What to do first: blurred background

I am working on honing sketching skills with graphite. I am working on a junco sitting on a pine branch (it’s from Ohio Wildlife magazine, so not sure about posting it). Background forest is blurred. Forefront has details of pine needles. Bird of course is in focus.
So do I create a blurry background and add details? Or do I do details and then blur those in the background. Thanks for suggestions.

Hi Bonnie -
Most of the time when working with graphite, you want to try to draw in an order that will keep your hand out of what you have already drawn, so that you won’t smear it. For instance, if you are right-handed, start the drawing on the left side, and the reverse if you are left-handed.

Sometimes I will follow that approach for the subject matter, and then will do the background last, since you can rotate your paper to avoid smearing.

Hope that helps.

Terri Robichon

Oh, of course! Why didn’t I think of that!!

Janar… Thank you for the suggestion about looking at the blue-jay in 3 birds. Great idea!