Sunday, May 1, 2011

argyle it up

Argyle is my favorite pattern. I have friends who like polka dots and houndstooth, but for me it's argyle. I love its sibling plaid a lot too and am fond of just plain stripes, but argyle holds a special place in my heart.

So, too, does nail polish. And of course, I have combined the too. So, instead of a pun, here is a guide to argyle nail polish.

First, your tools.

First, you need your base coat. This color will not actually be the main one, usually. It does get burried under the pattern.

Next, a clear top coat is a must. Because it makes your finished nails all shiny and smooth.

Then, the colors for the diamonds and the lines. For this you need either the nail art brushes, pens, or some other way to do fine work. In the past I have managed with tooth picks, but the skinny art brushes work wonders.

You can use any colors you like, but for the lines I think black or white would be best. Just remember to pick colors that look nice.

Now we begin. First, start with whatever you do to get your nails ready. I do all the cuticle pushing and filing and picking and soaking and shaping here. Or not, depending on how board I am. Really the least you need is a flat surface to work on.
Step 1: Base coat
Pretty self explanatory. just get the base color on nice and even. Depending on the brand/color, 2-3 coats might be needed. Let these coats dry well.

Step 2: Diamond Lines
This is where it gets hard. Depending on the length of your nails, the amount of lines you draw varies. The amount of diamonds you have also depends on this. For normal nail length, I suggest two to three lines each way. More will be harder and make the diamonds much smaller, and less will not make a complete pattern.

Start at the top of the nail. For best results, draw a line at a 45 degree angel at the corner of your nail. Base the other lines around this. Then, go from the other corner in the opposite direction. Play around with the angles you use and the spaces between the lines. It is all a matter of what you think looks best.

Step 3: Coloring In
Now, you color in the diamonds. Again, which ones you start with is your choice. But remember to follow the pattern after you color in the first. A tricky part to painting in the diamonds happens when the lines dry so it is best to do steps 2 and 3 to each nail at a time.

You only color in diamonds that touch corners with the first one you colored. This makes them a skewed checkerboard. Let the diamonds dry.

Step 4: Accent Lines
Now, the thin accent lines. White and black are the colors you usually used this way. To make them correctly, just draw straight down the middle of the first lines you drew. The accent lines should perfectly bisect the diamonds. When you have the lines going from each direction, they create another diamond pattern super-imposed over the other ones.

It is best to use a thinner line for the accent. Using less polish or a polish pen would work the best/be easiest.

Step 5: Top Coat
The top coat is what protects your polish from chipping and evens it out. With the uneven layers and lines, your results might be slightly lumpy/ The top coat can help fix that. It is every important to let this coat dry completely. If you mess up here fixing it is not just like adding another coat of solid color. It's a hassle and a pain in the ass.

So. There is how I do my argyle nails.

Monday, April 25, 2011

giraffe mega post!

and, of course, my drunk!doodle giraffe.

and a (slightly) less drunk doodle, in a better art program: