I need help with drawing environments and backgrounds

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This topic contains 8 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Polyvios Animations 11 months ago.

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    I've been struggling to draw backgrounds and environments correctly, any advice/critique would help. Thank you. I also struggle with picking the correct colors so anything in that sense would be very helpful as well.

    Here are some of my attempts at drawing environments in this google doc.


    Examples of my attempts

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    I rather like these, especially the second one.

    To take it further I would suggest more study of perspective. On YouTube, Northern Kentucky University has a channel called Drawing Database where one of their art professors leads free college-level instruction on things like perspective, anatomy, figure drawing...this is what I've been using for forever and professor Marc Leone has a very good teaching style that's fun and easy to follow, he does a good job at making concepts and practices stick in your brain.

    As for colors, I'm learning that when doing any kind of painting it helps to not think in terms of color but in terms of light. Color after all is just what we see in reaction to light. I'm currently reading the book "Color and Light" by James Gurney, but if you haven't heard of him just look up his artwork and you can see he absolutely knows his stuff. I'd suggest giving that a thorough read, it's available on Amazon but you might be able to find it in PDF form online somewhere.

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    Hi Alistairr4!

    It looks like you have a good sense of linear perspective and you create some depth in your paintings using it. There is also something called "atmospheric perspective". Do a search and see some examples of this. In short it means that as things get further and further away from you the saturation decrease as well as contrast. Think of the wiev from a mountain top. The closest mountain might have black rocks, green trees, white snow and blue water lakes. The next mountain that is much further away will not look as sharp and the colors will be much more muted. Instead of black rocks and green trees it will all look more like different shades of greyish blue. This effect will be even greater in the next mountain after that until the mountains furthest away towards the horizon will almost blend in to the sky without sharp edges.

    So color saturation decrease with distance. Another thing that can increase percieved depth in a painting is that things up close are sharper than things further away. If you try to add this theory to your paintings I think you will see a big improvement! As things get further away, make them more and more closer to gray and less and less sharp edges.

    I second what Syd O said about James Gurney. He is a fantastic teacher and has put out many good videos for free on youtube. His book "Color and Light" is a great source if you want to go in depth.

    Good Luck!


    Thank you so much! I will look into that channel. I appreciate your help! I'll also look into picking up that book or reading it online.


    Thank you! I've learned a bit about atmospheric perspective. I will make sure to observe more examples of it. I'll also keep in mind the smoother edges when objects appear further away. I appreciate the help!


    hi i wanna give you four perspective book you could read if you wanna learn perspective step by step!!

    1.Vanishing Point: Perspective for Comics from the Ground Up

    2.How to Draw: drawing and sketching objects and environments from your imagination

    3.Perspective Made Easy

    4.Perspective! for Comic Book Artists: How to Achieve a Professional Look in your Artwork

    well to be honest, im not good at drawing too and i havent seen all these books yet (only two)

    but i heard these are some real good perspective artbook.

    i would first go with the number 3or2or4 and go to number1 cuz i heard thats kinda advance level perspective.

    and if you want videos about perspective, i would suggest marshall vandruff"s 1980's perspective course. i havent watched it but its really cheap so you might go check it out. also i would suggest you look


    thanks for read all this!


    i also there is one book i wanna recommend you. its framed ink. this book i havent read yet cuz im a noob drawer but almost every artist i know recommend this damn book. so you might go check it out!!


    Nice work on rendering the gesture style of your scenic backgrounds, but I'm not getting enough of the looser, more flowing style of the perspective. How would you like to do 30 minutes of 5 minute scenes, using your non-dominant hand? The reason why is because you could first start out your environments with your lines of action and rhythm, while you go for more dynamic shots.

    For more details, look into Vanishing Point book on perspective.

    Good luck to you and your progress.

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