This KB may help:
But what you said is correct... in a nutshell, think of LVM like this:
Partitions are marked as physical volumes with pvcreate.
Physical volumes can then be added into a volume group. Think of the volume group as a big pool of storage (e.g. physical volumes).
From this volume group, you can then create logical volumes, which are basically virtualized partitions.
So just make a series of normal partitions with fdisk, mark those partitions are LVM in fdisk, then run pvcreate, then vgcreate, then lvcreate, and then apply a filesystem!
Hope this helps.