After looking at a bunch of art where people don’t draw backgrounds, I decided to draw a very simple backgrounds tutorial.
This was how we taught kids to draw backgrounds in art class. A line in the background, where everything above it was sky, and everything below it was grass. Kids can grasp that very easily, and it was always amazing how quickly they learned where to put things.
Hopefully beginning cartoonists can start with a horizon and work up from there. Putting mountains on a horizon line is easy. So is putting clouds in the sky and some trees in the foreground. And before you know it, you have a background.
Of course, actual perspective is a lot trickier, but this is just the basic stuff for folks afraid of backgrounds.