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Props and Backgrounds

November 2, 2017

I started out drawing characters with minimal or no background. When I was younger, I thought backgrounds where boring and tedious. I wanted to get to the fun part, drawing people. However in the past few years I’ve come to appreciate the narrative potential of backgrounds. The environment communicates so much about a painting. It adds a lot to give characters a thought out world to live in.

Environments are almost characters themselves. Using shapes, details, designs to reinforce the story. Not everything fits on a character so the backgrounds adds more room for exposition. Background props function as accessories, just like a character’s clothes and body language. Lately, I’ve been drawing studies a few times a week. Usually I draw objects relating to the projects for the day. Sometimes pictures of objects, sometimes things I have laying around the house. It helps add to my visual library and puts me in right frame of mind for work.  Making drawings of small objects sounds boring, but I can brush up on fundamentals in a way that’s relevant to finished work. In the end it also helps me to create less generic backgrounds.

background 2

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