View Full Version : Choosing the right background

04 April 2005, 08:15 AM
Hello everyone!

Was wondering if you guys could give me some insight into image backgrounds.

I've been having a bit of trouble with choosing the right background type for my character concepts (at the moment they are surrounded by plain white)

I can draw and colour the main characters fairly well (ill post a few soon, am a new user :) ) but when it comes to choosing the right backgrounds i hit a brick wall :(

What colours should i use in comparison to the main character (contrasting?)
How bright/dark should the background be?
How much detail can i risk added without it taking anything away from the main concept?
Is blurring the background a big no?
Any thoughts on a black and white background combined with a full colour character?

I know most of this depends on the style of the main character concept but any help at all would be greatly appeciated.


04 April 2005, 10:49 AM
A lot of peopls just sketch in some faint indication of the immediate background the character is standing in (you have to decide where to put the character), and then apply subdued colors also in a sketchy manner. Some people put abstract random brushstrokes in the background if they don't want it to look blank. Then there are people who just don't bother and leave it white.

Concept art serves one purpose--and that is to design and present something so that it can be understood by other production artists who will be working with that design. doing anything outside of that is essentially unnecessary (although it might make your work look better as a standalone piece of artwork--but that's not what you're paid to do).

04 April 2005, 09:26 AM
Hi lunatique,

Thank you for your advice on backgrounds, ill try a few things out and see how the whole image looks. Thank god for layers :)

Oh and i just paid a visit to your site, i think your art is really really wonderful.


04 April 2005, 07:11 PM
Usually I like to put a color other than black or white for the background, and try to avoid using solid color too. Even a few stroke in the background tend to make things a lot nicer than solid white. (If you don't quite understand what stroked background looks like, I recommend you stop by Jo Chen's site. Most of her works are characters against stroked background. (
I know that a lot of character design sheets don't use background, and leave the character against white, but it doesn't mean to keep the background white when you drew the character. Wen (on deviantArt) posted a quick WIP on how he does the coloring, and he mentioned he always use a neutral grey color for background when he color the character, and replace it with white when it's done. Reason he use grey because it is a neutral color, helps you to visualize the coloring on your character better.

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04 April 2005, 07:11 PM
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