I've been prepping paper for painting. I had a good supply of nice large sheets of paper (I forget what kind, but sturdy enough). A year or more ago, I'd sized a lot of the sheets on both sides with rabbit skin glue, so the paper already had a nice hint of crispiness to it. I've been using it here and there. I love the way it creases and tears to make a nice rough edge.
So I decided to tear up a good supply of randomly sized small pieces that will fit nicely in my paint box. I applied a healthy coat of gesso to each side. When gesso dries, it's very grainy and sandy feeling (at least maybe the cheaper brands are). So each little piece of paper received agentle sanding on each side. Perfect. I'm loving them very much.
This evening I made some marks on one of them. I'm going to challenge myself to paintaround my house. It's not a very interesting house. It's one you'd drive by and not even notice. If I can't get excited about what is right around me, I'm clearly not looking carefully or well enough.