Better Backgrounds

Sketch by Sarah Sullivan of a Woman Running

A Runner

I really enjoy painting the models from our figure drawing group, especially the quick five-minute sketches like the one above. However, I am at a loss for what to do with the rest of the paper, that is, how to add a background. Sometimes I leave it blank, other times I draw the shadows on the wall.

What I would love to know, is how to compose a background that frames the figure and adds to its emotional message. Today I decided to do something about this and began going through my old sketchbooks to find sketches of people without backgrounds that I could use for practice. I have hundreds of these quick background-less quick sketches and think if I take a ‘sketch a day for 30-days’ approach, that I will soon be making better backgrounds. Anyway, that is my plan.

About Sarah Sullivan
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1 Response to Better Backgrounds

  1. A great idea – I find backgrounds hard too. Look forward to seeing some of your explorations.


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