As a watercolour artist, I am always trying to find good reference photos that I can use as subject matter to paint. When I am traveling, I take lots of photos (way too many photos!) simply for the purpose of painting them at a later date.

The photo below is of a beautiful old hotel on Government Street in Victoria. Some of you may recognize this location. I took the photo and then decided I should paint it. The James Bay Inn is a place I stay at often when I go to Victoria. It is one of the 3 oldest hotels in Victoria.

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Even though I take a lot of photos, sometimes I need different subject matter than what I have available for photos. I teach a lot of watercolour classes and I often need unusual types of photos that I don’t have.

There is a great place that offers copyright free images of all kinds from flamingos to bridges, and tree frogs to chameleons! I often access this website for some of my watercolour classes.

I use it frequently. It is called “Unsplash”. There are lots of good reference photos on it. Here is an example of a painting I did using a photo taken by Freezer for Unsplash. Beside it is the painting I completed.

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Here is the website link for Unsplash if you would like to have a look at their amazing photographs. You can also upload photos of your own to share. I find it’s easier to just download the app and access the photos from within the app.

If you think you might like to paint this fun little fox, I have the class available for purchase on my website.  It is a prerecorded Zoom class, which means you will see some of my awesome students in the class painting alongside me. You can purchase the class here: