Nail Art: De Stijl

I’ve been looking around the net this afternoon for some inspiration and I came across lots of interesting information on the De Stijl art movement. You’ll probably remember some of these works, most people would recognise the work of Mondrian for example, even if you didn’t know the artist’s name. I like the simplicity of this art movement even though I can be very fickle when it comes to abstract art – the Marmite of the art world. 
Mondrian’s artistic concepts was very firmly rooted in geometric ideas about horizontals and verticals and I best remember these pieces for their bold yet simple colours. I have no idea if this sort of stuff is out of copyright yet. I guess some is, but for an early 20th century movement there are no guarantees so therefore I’m not going to take the risk of posting any images up here for you to have a look at. Do follow the links if you want to know more.
Having a quick look at trends for this season, I saw that burgundy was in, which one of my nail polishes sort of is. It’s weird, I’m sure I had a huge amount of deep red nail polish but they’ve all disappeared into the void. Ah well, I’ll try this weirdy unbranded one that came in a make-up box set and see how it goes on!
The next decision was how to make some nice geometric lines. I haven’t got any nice nail art pens or stencils at the moment, so as ever, free hand is the way. Naturally, this made me think of how else I would get straight lines – masking tape of course!! We’ll see how that pans out also. This could well be a disaster. But that’s half the fun of blogging isn’t, showing the rough with the smooth!
So, with my materials assembled it’s time to get on with the dubious methods of self decoration. My base coat is a freebie that I was sent by the Boots testing panel. Therefore I can’t comment on the brand, but it’s always done the job for me. My colours were a deep red by Markwins International apparently! (I love Google, a quick check and I found a link!) and the nude is Gosh 020 Light Nutmeg, which I won from the lovely Jo’s blog, Given to Distracting Others.
First I applied the base coat and then let it dry thoroughly (don’t attempt anything like this unless you have lots and lots of time on your hands. It’s a Saturday today so time is on my side). While you’re waiting for that to dry, carefully cut lots of little strips of masking tape.  Or, if you’re sensible, do this before you apply your base coat. Whatever, logic isn’t really my strong point.
Then liberally (and randomly) apply small bits of masking tape to your fingernails. This can and will provoke quizzical and slightly alarmed looks from loved ones. Ignore them, whadda they know about art anyway. Once you’re taped up, slap on your colours. I had to stick on two coats of the Gosh polish as it’s so pale as to be more invisible than Casper in a flour factory. I have been having trouble deciding whether it will be best to remove the tape once the nail varnish is dry or immediately, so have opted to err on the side of caution and let it dry first.

Then carefully peel the tape off. Pretend this is something the exact opposite of a sticking plaster – the slower you do it, the less it’ll hurt. Et voila. After taking these photos I put on a topcoat to seal it and then tidied up the edges. Although I think a brighter colour than the Gosh polish would have worked better and more thinner pieces of masking tape. However, the theory is sound, so I will be using this again with a coloured base coat and more stronger shades. Colour blocking eat your heart out.


Bestselling author and freelance drinks writer. Champion of pubs and breweries. Occasional printmaker.

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