Landscapes: Finding a Picture-Perfect Photo Reference

I’m in near-constant awe of the beauty that’s found in our world; and I’m grateful that I’ve been able to travel as much as I have, mostly for family vacations, sometimes on road trips with friends, and fewer times on work-related events. Just recently I went to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, where I drove through the farm-filled countryside, hiked through the woods and yes, went underground to the mysterious world that’s hidden from above. While hiking in the park on a cool and cloudy day, another hiker appeared from a trail on which I was headed. As he passed me he said, “It’s a great day to be above-ground.” I thought, isn’t it always?

Landscape+Painting+by+Thomas+Hill

View of the Yosemite Valley, in California (1865; oil on canvas, 54×71) by Thomas Hill

Later that weekend I was happy to come home, but as soon as I unpacked I began planning the next trip. I’m a wanderlust queen, and I want to see the world, no matter how long it takes me. While I of course don’t have the time or the means to simply up-and-go whenever and wherever I please, I can at least rely on others to share their experiences; friends who share their stories and travel stations on TV are just a couple of examples, but I also love looking at photos from around the world. The colors and textures of our cultural and natural landscapes are rich with diversity.

I also love to take pictures on my trips, but often, I buy a few postcards as well because the lighting and composition are always perfect, especially compared to my amateur shots. Maybe you love to travel and paint scenes from around the world, or even beautiful spaces around your own town, but can’t quite take the best photo references for the art you want to create. If so, you can use Photo Reference for Artists: Landscapes, which includes more than 400 images from around the world, ripe for your choosing. You can combine elements of the images (let’s say, a beach from one, and a cottage from another) to create a unique painting, or copy the image directly, detail for detail, as a way to practice and hone your skills. Representative of the world around us, this digital download includes photos of mountains and deserts, winter and summer scenes, everything in between, and more.

I’ll close with this visual: while driving through the Mammoth Cave area, I passed a farm that was tucked into a valley just to the left of a country road. On the opposite hillside, black cows dotted the green grass. I chuckled each time I passed this farm, looking at the cows and wondering if they orchestrated their positions because they each seemed logistically “placed.” Needless to say, it was picture-perfect.

Raising a glass to the beauty of the landscape,
Cherie

Cherie Haas, online editor**Click here to subscribe to the Artists Network newsletter for inspiration, instruction, and more!

 

 

Bonus article! Photo to Painting: How to Use a Photo Reference in Your Art (6 Reference Photography Tips and Tricks to Create Lifelike Artwork

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