I have always enjoyed animated shorts, since I was a kid, especially from the Golden Age of Animation (1930s-1950s Hollywood cartoons.) This blog has made me aware of the artistry that goes into just the backgrounds to these kinds of shorts.
The following backgrounds came from a post on the Warner Brothers cartoon, Corny Concerto.
I like how in the above background uses a solid colour of black make the silhouette of the podium, stand out in terms of simple block colouring. In addition, you know what the focus is on, without even the presence of any characters that the focus is within that area of white colour for lighting. It also worth mentioning how the lighting affects all the objects, in relation to where they are placed, rather than just placing a layer of lighting over the whole picture. This was how I did the lighting for each panel in my comic, as separate layer, from everything else in the drawing. You notice this because the instruments are all affected by the light in a different way- note the glimpse of the harp on the far left from the white beam of light, which is behind a much darker harp.
Again, just from the lighting, you know that the focus is going to be on the ground, and that the shadowing is different for each tree in the scene. Interesting to note here how the colour scheme is not realistic (unless you have seen pink trees somewhere!). Nevertheless, because that the palette is consistent throughout, the audience accepts the colour scheme anyway. This is something I should note for, when I develop a colour scheme, it does not have to be realistic. Therefore, I should avoid using a pipette on a reference image, in Photoshop, to get a precise colour, and develop my own colour scheme for a fictional environment.
The final background, which I have found interesting to look at, is from the post on The Brave Little Tailor.
This has a very different approach to lighting, as the source is coming from a more realistic light source, rather than a stagy approach used for the backgrounds in Corny Concerto. We know this, from looking at this, that the light s coming from the doorway and the window, because they have a light palette of colour to mark the area of light from the right.
I like this background also for its composition, because the artist has framed the stairway behind the two pillars. This was in fact a pan background (hence the areas of black around the edges), so you can note the layout of the sequence of someone going through this stairway in a scene- I haven't watched The Brave Little Tailor in a while, so I don't know if the character is going up, or down, the stairs.