Now it’s time to gather supplies.
I recommend starting with at least the three primary colors: red, yellow and blue. You can also purchase starter kits with six or eight paint colors at some craft stores.
I mostly use inexpensive foam paintbrushes, one to two inches wide. I also use kitchen sponges cut into small pieces. If you want a wider variety of brushes, check the craft and hardware departments of deep discount stores. I found my favorite brush, an espresso machine cleaner, on the clearance table at a general store.
Two yards of bleached muslin cut into fat quarters is enough fabric to start. I like fat quarters because they are big enough to test a technique, yet small enough to handle easily. Pre-washing is a personal choice. I rinse my fabric right before I paint so it’s damp.
In the house I paint on a piece of foam core board on my kitchen counter. Outside I either place the foam core on the trampoline or place large sheets of Styrofoam insulation on sawhorses. The insulation requires a piece of wood underneath for support.
Do not paint fabric on a porous surface, like wood. The wood will absorb the paint – permanently! I you want to paint directly on wood, cover it with plastic and tape the plastic down.
I use deli containers, Styrofoam plates and trays, and frozen meal containers to mix and thin paint. These items should never be reused for food.
You should keep a spray bottle filled with water next to your work area. If you do not want to stain your hands and nails, you should wear thin rubber/plastic gloves. Stains should wash off your hands within 24 hours. When painting outside, I use pins to secure the fabric to the work surface.
As we move into specific techniques, we will use other items as noted.