Backgrounds are just as important

When I started painting wildlife in oils, two years ago, I did not spend a lot of effort and time on my backgrounds. This was partly due to the fact that I was learning and would challenge myself with the subject, rather than what was behind. I soon became aware that the background brings the subject to life as it trains the eye to focus on the details.  I proceeded to work on the colors and tones, in focus and blurs, perspective and distance, the result more realistic paintings.

Background before  

Background before  

Background after... 

Background after... 

Another example.....bear in mind this is a work in progress..... 

Before..... 

Before..... 

After... 

After... 

From the photos, you get an idea how important the background colors and contrast are in animal portraits.