background color for a portrait in progress

HI!  I'm working on a portrait..miles to go still!! I'm trying to decide upon a background color that will enhance rather than compete or wash out the portrait.  This is what I have and a unhappy with it.  I will paint in her dress - dark blue and pink to better judge, but I'm thinking this bg color is too drab..any ideas??

I've taken the suggestions for which I am very grateful, and came up with two possibilities - a grayed blue, and a grayed blue green.. I first blocked in the colors of her clothing..have to go back and soften & refine, add a bit of detail.  Also need to add highlights to her cheek, nose & lip..wondering about glazing her skin to add some warmth--

I decided on the blue gray - actually it's ultramarine blue, midvalue gray, also added some violet and a tough of chrome oxide green in areas & blended it with a mop brush..I think I'm nearly there with this painting..my last hurdle is whether to fuss with the clothing..not sur I'm liking the way I've faded it out, but also concerned that I'll overkill and mess it up!!

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Comment by Faisal Tariq on April 1, 2014 at 17:16

I like the last one… Maybe you want to knock the chroma of the blue on the cloth, just a tad-bit, so that the focus is on the face (just a suggestion).  The pink of the cloth looks very good.

This is a fantastic painting… Keep painting!

Comment by Lori Ippolito on March 27, 2014 at 18:08

Thanks Faisal-- I triedthat and came up with two possibilites..will post in the blog!

Comment by Faisal Tariq on March 27, 2014 at 16:18

Lovely painting.  Good Job!.  You could make the background grey-blue but whitish…  and see if you like that… 

Comment by Lori Ippolito on March 27, 2014 at 10:50

Hah!! Thanks Jon..If I can ever get to the point where I'm satisfied with a painting and can leave it alone!!

Comment by Jon Main on March 27, 2014 at 9:11

Well, it's a lovely portrait - my two cents is - leave it alone!

Comment by Lori Ippolito on March 26, 2014 at 15:29
What a great idea!! I will definitely try that:) thanks Virginia:)

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