Background can make or break a beautifully colored page

I don’t usually leave any white space on my color art work nowadays. When I first started coloring, there are times when I put a lot of attention to coloring the illustration but I left the background blank. I simply don’t know what to do with that space. I was fascinated with the kind of details that other colonists put into their backgrounds. The creativities and imaginations are amazing but as a beginner at the time I also felt intimated. Today I still feel a sense of awe whenever I see a great background. There are truly so much to learn in the world of art. However, I would like to show you one simple background technique that uses color blending and you don’t have to be able to draw to accomplish.

An illusion of what’s in the background

There’s really no need to draw the details of what’s in the background. All you need is to create an illusion in the background. Here’s some examples:

Example 1: The hare is hopping happily in a flower meadow, there are various flowers and leaves in the illustration, I use the same color scheme to blend in the background to create an illusion that there are more flowers, grass and leaves. I used my darker green pencils to draw some grass strokes and also added a blue sky in the horizon.

Coloring of Millie Marotta's Animal Kingdom by Betty Hung
Millie Marotta’s Animal Kingdom

Example 2: I wanted to create an illusion of a wooded background behind the house with it’s beautiful garden. In addition to using greens and blues for the background, I also drew in some dark brown lines to suggest tree trunks and branches.

Coloring of Debbie Macomber's Come Home to Color by Betty Hung
Debbie Macomber’s Come home to color

Example 3: A simple use of color blending to create blocks of background colors to suggest light (yellow), sky (blues), trees (green), earth (brown)

Coloring of Millie Marotta's Animal Kingdom by Betty Hung
Millie Marotta’s Animal Kingdom

Color Blending techniques

Simply put, blending is to create a smooth transition from one color to another without a distinct separation of the colors. The techniques are different for markers versus pencils. My previous post Tombow Dual Brush Pens seamless blending tutorial contains a video that shows you how to blend with this particular marker. I will be doing a blending post on color pencils and/or other markers in the near future, so stay tuned.

Hope you are inspired

The art of background design and coloring can be very complex and limited only by your imagination. What I have shown you here is just a very simple way to get you started to think about it and hopefully makes your color art more interesting. Hope this helps!

Happy Coloring!


One comment on “Background can make or break a beautifully colored page

  1. And now I know what to do with those backgrounds! I bet this answers the question EVERYONE has about coloring backgrounds. Thank you Betty!

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