Most artists these days if painting in oils will use Acrylic gesso to seal and prime their supports. If you are working in oils and preparing your own panels or boards you can mix a quantity of washed sand into the gesso. When this is then applied to your panel it will give you an interestingly textured surface upon which to paint. Alternatively, you could mix filler sealant powder (eg polyfilla) into the gesso. This will not only give you a textured surface but also causes your oil paint to dry more quickly. Of course, there are also a range of acrylic texturing mediums.
Highly detailed paintings are more easily accomplished in any medium on a smooth surface, but a textured surface will often result in a richer, more painterly finish.
I keep meaning to glue some crumpled, acid-free tissue paper onto a panel, gesso it and then use oil paints on that. I’ve used tissue paper with watercolour with interesting results – if I get around to using it with oil colour, I’m sure the surface ‘texturing’ will be just as interesting.
The ‘Self Portrait’ accompanying this tip was painted in the style of the Fauvists on a 10”x8” board coated in gesso with added ‘polyfilla’.