I don't use large pictures for my desktop background. It's usually something simple that blends in with a solid color so it looks much larger than it actually is.
For example, I might use one of the Slackware logos from http://www.slackware.com/~msimons/slackware/grfx/ along with a black background.
I also use a copy of the OpenBSD Daemon (without the halo) which looks pretty good too.
Here's a line from my .xsession file that sets the backgound for me...
wmsetbg -b black -e ~/.backgrounds/bsd-wire.jpg