I always thought that gesso was, simply, a tool and, although I do try to use the best tools that I can afford, I never considered Gesso to be a tool that would be of significantly different quality. In the past I have generally bought either Golden or Liquitex gesso and was always happy with the coverage. BUT....last week I happened to be ordering a few watercolors from Daniel Smith and, since I was low on gesso , I added a quart of 'Daniel Smith Brand Gesso' to my order. I just tried it today- and I am here to say that there is a difference in gesso! The DS brand gesso is so darn smooth - and it imparts a delightful , silky smooth surface. It's available in more colors than I ever thought possible too. I have only used white. I was pretty surprised at the smooth consistency and with lovely, smooth surface that it lays down on the paper. Not as toothy as other brands... I'll be playing on the pages during the next few days. It will be interesting to see if the smoothness is boon to paints and pens.
The usual disclaimers prevail...I am in no way affiliated with Daniel Smith - and I purchased this product myself - and am glad I did !