Tuesday, November 25, 2014


For the third manicure in my "Inspired By" series I decided to recreate a design from the amazingly talented @anna_xiewei on Instagram! I wish I had her talent for painting ridiculously detailed portraits on nails but sadly I do not. Instead I decided to recreate this cute bamboo design of hers that I love!

I love, love, love this design mostly because I've taken a lot of art and art history classes and throughout them I've always been drawn to Chinese watercolours because of how beautiful and sometimes minimalistic they are. I'm also really jealous of artists who are good at using watercolours because although I love the appearance of the medium I have a hard time letting go of control and end up using it like acrylics.
Needless to say, I did this design using Acrylic paint, not watercolours (also because watercolour paints bead a lot more on nail polish than acrylics do).

This is the first time in months that I've used acrylics for my nail art. I almost forgot how different working with paint is from working with polish, especially when you're trying to get acrylics to look like watercolours. It is really fun to work in different mediums though!
One little thing I'd like to mention is the seal on the ring finger. In Chinese Brush Painting,  the seal "can contain a name, poetical saying, a design or symbol which has a connection with the painting" (ref). I couldn't quite make out the characters in the original manicure, but I wanted the seal to actually have a connection with the design. I wanted to write "bamboo" in Mandarin (creative, I know), but from what I could find in translations online, the Mandarin word for bamboo only has one character which wouldn't be enough to fill up the seal. I ended up using the Korean word for bamboo, "대나무," since it has more characters. I checked the translation on a few different sources so hopefully it's correct!

Also, guess whose nails ended up getting featured in the University Newspaper? Haha, they were doing a of "Humans of New York" type of article so they asked to interview me and ended up focusing on my nail art, (not surprising since it was definitely the most interesting answer I gave to their questions)!

You should definitely check out Anna's work if you haven't seen it before; it's so detailed and I'm really jealous!
Instagram: @anna_xiewei

Products Used:
Essie - Grow Stronger Base Coat

Sally Hansen - White On

Seche Vite - Quick Dry Top Coat
Reeves Acrylic Paints


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