In the first 3 weeks of the new class session we have tried to get back to basics; even before composition, placement, and color mixing, learning to organize the information before our eyes, is a foundational part of the painting process. "You mean I can't just put the paint on?"
I am not sure a man would get the analogy, but a well dressed women knows a beautiful outfit is well served by the right lingerie. Time (and, or money) spent on the foundation of a painting is always well spent.
I am referring to the sketch. - We imagine it isn't an important part of the technical package because it will be covered up, but those first thoughts on the canvas are part of organizing our visual information; and like nice (and often expensive) lingerie, a strong sketch is worth showing off. I have seen Ann Templeton demo many times and, she will often lay down a sketch in a bright orange or red, with the intention of allowing it to peek out of the final painting. And by the way, her brush sketching is sublime; beautiful and confident.
In class we did small, quick, sketches, one after another.
Doing several sketches at a sitting, wiping each sketch off, as you go, will not only improve drawing skills but also build your confidence with the brush. It may even spoil you for pencil sketching.