I like the way watercolor nail art looks. I’ve seen the tutorials online for a while, and have wanted to try it out but I can totally see myself making a huge mess of it. So I set out to find a way to get a similar result with out so many opportunities for me to make a mess of my hands and whatever work space I’m occupying.
Why not use actual art supplies? A paint brush has got to be a lot easier to work with than a piece of plastic. And nail polish is pretty thick, unlike watercolors. I guess you could use cheap nail polish, but what if you just used watercolors? Watercolors might drip right off of a glossy base. So you’ll need a matte base. And how do you get the watercolor to not react to your top coat? That’s where Derwent’s Inktense pencils come in. These pencils are similar to watercolor pencils, except their workability stops when they dry. Hence the “ink” part of the name.
So here’s what you’ll need:
- A light base nail polish – I used OPI’s I Cannoli
- A clear matte polish – I used Revlon’s Transforming Effects Top Coat Matte 790
- Small paint brush(es)
- Small jar of water
- Two or three Inktense Pencils – I used Sea Blue, Deep Indigo, & Ink Black
- A glossy top coat – I used a super cheapy top coat
Once you gather all of that:
- Paint a coat or two of your light base.
- After your base is completely dry, apply the matte polish.
- After your matte coat is completely dry you can start painting on the watercolor designs. I wet my paint brush and run it against the rim of the jar to make sure it isn’t over saturated. Then I get pigment from the tip of the pencil on to the brush. I painted in layers starting from the lightest color and ending with the darkest. Paint random blobs with the first color. Allow it to dry almost completely. Paint smaller blobs with the second and allow that to dry almost completely. Then paint sparse tiny blobs and wispy swirls with your darkest color.
- Once the paint has completely dried paint on your glossy top coat. This should bring out the colors and pattern contrast in your designs. I did two coats of top coat.
If you do try it out and share it on instagram or twitter please tag me, @illusdreted, so I can admire your work.