Surface preparation sounds like a boring job and frankly, sometimes it is. When I do graphite pieces on board it takes days to get the board to just the right sheen and gloss and while all this is going on (sanding, applying gesso, sanding again, repeat) I don't feel very much like an "artist." But now and then my vision lets me put down a little more creative surface and that really is fun stuff. Take a peek:
24" x 24"
Square surfaces are always more challenging when it comes to composition so I usually do something a bit different with them. This surface prep started with several coats of gesso and sanding with the last coat being tinted gray. I then mixed some joint compound with a color and skip troweled (more or less) some of that on. It has a very different feel to the gesso. Then you might guess I added some colors with a brush and couldn't keep myself from finishing with a few drips.
No telling if I will turn this around, add more color or use it just this way....but my first inclination is to do a collage of tractors I have been anxious to try. Not a collage of glued on tractors but a collection of drawings from photos I have taken over the years...for some reason old tractors have captured my imagination and I have quite a few shots saved up. But who knows? something else may cry out now that I have seen the surface photographed. Does this particular panel remind you of anything??