I find painting oversize pieces a lot of fun. You can really tell the whole story because you are not limited by space.
However, there are some logistical challenges. The first is getting the 4' X 8' untempered hardboard home when it doesn't fit in my Explorer. (I had them cut it into 3 pieces for an extra $1.00.) We used our panel saw at home to cut the board to the exact size. The next step is applying the gesso. Usually I place the board on my 4 foot round drawing table. This painting is going to be 2 feet by 5 feet. Using 3" ABS pipe cut into rounds about 2.5" high, I elevate the board from the floor. I start by applying gesso to the back. Once that is dry, I turn the board over and apply a coat to the edges and 2 coats to the front (waiting 3-4 hours between coats.)
A note on gesso. I had been unsatisfied with the gessos I was using. One day I googled "Artist best gesso" to see if I could find a better one. One of the listings that came up was Daniel Smith World's Greatest Gesso. Yeah, yeah. Sounded like a lot of bragging to me, but I ordered a gallon of their white.
It is the very best gesso I have used. Just the right texture, not too thick nor thin and it nicely "grabs" oil paint.
The next step, drawing.