I thought I'd show a bit of how I work, from the beginning to the end of a painting. This is the jacket for "Grandpa, What's that Sound in the Middle of the Night?". I work on gessoed board or paper, and start with a wash of burnt sienna, mapping out lights and darks. I always leave the white of the paper showing through somewhere... it's impossible for me to re-capture that white of the original gesso.
I have since "finished" this painting, but won't post it yet, as I still have some last-minute changes to make.