I find that getting your perspective correct is key to having a painting "sit" properly and feel real. (Remember those perspective rules, and vanishing points from grade school, well they work!) I noticed when painting this 11x14 boardwalk scene on Balboa Island, there were a couple more little tools I like to use for added believability.
First, when faced with a pathway, I usually have it enter the painting from at least two sides of the canvas. I chose to put the base of the red wall about a half inch up from the bottom left corner. This gives me a big entry for your eye at the bottom of the canvas. If the wall was extended down, and off the bottom of the canvas, the path would be too narrow and not as inviting. I try to do this in most of my paintings with roads or paths.
Next, I made sure all elements, even the little things were in perspective. The bench was tricky, but if you think of it as a box first, then cut out the negative space, it was much easier. Same goes with people, a little tip I learned was to line up all of your heads on a horizontal line. This keeps it so some people don't look like giants, or gnomes. Not everyone depicted plays in the NBA.
Lastly, I gave the background plenty of atmospheric "graying". This gets the work to have lots of depth and creates another avenue to move your eye down the path. Enjoy!