O.K., here's a lesson in cradled wood panels, a popular surface to paint on and one I prefer.
Most of my smaller panels that I make are not cradled because I am assuming they will be framed to prevent warping, but since the client indicated she wants to hang the portrait on the wall without a frame, I need to Cradle the Panel because wood warps. I cradle all pieces larger than 12 X 12 and really big pieces I use extra cross bars to stabilize more.
In this photo I have cut the panel, sanded and have put wood strips on the back with glue. The vises hold it together till the next day. Then I will put 2 or 3 coats of gesso on, then do a final light sanding after it dries. This whole process takes about two days if I don't forget to gesso. If I do forget it could take up to 4 or 5 days.
The fabric store was having a 30% off sale - New Fabric paintings - Yayyyy!