I say that because it's more like mapping things out than anything else! I wouldn't even call this a preliminary sketch, because it's missing so many important layers yet...like style, and fun! This is more about figuring out foundational stuff- the right amount of elements, the right overall shapes, and the right distances and placement. I haven't done one of these in awhile...I forgot how difficult these seemingly simple tasks are! I think the secret to great bg's is all in the editing...keeping only the necessary elements and letting the imagination fill in the rest.
Anyway I completely snatched the church photo that John posted on his site. It really was too perfect to change. I'm not even really sure what they call that style of architecture, other than totally outdated. Here in Jefferson Park in Chicago there are a TON of churches like this one...I think it's the Polish influence shining through. We love our chotchky shit! >:)
More work on this piece to come.