Since I am not a great photographer nor do I own a great camera (and may never get to Africa to photograph Meerkats), I need good reference material to paint from. I often Google a subject such as cows, go to images, then tools and pull down the drop down bar that says usage rights and pick “labeled for reuse”. The following photo is from one such search. I also use copyright free photo websites like Morgue File and Paint My Photo. If I need really old reference photos I go to the library of Congress since all photos taken 1925 and earlier have no copyright associated with them. There is a wealth of information on the Web. Don’t despair if you are not a photographer yet still want to paint a realistic subject and not infringe on copyright laws.