This is usually my first step... painting the "frames" on deep-edge canvas. For Goodly Creature I'm using 6, each one 6x6 inches. As you can see here, my painting style is all about layers. I use Golden Fluid Acrylics mixed with Open Medium, building up the texture by painting with a wide brush, then blotting, drying & painting again until I like the effect. The unfinished center part will be covered by the collage elements.
Please click the image for details. To see all the posts in this process, please click the "Goodly Creature" label below.