I lay in my darkest "darks", and get a good thinly-painted (wash) outline in before I start adding texture from my palette knife, and the fully loaded thin brushes I'll use for smaller details I'd like to make.
Here is my finished work. I've used a lot of Renaissance Gold oil paint on the cross, to make it pop with color! I love it! Very textured! I love the read heart in the center of the cross, which means His great love, like no other, who died for us- shed His blood, so He could one day bring us back to Him in heaven!
I hope you'll visit my Etsy Shop to see this piece, as well as others I have listed for sale.