Paying attention to seemingly unimportant background details can make a big difference in your piece, because of the dimension these details add. This impacts your entire piece.
Take a look at the rails on the fence this bird is perched on. In the pic on the left, I have no pattern in the wood and in the pic on the right, I do. You can probably see that the first picture looks relatively flat in comparison. When I put the first curves of the wood pattern in, I could see the clear separation between the top and sides of the rail start to form.
I was almost going to skip this part because it seemed boring and unnecessary. The bird is my focal point. As long as I have enough detail on him, I’m good, I thought. But giving the rails more dimension, by adding the details on the wood, also gave the bird more impact. Pay attention to your background and you can make your subject look even better.
Painter of portraits and wildlife