Lighting is a bitch.
Normally my nails have enough contrast to get the point across in the sub-optimal lighting I have access to, but the silver on the shiny lilac color is subtle enough that I spent about four times longer than usual trying to get the lighting right (no shadow, minimal reflection, still enough light for a good picture). I finally decided what I had was as good as I was going to get, and then tweaked the levels a bit in post so you can see the colors better.
I’d do more photography if 1) I had a camera with a manual focus (will be fixed soon), and 2) the lighting and potential backdrops in my apartment didn’t suck so badly.
When I set out to do my nails, I got out this nice shade of red that I don’t think I’d ever used before, and a black nail pen, and figured I’d do some nice red & black thing that I hadn’t decided on. I painted on the red, and realized why I’d never used it: it looked horrible against my skin tone. Get out the nail polish remover, start over. Look at color options. Frown. Decide to do red on black instead of black on red, despite doing a black base several times recently.
After the first coat of black on one hand, I drop the nail brush on the floor. Do not want to paint cat hair onto nails. Wash it off.
Things went more or less smoothly after that, fortunately. Eventually I came to the stage where the black was dry and it was time to decide what to do with the red.
Look around for inspiration. Spot my GothBook. Inspired! The computer’s name is Black Widow.
I actually did both thumbs like this, and the one I drew with my off-hand even came out pretty well. Just did stripes on the other nails, though.
In the interest of full disclosure, I only actually did this one fingernail this way. The others are more typical quick-nail-pen-on-color.
I’d expected this to be about as tricky as it was, but I’m still not sure how to get the eyes how I’d want them. The nail pens sadly lack a green or amber option, and trying to use a regular polish applied better than I’d expected, but wasn’t nearly bright enough (and I don’t have any bright green or amber nail polishes, either). I think next time I may do a white base, and/or silver for the eyes.