I feel like I dropped the topic of the different techniques that artists use to begin a painting without writing about the indirect method. It takes many forms but has one thing in common. It is done in layers and stages so as to deal with each challenge separately. Most indirect painters begin with a drawing, either directly on the canvas or on a sheet of paper then transferred onto canvas. After fixing the image, thin layers are applied and allowed to dry before another layer is applied. This is a simplified explanation. If you would like more details, there are many sites that demo this type of beginning. I am attaching a sample from Sadie Valeri' s blog of a painting done in this method. Her work is magnificent and she is truly a talented artist.