Most of the time, nearly always I suppose, I use black gesso primer. I think that using black helps with the intensity of colour that I am always after, it lets me see where I have been lazy and not used enough paint (yes that happens a lot) it also helps you to move towards the light as you paint.
So the primer is applied, usually about four or five coats and sanded down between each coat, this gives a really good painting surface. I try to do quite a lot of supports at once, have a priming day. I put the primer onto a lid of a jam jar and then screw the jar on top when it is not in use, this keeps it usable for a long time.
When the support is ready I transfer the line drawing onto the black surface using white chalk then
start to fill in all the areas that are very light. This stage is when you can begin to see how the painting will work tonally before the colour comes along to confuse things!
But soon the colours begin to sing and shout to me and I have to dive in. As the rusty red hull is quite an important part of the painting I will get this blocked in first. Although this is a very early stage of the painting it is important to me to remember the direction of surfaces and try to reflect that in the application of the paint. So the strokes of the brush describe the shape of the objects as well, this is just one of my foibles, not law, nothing is law as far as I am concerned, you just work out the way you like to work. For example the only black I ever use is the gesso primer, the dark areas on my paintings are all made of colours, but that is my personal rule.
The paints that I use are Griffin Alkyd Fast Drying Oil Paint made by Winsor and Newton
I like them because they dry fast but not impossibly fast like acrylic does. They have all the properties of oil paints, smell, workability etc and can be mixed with oil paints too. I am an impatient and fast working artist, I want results and I want them fast so these paints are perfect for me. All the rules of oils apply, fat over lean etc. I love them.