Thursday, April 16, 2015

Backgrounds, Backgrounds, What to do with Backgrounds!!??


Whether it is oil, acrylic, watercolour or pencil,
the problem is the same
the Background!!
Make it fussy, make it plain, 
What is the best way to handle it?

Garden Visitor - Graphite, 5 x 7 inch
In pencil and other dry medium we often get a break! The tendency is often to have no background.  Instead there is a mid-ground and foreground with the white of the paper implying a background.  Sometimes even the foreground is only suggested and the subject is developed to a point where it has the depth. (See Ali as an example)   Works for me!! No background to worry about and life is good.

Garden Visitor with white paper background

However, that does not always work.  

Things can get lost somethings.

 My picture Garden Visitor was my problem.  It was originally declared finished, without a background.  It sat, I studied it, I matted it, I even framed it!  But still I was not happy.  My little rabbit just seemed to be lost and the picture mostly looked like a band of white and a band of black. I darken, I lightened but nothing seemed to work.  He sat some more.  I was concerned that if I filled in the background the picture would become a gray blob!!  Easy to do with pencil!

That's when I decided to use a Suggested Background.  I had just finished my tulip picture in watercolour, Spring Friendships, and loved how the Suggested Background worked there.  Why not do it with pencil, was my next thought.  I did.

Garden Visitor - detail - notice the Suggested Background of more leaves and plants
Good luck with your backgrounds, and remember a Suggestion can go a long ways!!

Contact me to create a portrait of your animal.  See more examples of my pet portraits on my Commission a Drawing Page.

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