Painted Cats & Painted Cups

Happy first day of autumn!

Here’s a quick little illustration I did for the sake of doing something autumn-related before I jump right into my Christmas card designs for the season. Here in Florida, we don’t really have proper autumn weather until late November, so it was nice to make a cup of tea, paint this picture, and pretend for a moment. autumncatsmallGouache with digital elements

Another project I’ve recently delved into is the world of hand painted mugs. Here is my first attempt:

mug mug2

I used a dollar store mug, Pebeo Porcelaine 150 China paints, and just a little bit of oil-based sharpie for some gold metallic accents. It’s been run through the dishwasher multiple times and has held up incredibly well. Well–except for one thing: the cup originally had a golden handle. Whoops.

peacockmug1

You’ve likely seen the method for permanently drawing on mugs using oil-based sharpies on Pinterest (this blog offers some good information on it) and it absolutely does work, but not when layered on too thickly. In order to be completely covered, the handle of this mug required multiple layers of sharpie–much more than the smaller golden elements on the mug which have held up beautifully. Bits of the handle just flaked off every time the piece was washed or handled extensively. In the end, I just scraped the handle clean. It had been a nice touch and I would have liked it to stay, but the cup still looks pretty nice without it. I think most people prefer to drink their tea without having to worry about sharpie coming off on their hand anyway.

The sharpie method is still great and easy, but if you’re good with a paintbrush and are interested in painting some mugs of your own, I definitely recommend the Pebeo paints. Just paint them on, let them dry for 24 hours, and pop into a cool oven set to 300 F for 30 minutes. All the colors are mixable, can be thinned with water, and they have an almost enamel look to them when dry. You can find a very affordable set of small 20-millileter paint bottles on Amazon if you’re unsure but would like to try the product out anyway. I used quite a light touch myself, but the paint seems to go a long way. Expect to see more of these mugs from me in the future!

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