Tuesday, March 20, 2012

First Day of Spring means Bluebonnet Nails!

One of my fondest memories of my grandmother that recently died was when I was very young.  My grandmother would take my sister and I on walks in the fields in front of their home in Texas during the spring.  My sister and I would pick handfuls of wildflowers including Indian paintbrushes and bluebonnets.  Yes, yes, I know that bluebonnets are the state flower however, try to reason with a five year old!  We'd bring them back to the house and put all the flowers in mason jars and drinking glasses.  My grandmother was an avid gardener and always had rose bushes and ivy growing.  She loved teaching my sister and I about growing things. Anyway...I have been seeing friends and family post bluebonnet pictures on Facebook and got a little nostalgic so I decided to paint some Bluebonnet nails.  Major plus is that Spring is upon us! 

The first thing I did was to search online for some bluebonnet paintings and found Niki Gulley.  Her Texas wildflower paintings are sooo gorgeous that I modeled my wildflowers after hers!

Next, I had to test out my techniques.  When you do elaborate nails with layered backgrounds you do not want to experiment on your nails.  I practice my designs on dollar store note cards.

You get the idea.  Luckily, most of my nails art tends to turn out better than the test but these look pretty good.  One thing I knew to avoid was the "grape clusters" look when doing this on my nails.  The learning is all in the test!

Then I tried the design out on my nails. The first is with a lamp light and no flash and the second is with flash.

So how did I do these nails? Very carefully!  I started with base coated nails and did one thin coat of Metallic Yellow.  I then sponged on random spots of Snow Me White.  Next I filled in some of the white background with sponging in Unicorn and Venus.  Once the background dried, I sponged on a thin green haze at the tip of each nail in San Francisco.  Using a nail art brush I made bluebonnets with dots of Metallic Sapphire.  I then filled in the middle of each bluebonnet with small dots of Rain Check.  Using a smaller nail art brush, I made the bluebonnet tops with dashes of Snow Me White and added dots to each bonnet.  For the Indian Paintbrush, I made ovals in Thimbleberry and accented the petals with more dashes of Snow Me White.  I used more San Francisco to add stems and leaves to the paintbrushes and highlighted the leaves with the lighter green Olympia.  To protect my art, I painted over each nail with a top coat.  I have to say that these are some of my favorite nails to date.  For my Texas peeps, keep on posting the glorious spring wildflowers.  With all the rain Texas just got, there should be tons of bluebonnets and Indian paintbrushes to take in!

What do you think?


  1. Totally awesome design! I'm in TX and the bluebonnets are everywhere! I keep meaning to take pictures, and just today on my way home I was thinking about doing a blue bonnet design and here you went and did it!

    1. Thanks, ladies! They weren't as hard as I thought they would be! @Kaki, do some bluebonnet nails:) I would LOVE to see your take on them!

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