I have a real thing for great backgrounds. The backgrounds, make the painting or the photograph!

blossoms and background a photograph
Blossoming Background, photograph, debiriley.com

I will often look straight at the background, poring over them more so than the focal point. A good background will gently lead the way to the focal point while taking the viewer on a lovely afternoon stroll along the way.  (To my way of thinking!)

Both of my photos would lose almost of all of their appeal and impact – if,  the background was any different.

With just a bit of planning you can make your backgrounds a fabulous part of your art images that frames your focal point beautifully!

Whether in painting or in photography  creating a great background is really key.  You want one that isn’t too boring nor too busy, but pulls and draws the eye to the focal area.

A flat, dull tired background will lose the viewer’s interest.  And a chaotic background will often be too disturbing, sending the viewer …away from your art image.

Photo, plum blossoms and buds, debiriley.com
Vertical – Background and Buds with softly diffused blossoms

Imagine these two images set in a solid, flat dull grey or solid blue background.  Or even foliage greenery.  Neither would look anywhere near as lovely as they do with the current type of background.

  • The current backgrounds create added depth, with the overlapping of shapes and the exquisite soft blurred edges.
  • The tonal variations getting paler into the background distance is another feature in these photos, one that you want to remember…. when you go to paint.
  • Colour becomes duller, less saturated into the background.
  • A horizontal format with its ‘inherent’  laid back,  serene feeling can adjust to the slighter ‘louder’ background that is seen in the top photograph.
  • A vertical format with its ‘inherent’  more energetic vibe, can easily withstand the greyer more neutral look of the background in the shown photograph.

 

I hope that helps and gives you ideas for your next background,  whether its a photo  or a painting!

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