For this work procure your colors in tubes, since you will thus acquire a greater variety than you would for either oil or water-color painting. The colors most in use are black, white, gray, and several shades of red, brown, green, yellow, and purple. These may be obtained at any art-store. The tube colors are diluted with turpentine. You will require a porcelain palette, a glass slab, several camel's hair brushes of different sizes, a bottle of spirits of turpentine, one of 98 per cent. alcohol, and small bottles of oil of turpentine, oil of lavender, and balsam of copaiba. A steel palette knife, and one of horn or ivory; a rest for the hand while painting, made of a strip of wood about an inch long and twelve inches wide; a small glass muller; and a fine needle set in a handle for removing tiny particles of dust.
A plate, a flat plaque, or a tile is best to begin with, and the first design should be of the simplest. One must learn by degress how to use the colors which will best stand the firing, which is the crucial test. There are places in the cities to which articles of painted china may be sent to be fired, few people having the facilities to do this in their homes.
By study, careful watching of processes, attention to details, and obedience to the directions of the best manuals, one may learn to paint creditably without a master. But all arts are rendered less difficult by a painstaking teacher, and many weary hours and disappointments may be saved by joining an art class.