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Simple Backgrounds – An Easy Way to Make Your Artwork Pop!

Janet Deshotel — June 2, 2016

A simple background is one where all background spaces are interconnected. This enables you to fill all of the background with a solid color using a single tap.

Solid Color Backgrounds

To fill a simple background with a solid color:

  1. Select the Fill Bucket tool.
  2. Select a color.
  3. Tap on any background space.

solid color background

Multiple Colors Using the Radial Gradient Tool

Filling a simple background with multiple colors requires that you color different sections of the background with different colors. You can use any of the tools to do this. Here is an example of a solid background with a halo.

  1. Fill background with a solid color.
  2. Select the Radial Gradient tool.
  3. Select another complimentary color and adjust the color opacity to fit your needs.
  4. Tap anywhere on your background. This ensures that only the background will be colored.
  5. Place your finger or stylus in the center of the object you want surrounded by a halo.
  6. Tap and drag until the halo is the size you want. In this case, I did the tap and drag twice to provide more brightness behind the flower.

solid background with halo

NOTE: You can also use multiple Radial Gradients to provide multiple colors. The following example will start with a white background.

Combining Radial Gradients

This example uses five radial gradients on a white background.

  1. Place your Radial Gradient tool in a corner, and select a color for that corner.
  2. Tap and drag your tool towards the center of your image.
  3. Do this in the other three corners, selecting a color for each corner.
  4. After the four corners have color, select a light color (white or cream) and then place the Radial Gradient tool in the center of the flower.
  5. Drag the Radial Gradient tool downward to create a backlight behind the flower, which also softens the corner colors. Repeat this step for brighter light behind the flower.

multiple radial gradient background

There are many creative ways to use the Radial Gradient tool to create interesting backgrounds. The best way to learn how to do this is to experiment using different colors. Your choices are endless. Here are a few more examples.

In this example, I started with a bright pink background. I then added the two yellow gradients.

pink and yellow background

In the next example, I started with a light yellow background. I then added a deep purple Radial Gradient behind the flower. Then I added a medium blue Radial Gradient behind the flower, leaving some of the purple edges of the first gradient showing.

yellow purple blue background

In the next example, I started with a medium blue background. Next, I used the Pencil tool with pink and white colors to create a plaid background. I then added a white Radial Gradient behind the flower.

plaid background

As you can probably determine by now, radial gradients are very useful for creating interesting backgrounds.



Janet Deshotel
Digi Coloring and Design


Janet Dickerson-Deshotel has been involved with artistic endeavors for approximately 30 years, which includes traditional art media, graphic arts, and photography. Today she is actively involved in adult coloring using traditional and digital methods. Janet leads the Digi Coloring and Design Facebook group and also hosts an adult coloring group at her local library.