How to draw detailed designs on nails: Special Designs

Here’s a tutorial on how to draw detailed designs on nails using the shading technique.

from Nail Up! March 2012.

Part 1: Shading Technique
Part 2: Line & Lace Patterns
Part 3: Flower Patterns

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Dignified Flower


By varying the intensity of the color, such elegance can be achieved even with just a single color. Paint with your brush lying as parallel to the surface as possible. Also, use just a small amount of paint each time, going over lines repeatedly to get the desired intensity and shade of color.


Step 1: Take up violet paint on one corner of a flat brush and draw in flower petals as shown.


Step 2: Similar to Step 1, draw another whorl of petals inside the first whorl. It is ok if the whorls are not aligned perfectly.


Step 3: Take up violet paint on a flat brush and draw in the flower’s center. Move your brush in a circular motion to draw a circle.


Step 4: Using violet paint on a flat brush, draw in a tiny flower above the main flower.


Step 5: Using violet paint on a flat brush, draw in another tiny flower below the main flower.


Step 6: Using violet paint on a flat brush, draw in a tiny flower to the left of the flower drawn in Step 5.


Step 7: Draw in some leaves using violet paint on a flat blush. Vary the pressure you exert on the brush as you draw each leaf.


Step 8: Using a thin brush, draw in some vines with violet paint. Be sure to use only a small amount of paint when drawing.


Step 9: Take up some gold paint on a thin brush and add dots around your design. Hold your brush at a perpendicular angle during this step.

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Strawberry of the fairy tale


Mix various acrylic paint colors to get the exact shade you want. Using white as highlight adds a touch of definition to your design.


Step 1: Take up yellow paint on a thin brush and draw in strawberry shapes as shown. Fill in the center with color.


Step 2: Take up orange paint on one corner of a flat brush and add shading to the strawberries.


Step 3: Mix red and white colors, then use the resultant color to add more shading to the strawberries.


Step 4: Mix white and moss green colors, then use the resultant color to draw in the strawberries’ tops with a thin brush.


Step 5: Use green and brown colors to add shading to the strawberry tops. Use white to draw in highlights.


Step 6: Draw some small flowers. Do shading on the flowers too, to add depth.


Step 7: Draw in more leaves around the strawberries. Use white to draw in highlights.


Step 8: Using a thin brush, carefully draw in a lace and dot design.


Step 9: Use white and brown colors to draw seeds on your strawberries. Vary the pressure of your dotting to create more realistic-looking seeds.

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