Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Halloween Tutorial # 8 & #9

I've got a little series of Halloween themed tutorials for you. Most of them are free-hand designs, which means they're not great but I do the best I can with my limited artistic skills. I had planned to start working on these tutorials sooner, but ended up not getting to it till now. So, I did all of them in one day simply because if I didn't do them all at once I probably would not have gotten all of them done. As such, I only did each design on one nail rather than in a full manicure. I did it this way to both save time and to save my nails and cuticles from having to be subjected to too much nail polish remover in one sitting. I have been having some issues with my camera lately too so I apologize that the pictures are not as clear as they should be.

This is my final installment of Halloween tutorials, and it's actually going to be for two looks in one.

So, the first part of this design/post is tutorial # 8 - a black to orange fade/gradient. This is more of a reminder/tip than a tutorial. When doing a fade of any color to/from black, it is best to paint your nails with the other color as your base color. Then use black to do the gradient. The reason is simple - black shows up better over top of other colors than other colors will show up over black.

For this design I've started with the black to orange gradient. I do not have step by step pictures of this as I actually did this design a while ago for a contest, but you can see instructions for the method I used to do this by reading my Sponging Tutorial post.

Start with a couple coats of an orange polish of your choice and let it dry completely. Then sponge on some black polish; you could do the tips in black if you like but for this design I wanted the black at the cuticle. This will be your result when you finish sponging on the black polish:

For the sake of an example.... here is what it would look like if you used another method and if you did the black nail polish first etc. Note that the below was done with a different orange polish than what is pictured above. This is just really to demonstrate why the black should be the color you use for the gradient, and why I prefer sponging for black gradients.

Left to right - orange base, black painted on tip and pulled downward, orange base with black sponged on (though I accidentally got too much black on my sponge - sorry about that), black base with orange painted on tip and pulled downward, black base with orange sponged on.

So, you can see why the black needs to be the secondary color when doing a black gradient, and why I prefer sponging rather than the "pulling down" method. (If you want to see the tutorial for that method of gradients click here. It does look nice when used with other colors, but takes a bit more work, a lot more time and leads to thicker layers of polish on your nails than sponging. Hence sponging is my preferred method for gradients, but I know some prefer the other method.)

Now, part two of this post is tutorial # 9 and it begins with the black to orange gradient. This design requires stamping materials - a scraper/stamper set and Bundle Monster IP BM13. (Or any other brand plate with a spider web and a bat design similar to these ones. But I really recommend the Bundle Monster plates.) I kept all the other designs free-hand designs because I know that not everyone has stamping tools, and not everyone wants them. But I did want to include one design that utilizes stamping, so fellow stamping fans this one is for you!

If you have special polish in white and black, great. But if not don't worry - I used Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Xtreme Wear in White On for the white and LA Colors Black nail art polish for the black - turned out perfect.

The Bundle Monster plate you will need and the designs you will be using from it:

Once your gradient is complete and totally dry, use the white polish to stamp on the spider web design. Place it so that it's close to the cuticle, mostly over the black polish.

Then use the black and stamp the bats onto the orange portion of the nail. For the pinky since it's smaller (or if you have shorter nails) before stamping I used a q-tip dipped in nail polish remover to take the smaller bat off the stamper so that I was only applying the larger bat. (Or you could do just the smaller bat, if you want/need to. Either way.)

Let it dry and finish it off with top coat to seal the design. I love this design; this is the one I will be doing for Halloween when I take my oldest niece trick-or-treating. =) 

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