On Drawing Backgrounds

As I’m studying and learning more about producing environments for art, I’m running into a problem that’s both frustrating and fascinating at the same time.

For the longest time, my perception of environments have been colored by my experiences in video games. Due to limitations of screen technology and the need to convey as much information as possible, the in-game camera often shows a much greater field of view (90 degrees is common) compared to how wide the screen actually takes up in your own vision.

This is what I grew up with- I perceived virtual environments and backgrounds this way for so long that when it came to drawing my own environments, everything always looked odd to me- things seemed skewed when they shouldn’t be, stuff like that.

Which is why I’ve started doing more research about focal length and perspective, and their relationship to field of view and the “space” of the drawing. Reading stuff about photography and cinematographic camera work have been a great resource in this regard.

While frustrating, it’s incredibly fascinating too. It shows how much our experiences color our perceptions of reality. In the end I’m thankful for the skewed experience- it lead me to delve for deeper understanding than I might have originally gone for.


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