In this image, Judy Host used several layers, blending options, and masking to craft this portrait © Judy Host (Courtesy of the artist)
Like the music track in a movie, the background of a portrait seldom makes the art. The background can help or hurt, but it is not what people are interested in seeing. Regardless of the lack of attention paid to the background, it is an important part of the portrait. In the traditional portrait, it eliminates clutter that can become disruptive to the image. In informal and environmental portraits, it can assist in communicating the mood or other desired information.
When discussing backgrounds, ...