ROUTE 10 THE HIGHWAY TO GREAT NAIL ART
By Gina Buccilli

1 PREPARATION
As with any artwork preparation is important, when working on a natural nail, always ensure that your canvas is clean and dry. Always a good idea to de-fat the nail, with a sanitizer dehydrator, prior to paint application. When working over acrylic nails, always check surface refinement is smooth, as shiny paint can be very unforgiving. Cuticles are the frame for your artwork, so do not skimp on removal  invest in good prep.

2 KIT
A good starter kit is vital; it should provide you with a good selection of paint and brushes, enabling you to create a variety of techniques. Quality and consistency of paint does vary dramatically, acrylic paint provides better coverage and vibrancy whereas water based paint is less dense and may require two or three coats, to achieve full coverage.

3 THE COLOR WHEEL
If you understand the color wheel you can tackle so many different tasks with confidence as you can apply your theory to cosmetics, clothing, interior design or even mixing paint for nail art.

4 COMPLIMENTARY OR CONTRASTING
To create a really strong design it needs to contain a good contrast in color, for example if you decide on purple flowers examine the color wheel and you will see opposite purple is yellow this will provide you with the impact you need. To make a softer more mellow design then choose a color and make a visit two moves alongside the color wheel and you will achieve complimentary color.

5 INCLUSIVE VERSUS EXCLUSIVE
To illustrate an inclusive design you may see a simple flower painted in the middle of a nail, strong centered shapes never look uniform across all ten. Use the same simple design again in an exclusive manner, by this we mean paint and add a section of the flower in both corners. The layout now will look like the design is moving off the nail we refer to this as exclusive.    

6 PERSPECTIVE
If you were to stand at the bottom of a skyscraper and look up, the top of the building would seem to form a point this is our perspective. The further away an object the smaller it appears, increase itís proximity and you increase its size

7 DIMENSION
You can add dimension to a design by using highlights and lowlights, the golden rule however is always consider your light source. Imagine sunshine pouring through a window from the left, and the light hitting the top left hand surface of an object, this would provide the highlight. This would then create a shade on the lower right side to create the lowlight.

8 ODD AND EVEN
Hands can be considered an odd subject, as fingers and thumbs are rarely straight and appear in odd numbers, and nail beds are different sizes and shapes. With this in mind when painting for example flowers a quantity of three or five will unify them, whereas an even number of flowers say two or four will make them look odd. 

9 DIRECTION AND MOVEMENT
If you want to give a design energy then you must show that it has some movement consider the following. Anything that spends energy creates debris, think of the Catherine wheel firework as it burns sparks will fly and you will notice it spin in one direction. To capture this is quite an advanced technique but sometimes a few simple lines will animate a subject.

10 TEXTURE AND FINISH
There really are some amazing materials available to embellish any design, apart from the usual suspects like rhinestones, bullion and glitter. Be daring, experiment, but most of all have fun. 



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