all artists have their way of creating work. here's mine!
i start with stretcher bars and natural canvas. i use a staple gun and canvas pliers to make sure that the canvas is tight.
i then gesso the canvas-- two layers to make sure it's super resistant to liquid.
and put a ground down. whenever you paint with a ground, you have to be sure to use that color in your painting.
put together a subject. it's nice to have highs and lows and variations in the distance to the viewer. things in a straight line are usually boring.
sketching it out before really helps me plan the composition. you know me, i like to plan ;)
i then use charcoal to sketch it out on the canvas. i was once told this is an amateur move-- that real artists use paint to canvas right away, but it works for me so i ignored that ignorant jerk and continued on my merry way. using charcoal as a sketch is really messy and makes your paints pretty muddy-- but i like it like that!
i start with the darkest colors first and move slowly towards the lightest. this helps you gage the tones accurately. plus, it's a really organized and efficient way to mix all your paints at the beginning.