First, I am not a teacher or instructor! This is just a commentary of what I do to prior to applying any paint. My first task is to prepare the canvas. For this piece I decide to use a pre-stretched canvas and "prep" the surface with regular white or "opaque" gesso. I apply this with a small spatula and a wide trowel, working the coats to achieve a smooth finish. I usually apply two or three coats; letting each one dry before applying the next. Once the gesso is completely dry (usually 24 hours) I will sand the surface to remove any ridges or high spots left over from the trowel. I then sketch the piece out on the canvas using a soft lead pencil. Once I am satisfied with the the drawing, I spray it with a clear matte aerosol to "fix" the sketch, so it will no longer smear or smudge the pencil lines. I usually let this set for another 24 hours or so before I continue the "prep".
More next time!