Watercolor & Cotton Paper 7×10
When I initially started doing portraits I would paint whatever was going on in the background of the subject, the room. While I still do that sometimes, at others I reduce it down. The mattress/bed etc will just become the color of the sheet or the wallpaper.
My choice of color in these situations is whatever the actual color is as I feel it part of the story I am portraying. Green wall w/bookcases or whatnot becomes green square in which the subject is enmeshed, all other objects dropped away.
The stripes in this piece matching up w/the shirt was not a contrivance but lucky happanstance. I did change their color from black to blue as I felt the black gave it an air of :
I have compositional weakness and so inserted stripes to help fill up space.
Others might not have thought/felt this, who knows.
With my drawings I still mostly portray what else is going on besides the subject. Paintings it is a piece by piece basis.