Background help

A client loves the drawing I did for him but is asking about adding some grass, etc for an”outside look. I’m not great with abstract or non-specific subjects like grass. I’d love some ideas or suggestions. The drawing is 16”x22”.


That is a tough one, I admit. I tend to make fuzzy, non-objective backgrounds. You could just use color, but make it darker under him for a shadow. If you can, I would make a sketch of it and practice with different backgrounds before tackling the real thing.

Thanks Ginny! I actually did print a couple 8*10 and tried some ideas. I’m worried about it looking professional rather than cartoonish. It’s in colored pencil so anything will add hours to complete. I like to be accommodating but……

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My favorite background technique has become using pan pastels to create an out-of-focus looking background. I’m attaching my recent blue jay drawing which is polychromos pencils with pan pastel background. The technique for the background is in the blue jay lesson under Three Little Birds in courses. BTW, I love, love, love your drawing, and I totally understand being reluctant to do anything that might make you unhappy with the final result. Good luck!

Also, in the colored pencil course, there is a lesson with a golden retriever as the subject. You might look at that one and Matt’s finished drawing to see the grass and subtle background he included there.

Brenda thank so much!! I will look at the retrieval pic!

You don’t have to stick to colored pencils for the background. Brenda’s background is what I was talking about and using pan pastels would make it very quick and much easier to make it smooth and lovely.

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Beautiful artwork! I’ll throw this idea out there, although it may be irrelevant, but IF you’re not delivering this piece physically, you could always create and composite a background digitally? Also, welcome to the community @Jezcat ! :partying_face: Jesus loves you!!!

Thank you! I am using a mix of pastels and trying to get a soft look with the “grass” and a bokeh shrub-type background. It’s not TOO bad….so far.


It’s going to look amazing, and I can’t wait to see it! :smile:

I hope you’ll share your results! I think it will be beautiful!