8x10 oil on gesso boardThere is definately something to be said about practice. This is the first time I have painted on gesso board in quite a while and, I have to admit, I struggled quite a bit with it. Unlike the canvas, which allows you to scrub the paint in while the weaves hold it in place, the gesso board lets the paint slide and puddle, making it extremely difficult to control at time. If you are good at it, you can get some really great effects (like Michael Naples who makes me look like an amature at best--which is okay I guess since that is what I am.). I think my initial mistake is using too much medium, which caused my paints to get too thin.
with practice comes control. In fact, when I was painting on gesso board a lot, I became comfortable and had some success with getting the effect I was shooting for, such as in my watermelon and bosc pear alla primas: