You need acryllic paint and water. I use a kitchen glass plate for my mixing area...because they do not absorb the paint and clean up is a breeze...just rinse and put into the dishwasher. Hugs!
Put a little dab of paint on the plate...add a couple of tablespoons of water. Mix gently. In this case, I want to paint "sky" so I choose white and light blue. When mixed, I got white...blue...and a muddy mixture of white/blue.
You want a really thin mixture...like ink would look...(sorry, forgot that photo).
Now, Be brave...and put some paint-water on the sponge ... and dab it on the fabric. Keep sponging from the plate to the fabric until the sky is like you want it. It might not be pretty, or perfect...but don't fret. All will be just fine!
Repeat this step for other areas of the project. For these, I did greens for grass at the bottom. (you could do grays for hills, or tans for sand, etc.) Remember to add the water to thin out the paint!!!!
When done...you have a piece of fabric with the "illusion" of sky and ground!
As I said, it's not pretty...but it is not realism...only the "hint" of
the sky and ground.
It will be enhanced by your stitching! Seriously, it will!
See how the second design looks on top of the sky/grass!
Cool! And it isn't even done yet!
Now, let your painted fabric dry...completely!
You can just lay it out overnight...or, if (like me) you do not want to wait...you can iron it dry.
Here's how I did mine...
Use paper (just plain printer paper) on the top and bottom to protect your iron from excess paint...at least until it partially drys and the paper soaks some excess water/paint up.
Then iron as you like!
Because there is so much water mixed with the paint...the fabric soaks up the color...but is not rough or coarse.
Use a light table or sunny window to trace your embroidery pattern...or whatever method you normally use.
Here is one of the designs, just traced with a #2 lead pencil...my tool of choice!
See, you can see the design...and then, just stitch as usual!
ETA: Is painted fabric washable? Well, I don't plan on washing these scenes...as the silk ribbon will not hold up I'm thinking. But, my sister (the painter) has used acrylic paint on t-shirts...and ironed to set the paint...and they have washed just fine. There is also a fixative for acrylic paint that helps it adhere to cloth. So, you could add textile/fabric medium to thin your acrylic paints before you use them on fabric if your scene will be washed a lot.
So... if you are planning on painting on wearables or other things that are laundry prone...do your research.
Here is one link to get you started:
and if you need to "remove" paint fro you clothing...yes, we all have messy accidents at times...here is a link about that too: