Reference images are essential for anyone who creates art. It is not just something that a beginner needs as almost everyone does not have photographic memory. Our visual memories of things are limited as our brain only remembers the gist of a subject and not the details. Hence, the importance of reference images should not be understated if we want to create a believable and impressive piece of art.

Remember to use the reference images creatively and not be a slave to the references. For instance, if you are creating an imaginary character, references of subjects with interesting patterns, colours, lines and etc will come in handy. You will probably need as many as 10 or more reference images ranging from living and non-living things.

Flowers and Plants
Animals
Food
Fruits
Roads/Lanes/Corridors
Vegetables
Sky
Humans
Objects
Landscapes
Seascapes
Lighting and Shadow