Gamblin Gesso makes a traditional absorbent ground for oil paintings on panels. "Gesso" is Italian for gypsum which, when mixed with water and animal glue, makes a luminous painting surface. Gamblin Traditional Gesso is a dry mixture of rabbit skin glue, gypsum, marble dust, and titanium dioxide.
Robert Gamblin recommends applying four coats Traditional Gesso to both sides of thin or poorly braced panels. Traditional Gesso is too brittle to use with fabric supports.