Hello, I want to ask you, was there ever a point in you're artistic pursuits where you had trouble making detailed backgrounds, and if so how were you able to overcome that? If not, how do you overcome that then?
I ask because this is something that I myself have had trouble with for a while until recently, but even then, I still got a long way to go before I could start drawing backgrounds to look as intended all willy nilly.
I feel very honored that you thought to ask me this question, although I'm not sure I am the right person to answer it. I don't consider myself to be good at backgrounds or even particularly comfortable drawing them.
I am painfully uncreative when it comes to backgrounds and just locations in general. But I studied animation and filmmaking, so in my head I always need to have a 3D set-up of my scene to know which character stands where and what angle we're viewing them from in each panel - and I think that helped me.
References too! It's really hard to come up with angles and details from memory so it's nice to have a 3D set already built. Then you just gotta find the right "camera angles" and the rest is practice. (Doing studies of cubes, room interiors and other man-made shapes is useful.)
For example, when it comes to my webcomic, I can take screenshots in-game for reference. If you're working with a modern setting, I recommend building your interiors in the Sims or any other similar game or application, and then taking screenshots for reference. You don't have to draw everything exactly how they look in your reference, but it will give you a broad idea of what objects look like from a certain distance and angle, especially in relation to each other.
If you can do 3D, you can build your own props (even if they're literally just a bunch of boxes with no details on them) and trace them - this is actually a pretty common thing people in the art industry do, especially matte painters.
I use a line smoothing tool called Lazy Nezumi (it's a one-time purchase, very reasonable price!) that has some insanely good things built in. One of them is a perspective ruler that you might find handy. Here's their demonstration: https://lazynezumi.com/perspective
I used this in that Stranger Things comic I did last year too!
These ideas apply to natural backgrounds too btw. The only difference you'll find is mostly textures. (And obviously not a whole lot of parallels and that sort of man-made stuff.) If you ever see backgrounds that you like in a piece of art (comics, illustrations, cartoons, etc.), take a screenshot and save it! I used to have a collection of Gravity Falls backgrounds a couple years back, haha Look at how they stylize textures like tree bark, foliage, clouds, water, fire, etc. Consider which would work with your style and what you want to accomplish. If you find the right motivation and examples, you'll get it right!
Okay, thank you! Yeah I do remember trying to draw a detailed background based on a video game screenshot from the game Elder Scrolls V Skyrim a few days ago instead of just random shapes and colours for the background as usual, that was the only artist milestone I was able to make back there, but I'm very unlikely to replicate that again without a reference anytime soon.
I think Invader Zim, Squee and I feel sick's way of handling backgrounds, textures, skys, foliage, and other things, Is a lot closer to what I am aiming for within the context of my art-style, when it comes to finding reference material for all of these that is, and I guess some Disney and Astroboy stuff will work to help out a bit to!
I think I'll apply things you have suggested so I can practice making more detailed backgrounds, and not just restricted to absrtact backgrounds.
Oh, thanks so much! <3 I think we all learn some things from the artists we look up to and that's part of developing one's unique style!