Many of us, when we see a picture of beautiful flowers in the garden, tend to imagine the dark green or blue background as being an extension of the bright flowers. The truth is that most plants, trees, and bushes do have a background color, and they all need a background color to make a picture work. Waterfall plants planted in an empty garden planted with white chrysantix. A full water fall of lilies in an empty garden. The natural background for all these pictures is the plants themselves, not the white background on the picture itself.
In order for a landscape to be made to look “big”, a simple background color needs to be added to it. Most landscape art is done with the same “base” colors that one would use in the pictures; white, blue, browns, golds, etc. But these basic colors can be applied to any picture as a border, as well as to landscape images.
The use of color in natural landscapes has varied over time. Early Native Americans used only the colors available from nature. Over time they learned to use more complex colors, but the main colors remained. Today, in many of the rural areas where I live, the use of any outside color has been discouraged, as it has always been considered to be unsightly.
The use of darkness for border purposes is not only aesthetically pleasing to many people, but it also adds life to a scene. When the light is removed, and everything is seen from behind, a painting can be much more detailed, dramatic, and lifelike. The dark can be used as a reminder of things lost, a reflection of the past, and a hint of what lies beneath. The use of a dark background is a powerful tool for painting in the dark.
Dark colors like black and blue can help create drama in paintings. The use of black can create a dramatic effect in black and white, and cream, or pale pink, and be used in painting to create depth. Black and white is often used in painting in the same way that light is used in landscapes. If a light is coming through a window, it will make the painting seem smaller than it actually is. The use of black and white against a background of lighter color can create a feeling of depth to a painting, without making the painting appear as “faint”. In a scene with a white background, it will make the scene seem much larger than it really is. A painting using a lot of black will create an atmosphere of sadness or loneliness, as the black creates a feeling of distance.
Using a mixture of two different colors will create a combination of these two background colors that will make the painting look like it came out of nature, or from the sea. Light blues and whites are also very good choices for backgrounds in some paintings. These two colors will add interest to a painting, as well as giving the painting a feeling of depth and space. White against a darker color, or black against a lighter color will make the painting appear to be lit up from the ground, or on fire. A painting can also be created that gives the illusion of depth by adding a large amount of the same color on either side. This can be used for painting around trees, hills, and walls, or even trees growing in the middle of a forest.