Hi and welcome to the forums...very nice piece for your first portrait. I don't think you should have a background in the piece, unless you had planned on it before you started I would be concerned of messing it up. Really like the color scheme going on blues and oranges are always a favorite of mine.
Thanks George for the feedback. I have been dabbling with acrylic ,,charcoal,,etc.and finally decided to try pastel. I think I have finally found what I love to work with. Hopefully I can post better and better works on this great site!!