There are endless products that can be applied as a base. I have tried several.
While priming or applying a base coat is not necessary, you will find it helps create a superior piece of art. It will also create a less porous surface for your art paints. Using some type of cheap primer will reduce your use of more expensive paints.
Sprays are easier and quicker. But I found I really like White Gesso. It dries fast. It is thick and quickly fills in cracks, pits, and pin holes.
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