Advice on background


I'm working on my first game. It's a puzzle game where, in each level, the player must move different elements around to guide different types of balls into a barrel. I'm trying to decide on my approach to background art. I started with just a simple gradient - just to have something back there:

It seemed a little monotonous, though, so I started to think about simple minimalist backgrounds a la MadFireOn (excellent tutorials for non-artists like me). I've created a few and tried them out and I'm not sure if they are better.

I'm curious which approach people think is better - or if there's something else I should be thinking about. I don't want the background to be too busy because I feel that would make it harder for the player to pickup the balls as they move around the screen. It might be too distracting. Thanks in advance for any advice you can provide.


Background looks fine, it's just that the foreground art doesn't compliment the background.
Look up on color theory..
Its mostly obvious on the barrel of the last picture. If that barrels base color has a blueish tint it would look much more in harmony.
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