Continuing with 'Iron Fence with Sparrows' I have switched to a large flat shading nib tool to do the background. I hardly ever change tools if I can help it and almost exclusively use a modified writing tip even for shaded areas.
The larger nib is certainly faster and it can still be used in a manner pretty much like stippling, just gently brushing short gliding strokes to build up increasingly darker tones.
I haven't found enough time to get as far as I'd hoped and will need to find a solid block of time to have it ready on time. Even with using the shading tool to speed up the background 'painting' process I will need to go back in with the finer point drawing tool to tidy things up here and there and establish a pleasant interplay of changing textures.
The more complicated area of background at the top and right with the blurred foliage over a darker distant background, still needs to be worked into the composition and this is something I will have to run through my mind as I correct the tones in the background. Then I will be able to tackle the pale subtle shading in the fading roses in the foreground.