Placing your character in context. Where do you put your character? It may seem obvious to you or you may not know where you want to put your character. Like painting dark fantasy
this can be done either in harmony or contrast.
If you are going with harmonious themes it may be natural for your vampires to be in graveyards or tombs or even beside an 18th century maids bedside. However if you are going for contrast you may want to do something different with your character. By putting them outside their norm you can add impact or discord which will make the viewer sit up and take notice. You have to be happy to do this though as not everyone will like it and some people may be immediately turned off the picture. There seem to be a lot of rules about what is acceptable for a vampire to be able to do or where they are so you have been warned! That is not to say you cannot or should not explore the alternatives but just be away that you may cause a storm of strongly held opinions.
For instance, how do you feel about a vampire nun? Or a vampire on an alien planet? Or even shopping for blood along with Mrs Jones? Or if you were creating a werewolf. A werewolf going for a walk on a leash on a beautiful Sunday afternoon? Silly, perhaps, but out of the norm and you can let your imagination run wild and create better themes for your characters. Of course a more sinister theme would work better and have equal or greater impact but these examples are designed to jolt you form the comfy norm of vampires in graveyards.
Another option is to limit your background to blurs and colours, this adds impact to your chosen creature or theme, it is also easier to paint. This is like putting everything out of focus in a photo. If your background is also dark your highlights will stand out even more. Have fun with it and see what works for you