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Effective backgrounds in figure studies

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Life Study.
Simplicity is a major factor in the success of any picture. A simple idea that communicates to the viewer will have much more impact than an image jam packed with meaningless details, however well painted.

The figure, the subject of the accompanying image, has a fascinating shape and is a considerable artistic challenge. Placing the figure within an environment does not always improve the pictorial impact. Reducing the background to a blank space serves to focus the viewer on the actual subject and not get distracted by unnecessary information. It can also allow the viewer to impart his or her interpretation and context for the image. Painting in watercolour, this effect also gives a lively and spontaneous appearance, a pleasing appearance achieved by adopting this approach. I doubt I could improve this image by adding lots of background information. This is not to imply that a fully realised painting, background and all, has less impact; rather the artist must have a definite intention and work hard at incorporating figure and background.