Monday, September 02, 2013

Mugs for painting!

Some time ago Big Red Bat posted about the mugs he drank from when he is painting.  I was thinking about this yesterday when, after an invasion of relations, I found I didn't have any of my favourite mugs to hand when re-commencing work on the Roman galley (progress on which went disastrously badly over the weekend due to Guy's rowing activities).  All my favourites were dirty and I found this surprisingly stressful.  With Charlotte off to Edinburgh in less than a week we are all getting stressed as she totally fails to prepare for living away from home for the first time, other than getting out far too may shoes.  Anyway, here are my favourite painting mugs, although very few are wargames related.  

My favourite one at present is also the most recent, which I bought at this year's Salute.  It is very big but is starting to show signs of dishwasher wear (which, to be fair, was pointed out as an issue of the label - but who has time to hand wash crockery?)

I bought this Airfix Spitfire mug in Waterstones and although it isn't that large it always inspires me if I have to glue together anything.  I suspect it will be much employed when my recently ordered Warlord Games WW2 Japanese (oh dear, another period) arrive.

This one was stolen by my particular friend S from the Four Seasons in Vancouver.  We had nipped into the Four Seasons for a cooked breakfast.  Well, I wanted a cooked breakfast one morning but was informed that she didn't cook anything in her apartment as it would mess up her new kitchen.  Her justification was that she spent so much money in the bar at the Four Seasons she had earned a mug (she actually stole two, quite brazenly). I always use this mug if I am painting naked girly figures, such as slavegirls.  I can't think why.

This mug dates from my honeymoon on the Orient Express from the time, twenty years ago, when, as my wife says, "we used to like each other".  This is very good for when I am painting large amounts of one colour as it is bone china and so keeps the tea hot for the longest period of any of my mugs.

This one was a present from one of my more personal personal assistants and features pin-up painting by David Wright from the fifties when he used to provide pictures for The Sketch and Men Only.  I don't use this one that often as it is rather special and lives in a pink box.  It was the one I used yesterday, however.

This is another recent purchase; from October last year.   I bought it in El Dorado airport, Bogota and it is, of course, a coffee cup.  I don't drink coffee, however, as it makes me go strange but you can get an awful lot of tea in it.  The large surface area means that it gets cold quite fast so I tend to use this one when filing and basing figures as you can stop to drink at any point without worrying, for example that your paint will dry on the palette.

This is another coffee cup which I bought in the Bellagio hotel Las Vegas (on the trip that S spent more than $3,000 on one bottle of Californian wine at dinner).  This is probably my second favourite.  It's large but not so large that the tea gets cold.

This is another one from a trip to Las Vegas when I went to see the Titanic exhibition at the Luxor Hotel.  I use this one when making models of doomed ships.

This one was bought for me by my sister last year after I had given a lecture at MIT in Boston.  I think she was being ironic.

So, this is what keeps the Legatus going when he actually has time to paint, which isn't that often at present.  Time to put the kettle on!


  1. I'm normally a coffee drinker and for that I have a whopping great bucket of a mug with "Worlds Best Dad" on it. I'm sure the kids were being deeply ironic when they bought me that, so I use it all the time.

    I tend to drink tea in the evenings and that's when I dig out my battered, but much loved, enamelled tin mug. It just seems right for when I fancy a 'brew' and it cools the tea down quickly so I can gulp it down all the faster.

    (BTW $3k on a bottle of wine!!!)

  2. So many mugs! Since my post, my huge Salute one that could hold a pint of tea, has perished. :-(


  3. I tend to rely on a fairly innocuous, beige, monster of a coffee mug, or my giganotosaurus mug.


  4. Some nice mugs. I pretty much only drink water.. I've never liked any hot liquid, maybe hot spiced cider around xmas time. But I use a simple dark brown mug for ice water and painting water I use old glass jelly jars. The one I use most of the time is the same jar I devoted to it when I first started.. that small jar with paint-stained rim has been going for over 20 years. No one would make the 'drank from the paint glass' mistake with that one.

    She won't cook in the kitchen bc doesn't want to mess it up? That's funny.

  5. $3K on a Californian wine - those restaurant mark-ups are horrendous aren't they? What was it?

    My favourite mug (used every weekend for my breakfast coffee) is a big one featuring a Mort Kunstler painting "Steady Boys, Steady" - this one:

    Bought for me by my wife at Salute about 15 years ago and still going strong.

  6. Laughing Ferret I have an old shot glass for my water and it is equally paint stained. I chose a small glass deliberately to avoid the drinking the brush water problem!

    S's kitchen is for storing chocolate, wine cake and strawberries as far as I can see. I think the microwave sees use but the oven still had the instructions inside when I opened it - six months after she moved in.

    LittleArmies, it was a Screaming Eagle. Can't remember the vintage. It was very good but not that good!

    I like the picture on your mug!

  7. I haven't drunk coffee while painting since the time a couple of years ago when I found myself swirling my paint brush in the coffee mug. Anyway, for evening painting sessions it will be either a large Riedel glass for chardonnay or riesling, or a smaller, cheaper glass for any other white.

    As Little Armies knows, I reckon you reach a price point with wine (about £75 in the shops) after which any further improvement in quality is negligible. Kudos to S for blowing 3 grand on Screaming Eagle though!


  8. Well Screaming Eagle goes for a fairly consistent $1500 a bottle retail (and probably cost them $1K) - so the restaurateur probably only made about $2K out of you!

    Now you can see why I'm so tight with the wine when I'm in a restaurant (unless I've agreed a BYO arrangement, of course).