> Now here comes the tricky part for me. As the sprite moves around my background
> I don't want to constantly redraw the entire image. I just want it to redraw
> the sprite and just the portion of the background that it moves over. Or is
> there another easier way to avoid having to redraw what the sprite moves over?
Very soon you'll want to scroll and/or animate the background, and then all the time you'll have spent programming dirty handling will be lost. 5 years ago it was worth it, not anymore.