How do I improve on Background

Home Forums Critique How do I improve on Background

This topic contains 5 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Aunt Herbert 1 month ago.

  • Subscribe Favorite
  • #31631

    Hello I have been wanting to practice doing more backgrounds however I am quite lost on how to do so may I get some critique or advice on the background I have done from the references?

    Here is the website I used that gathered he references:

    link to background practice

    Please support Line of Action

    Support us to remove this


    Hello Wish. Nicer job on your range of flow, composition, tones and colors of your background sketches. However, upon looking at your quick sketches of the backgrounds. I love your understanding and control of your perspective and layout of the shots, but I'm not getting enough your stronger but broader gestures and curves against straights. Would you like to please loosen yourself up with 15 minutes of 5 minute scene and environment drawings?

    The reason why is because your control and understanding of perspective can and will become more intuitive as they would be more analytical. The more work you practice your multi-point perspective, the more masterful but more second-nature you can and will be with them. So for more details, please look into the book Vanishing Point by Jason Cheeseman-Meyer on book and Kindle.

    Good luck to you and your process.


    Good use of color! You're definitely on track for capturing the overall sense of the piece. But maybe you're a little dissatisfied with how it looks--it doesn't quite match the reference, does it?

    I'd recommend measuring more. Choose an object in your scene and use it as a "measuring stick" for the rest of the scene to correct mistakes. You could use the rearview mirror in the car scene, or the chair in the bedroom scene, for example. If you've got a decent idea of how large that object is, you can say, "okay, so the chair is this wide, and the desk is about two chairs wide. How many chair widths is it from the chair to the bed? Is everything in proper proportion to everything else?"

    Measuring keeps everything in its proper place and makes your illustrations look more accurate. I think this might really help cement in your paintings! Good luck!


    Hello, I hope your day is going well.

    I really love the way you simplified the shapes and colors in the second drawing (inside the car). I think that your choices captured the mood of the reference and gave the feeling of looking out the car while it is moving, rather than being stopped to take a picture. I feel like your trees in your third picture could use a little bit more purposeful attention to that simplification. Pay attention to the shapes the trees make and how to use your lines to create that shape, without having to go too far into detail if you are not wanting that.

    The main thing I want to focus on though, is perspective. In your drawing of the room, the lines that you create are not following the perspective of the reference. The chair in the foreground should be at an angle that if you were to continue the line of the table, would intersect directly with the desk by the wall. Likewise, even though we know that some of these lines are parallel to each other in real life, when we try to make them parallel in a 2d drawing we need to draw them at an angle to each other. The easiest to see example of this is the shelf and the top of the window on the left. In your reference, the shelf has the slightest tilt down twoards the window. In your drawing there is a tilt upwards. The top of the window in your drawing has the downward tilt, but it needs to be more steep to give the appearance that the window is in the wall, and carries on the intersection from below.

    I would reccomend checking out some info on 1-point and 2-point perspective. There are many videos on youtube about it and plenty of other places to check. Dive in and do some longer perspective studies and see if that helps improve your backgrounds.


    A short tip, and it is so short and simple, that it sounds stupid, but when I had my urban sketching phase I found it incredibly relevant to repeatedly remind me while drawing:


    I mean, OK, if you decide to draw the scene at an angle, then they are obviously diagonal, and if you go for extreme prespectives, there can be considerations, too. But I caught myself constantly losing the vertical out of a simple mistake. Usually on the left side of the page, they were still vertical, while towards the right side they started to tumble over, just because it was biomechanically more convenient to pull the pencil directly towards me. (I am right handed)

    1 1

Login or create an account to participate on the forums.