In this design, the background color is brownish, which I chose to show inside view of a hut. So I couldn't think any other color palette for hut. But because of this, the items in front looks a bit separated from background, to me.

Both BG and objects don't seem part of a same thing. Sometimes it looks like coming out.

Having said all, it is possible that maybe the colors of objects are not matching with BG. But I can't figure out the exact problem. But overall the problem is what I described above, at a first glance.

So can any other color palette represent a inside view of a hut, other than brown? If no, is there any way to make objects and brown BG look like part of a same thing and colors look less subtle?

enter image description here

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    – PieBie
    Commented May 6, 2020 at 13:53

3 Answers 3


When I'm struggling with the 'realism' of a design, I oftentimes find myself referencing photography.

What you are looking for is ambient light: the light which is already in the room before any objects are added. (which is also kinda what user287001 is hinting at)

In your case, the ambient light is warm yellow sunlight, coming in through the orange curtain, and reflecting off the brown hut walls. Now imagine you had a perfectly white piece of paper, and you could place it where the girl was sitting. What colour would it appear to have? Certainly not white!

Look at the picture below for example. Look at the woman's skin. It has a greenish tint, doesn't it? But you and I both know people aren't greenish! Her white blouse is greenish too. The green comes from the surroundings, from the window, from the books and shelves, maybe from the ceiling or the floor.

The problem is that we are so used to this, that we don't notice. Our brains deceive us and compensate: they tell us her blouse is white, while it is obviously not. They tell us this is obviously not a sickly person, so her skin is not green.

enter image description here

So how can you adapt this for your illustration? Add a brown overlay to the present and the girl, and set it to Screen or Color, and you'll see they suddenly become part of the picture instead of popping out of it.

Photo by Donny Jiang on Unsplash. This picture is an extreme example to illustrate the point, and actually suffers from poor white balance.

  • PieBie, I have a new version of the same illustration. Would you like to see it? So that it will help me know and confirm that I understand what user287001 and you have written?
    – Vikas
    Commented May 6, 2020 at 14:43
  • 1
    very related and very well-known: The Dress
    – Vincent
    Commented May 6, 2020 at 15:38

If the room must stay low contrast brown reduce the contrast of the box and person:

enter image description here

This is not actually a fix. The person and the box are now dull, too. You can fix this by making the window brighter and letting it cause some light on the surfaces. Common consistent light binds the parts together. A simplified example (the floor is untreated and the shadows are missing):

enter image description here

  • The making the window bright thing definitely helped me. I used a brighter greenish tone of background, used colors of object matching to the background, made window brighter and it solved the major problems. I'm expecting other answers too. I'll accept it if I don't get any other answers.
    – Vikas
    Commented May 5, 2020 at 13:50
  • @Vikas I would accept this answer if I had this problem, but I immediately did not like duo-tone curtain amid gradient shaded objects. I would have applied gradient so just the open side of the curtain is the light brown fading to brown, because it now has the focus and not the girl and box.
    – user152796
    Commented May 5, 2020 at 15:38
  • @GWarner I'm not using gradient anyway.
    – Vikas
    Commented May 5, 2020 at 15:43
  • The dark rightmost part of the window is my error. I thought it's some kind of hatch. But actually I know nothing of the typical constructions, so it's an error. The gradient can be as wrong. There can well be other light from the other side. But the idea is to have at least some connection between the light in the room and the light on the main objects. Otherwise they look separate inserts.
    – user82991
    Commented May 5, 2020 at 15:51
  • If not gradients then more colors for the dress? and the curtain should be darker then the window opening.
    – user152796
    Commented May 5, 2020 at 15:55

Less contrast between the objects and the BG. Modify the girl so it is apparent she is sitting on something by having her appear sideways or at an angle. Make her interact with the background to include her in the picture.

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