So, let’s see… It’s March 28th, it’s almost April, and it’s snowing like every deity in the sky is suffering from a major case of dandruff. Pooh. I love living in New England. Naturally this weather makes me wish for sunny, sandy beaches… seagulls squawking in the sky, building sand castles with my little sister, collecting shells along the water… Ahh, yes. That’s good stuff.
To commemorate my dreams of salt water and tiny hermit crabs, I painted some seashells over a beach-y gradient that was inspired by @sinney. Of course I added Holographic Pearls by Revlon as a sparkly topcoat over the gradient! The shells were painted with a wee little brush from BornPrettyStore.
I learned a trick from @simplynailogical the other day – add cuticle oil to your brushes after washing them with acetone! It keeps them soft and supple. You can do this between rinses while painting a design, too, which makes your lines smoother and such. It’s great. I don’t like wasting cuticle oil, so I’ve been using plain old coconut oil instead. You just have to dip the cleaned brush in, rub the oil through the bristles, and wipe off the excess!
For the gradient, I used a nude nail polish and a baby blue nail polish. The nude I used is “Yo Soy” by Wet n Wild. I can’t emphasize enough that this is a crazy good buy! It’s about a dollar for a full-sized bottle of a smooth, fast-drying nude that is opaque in two coats. I was so happy when I realized how great the formula is. To do the gradient, grab a makeup sponge and paint the two colours onto it. I used Elmer’s glue mixed with some water as a shield for my cuticles. Press and swipe the sponge across the nail – make sure you use a white base! – and repeat until you reach the opacity you would like. Let dry, add sparkly topcoat, and get ready to paint!
I used the same white nail polish to paint the base of the shells. I looked up some generic stock photos of shells to help me as a reference point. Paint the basic shape of the shell using white nail polish. Grab a light tan/brown colour and add some detailing – looking at a picture really helps, because the details vary for each type of shell. Use a slightly darker brown for more details if needed, and to outline the shape of the shell to differentiate it from the lighter background. I like to outline each ‘section’ of each shell for a more defined look. Let that dry, and add topcoat. That’s it!
The trick to painting finer details is just patience. The oil on the brush does help, but a steady hand is also often not a quick one. You can probably tell that some of my shells are off-center, and that’s something I need to work on. I’m not very good at planning out a space, but I’m improving! Just practice, practice, and practice some more. Or… buy some water decals. Those are super easy to use!
Anyway, I hope you all liked this little design. I really would like to go to a beach this summer. Last summer, my family went to a beach in Mississippi and there were little fishies and crabs and these little clam things in the water and it was wonderful. Plus, we made a bomb ass sand castle.