I haven't met a beginner yet who wasn't scared of backgrounds. (I think they're the most fun, though.) Perhaps it's the ambiguity or perhaps it's the control issue that is inhibiting. Whatever the problem, it really is no problem. Most of the time, I like to just make a soft, out-of-focus blur of colors. Watercolor makes this pretty easy.
Use this sequence when you're ready to add a background to any still-life items that you have already painted.
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