I decided to adopt a technique I learned from Esterita Austin at IQF a couple years ago. I'd previously used it on my seed quilt, and have found it to be an excellent way to do painted quilts. In brief, you paint on parchment paper, cover the painted surface with mistyfuse and a layer of organza, then iron. The paint transfers to the organza and can then be applied to a quilt or whatever. There are two really great benefits to this approach (over simply painting fabric). The first is that parchment paper is much easier to paint on than fabric. The brushes slide smoothly and the paint is so much easier to apply without weird bleeding. Second, and more important for someone like me who doesn't draw well, is that you can put the parchment paper over a photograph on a light box and use it to guide color placement (standard but important disclaimer- do not do this if you don't own rights/have permissions for the photograph).
Here's what it looks like on the light box. You can see the printed out (full size) picture underneath and the skin I've already painted on the parchment.
I painted each section onto the parchment paper separately, doing all the skin/hair first, then the clothes/shoes, then the flower blossoms, leaves, and pots. That way I could mix up the many different shades of blue/red/tan/whatever all at once and not have too many colors going at once. These are all painted parchment paper.
And here's what they look like after being transferred to organza using the mistyfuse. In the one of the kids, there's a bunch of extra organza all around the figures which I trimmed away before applying them to the background.
It was fun doing the painting until I got to the leaves (which were very tedious). As a result, many of the leaves don't have any paint at all, but the ones that do give some depth. Next up, making the background and assembling it all!