Abstract Watercolor Painting – On My Nails!

Pure glee! Yup – that was the mood in the Kolor Kave when I was painting these nails. There were sounds that included, “Squee!”, “Oooohh“, “Ahhh“, and “Yesssss“. There was a smile on my face from ear to ear. What fun!!

Maybe someday, I’ll have a video camera recording my nail design sessions (with lots of editing, of course) – but until such time…

I’ll just have to do my very best at describing them. Now, to clarify, I created these nails with actual watercolor paints. There is a technique that uses regular nail polish and remover to create watercolor-looking designs – this is not that. I used a pack of solid watercolor pots and 3 different brushes/brushstroke types to make these abstract watercolor designs on my nails.

Luckily, I had the foresight to do a little research before trying this out. A big help came from Lucie of Lucy’s Stashpost of tutorials found here, watercolor tutorial is down at bottom of list. The best tip? In order for the watercolor paints to adhere to your nail – you need a matte topcoat layer to be what you paint on.

Design Details

For these nails, I put down two coats of a white creme polish as my canvas, and then one coat of a matte topcoat before letting myself loose with the watercolors.

The last time I painted with watercolors was before I could legally drive a car – and it was on watercolor paper. Therefore, it was time to use this medium on my nails! I chose to do an abstract art design for the challenge prompt number 27 in the #31DC2013 challenge, Inspired by Artwork. By doing a free-form design I could play with making washes, brushstrokes and blending the colors until I was happy with the result.

In the photo above, you might be able to tell that I created two companion “paintings”. Each hand has its own design, yet they still went together, like a series of two paintings on a wall. My left hand had more of a green/blue background. While my right hand was a bit cooler with a pink/purple background. Basically, I mostly did one hand at a time using the brush across each nail without changing the paint/water on it.

Finishing Touches

After I was done painting, I applied two thin coats of the same matte topcoat. This really gave these a real art-like feel (rather than glossy), as if they were painted on a smooth paper canvas. (Without some type of topcoat to seal the design in, it won’t last.) And, word to the wise, watercolor paint when dried on to cuticles does not come off as easy as you’d think – there was a lot of scrubbing with soap and water. (Next time, I will either keep the design to the nail canvas, or use something to protect the areas around the nail.)

Oh – these were so enjoyable to paint and wear!!! I giggle every time I look at them. It’s not that painting my nails is ever a chore, but these were extra entertaining! You see, when each color was applied it would sit-up on the nail as a drop or spatter. And, then within a few seconds it would start to flatten and create flowing shapes with differing tones. Sometimes I would add more water or move the droplets around before they dried; other times, I would apply water after it was dry. I thought about using some black acrylic paint and a tiny brush to paint some shapes and/or edges for more dimension, but I was so afraid I’d ruin them. Until I have better fine-line skills, I think I made the right decision.

Fresh Perspective

These last few pictures were taken outside. You can see that the paints looked less washed out than with the flash/indoor photos.

It isn’t often that I am out in public, and even less often that I get anyone’s attention to my nails (other than Mr. Kimett who gets them flashed in front of his face shortly after coming home from work); but I did get a sweet, unsolicited “Very nice nails” comment on these. There wasn’t time to discuss them – but boy did I want to tell her all about making them. I’ve been acting like a overly proud elementary school kid whose artwork has been hung up in the school hall for everyone to see! I don’t want to take them off…

But, alas, I will do that later today. It’s time to move on to the next challenge prompt. I so want to finish the challenge. I feel ready to be “free” to do other designs; as well as want the satisfaction of completing the 31 designs. Next up is a design Inspired by a Flag. Hmmmm….. what to do, what to do….will it be as cheery as this was? (Probably not.) Stay tuned to find out….

Polish Palette

Polish: OPI – Alpine Snow
Watercolor Paint set by Artist’s Loft

Inspiration Source(s)

Abstract Watercolor Paintings such as this one by MusicalColorStudio on Etsy:

And, the “31 Design Challenge” (more info in my previous post here)

courtesy of Chalkboard Nails

Thanks for visiting!!

Till next time,