference photo or texture? Stock photos and textures can be very expensive and covered in legal entanglements. Fancy cameras can be cost-prohibitive, and model fees can add up. Maybe you need reference for something exotic or halfway around the world you can’t feasibly reach. Enter publicdomainpictures.net and transparenttextures.com, two resources that can get your project moving when deadlines loom.
Public Domain Pictures
Public Domain Pictures offers thousands of images that are free to use for commercial use. If you’re feeling generous, you can even donate to the photographers, and the search feature automatically searches for related photos on other sites like Shutterstock when you find a free version just won’t cut it.
Transparent Textures is a nifty website maintained by Mike Hearn and offers oodles of textures that can be manipulated into any shade or hue you need with the aid of a color picker. While oriented toward web developers, the textures can be made into wallpaper sized images that can easily be pasted into Photoshop.
Paintovers for Posterity
And lastly, a long-time favorite of mine, the helpful artists over at conceptart.org have compiled a list of the best paintovers and critiques offered on their website in a thread titled “Paintovers for Posterity“. The expert advice transcends into any current project of an aspiring artist.
Resources In Action
I recently took advantage of publicdomainpictures.net by looking for an image I could quickly reference for a speedpaint head study. This painting was an experiment to see how the mixer brush in CS6 works–not something I was prepared to pay someone to model for. Whether I finish this piece or not, I’m glad I was able to find a hassle-free photo when I needed it.
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