I enjoy painting on traditional gesso. It is rabbit skin glue (I know- Yuk!) and marble dust warmed together and layered onto wood to create a panel to paint on. When I go to the trouble to get this done, I make sure I do enough for a long time. The crock pot my sister gave for Christmas was perfect for the warming and rewarming process. I sand the wood, paint on the gesso, let it dry, sand it again - 5 coats is typical. Labor of love. The smooth and absorbent surface cannot be had any other way. Rabbit skin glue is also a terrific way to adhere canvas to a panel of wood. Then gesso tops the canvas to seal it against the oils in the paint. Made a dozen of those too. Now, for the paintings!