I know I’m one date late. I’m sorry!
For a few years now I’ve struggled with developing backgrounds for my work. When it came to the space behind a character I’ve always had a hard time transferring what I imagine onto the page – as if the axon connecting my inner mind to my fingers is broken somewhere along my arm. I recently accepted a request piece for a Sailor Moon-inspired character and felt it needed a background. The first thing I did was look up tutorials on how to start on making a background. The most repetitious advice I read was to use plenty of photographic references and that said references could be used to color drop when I became lost. So, I chose the two most fitting backgrounds and then planned out the character color scheme.
Since this is technically my first time trying a background on my own I followed the references I chose pretty carefully and didn’t deviate much. You can see the original backgrounds by clicking on the image and following it back to the original post where I credit the original photographers.
You should always remember that even the greatest artists use references whether it’s for poses, backgrounds, lighting effects, design, etc. What happens in the world around us can influence our art and can help to improve it. Your art could be the tools you craft, the clothes you make, the drawings you create, the music you compose or just play; the writing you spill from your fingers, the paint you flip onto canvas, the angle at which you take a photograph, the programs you write, the speeches you make to your peers. It’s telling you all its secrets. Pay attention.