How to Manage Image References

In this article we explore the ways the artist can organize image references when working on the project.

At some point small sketches grow to colorful images. Colorful images grow to illustrations of the story. Before you know it, each image you create becomes a large project that involves doing research, collecting references and barnstorming ideas how to convey the story.

One of the important of aspects is to mange the references. In this article we explore the most common ways to approach this question and also the suggestion we have to improve things even further.


Pinterest is thus far the most popular tool to organize image references. The images can be stored into collections. Recommendation engine allows the artist to search for similar images.

One of the most significant drawbacks of this way of keeping the reference is that the image from your collection could be removed by the platform for one reason or another. So the important images might be lost without a way to recover them


PureRef is a free tool available for Windows, Mac and Linux. One of the key feature of this app is to create a Mood Board and keep all the references in the single file. This way of organizing the images allows the artist to share their references with the colleagues or community. However, the artist is forced to remember what kind of references stored in what file.

File System

By using Operation System provided file manager the artist can organize references into folders and name the files accordingly. This way the search feature can come in handy. Regardless, managing hundreds of pictures might become tedious. The structure of directory becomes overcomplicated and the time spent searching image becomes so long that artists just resort to googling.


With Delice, we aim to overcome all the issues that other approaches have. By collecting the images on your storage you secure that references will be always kept for you. The tagging systems allows the artist to assign tags for images or specific regions, enabling to focus on particular part, like drawing hands.