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Place one drop of food coloring on the end of a Q-tip. Allow them to dry from 30 - 60 minutes. I use a pegboard to hold the cotton swabs upright as I drop the coloring on the end and it also allows them to dry quickly. ( I usually make a box of Q-tips at a time and store the extras in Zip-Locks for later). When ready to paint all you need are smocks, paper, and a bowl of water. Dip the end with the color in water briefly (less time in the water -- the brighter the color) and let your imagination run wild.