After drawing a very light pencil outline of the basic shape of the branch with it's blossoms and leaves, I have started on the background. I am trying to use the actual background of the photo. It is difficult to get the "blurry" effect you see in the picture. So far I am not too happy with it.
Here is a closer look:
I had to walk away from it for a while to think about the background. I am not sure what to do with it. I will take another look tomorrow.