5 Working the background
The background can also help give more impact to the portrait. I don’t like to overload it with details, preferring instead to leave it relatively plain to avoid any unnecessary visual distractions. I usually add subtle texture and a gradient to avoid a flat, lifeless look. Another alternative is to add blurred elements, such as a forest or a building, to give the character context and hint at their story.
An outlandish hair style helps to elevate my character’s importance. Gold war paint on the face helps to illuminate my character’s dark skin.