Sunday, 23 June 2013

Koi Nailart Tutorial

Hi everyone!

I hope your weekend's going well.  All's well here, this week has whizzed by, nearly at the end of June already, hard to believe, where's the year going?

Typically it's been sunny all week, and as soon as it gets close to the weekend, it's pouring down with rain!  I don't mind a bit of rain though, as long as I don't have to be out in it of course.  It's good for the garden.

This is a nailart design I've had in my head for a long time, I've always loved the look of Japanese design, so simple and perfect, and when I saw MrCandiipants YouTube tutorial for Japanese Koi nailart (link) I wanted to do it then and there.  But as is always the way, I did something else, and then time passed, and I never got around to it.

So, while my mojo was gone, I scratched around in my memory for other peoples designs I'd like to try, and this is one of the first ones that came to mind.

This is what I made:
You might notice the polish on my little finger looks a bit dodgy.  There's a good reason for this.  And here it is:
Yep.   A break above the nail line.  Gruesome.  I somehow caught my nail badly on the wardrobe door, and sadly this time the nail didn't make it.  I've employed the teabag method from Addicted To OPI-Yum (link to post) to try to at least grow it out, so it's not painful when I cut it off, which I'll have to eventually.  Babying damaged nails along is not my idea of fun.  Obviously I'm no good at buffing the repair out, because even with polish on, it still looks rough.  My nails are ready for a good cut anyway, as I prefer them short.

So, that's what made me try an ombre look.  Because I have this mend on my little finger, I wanted to use a light color on it.  But I didn't want to use a light background for my fish, which is white, so an ombre seemed like the ideal workaround.

This is another one of those nailart designs that looks harder to do than it was.  So I thought I'd do a photo tutorial for it.  So here we go!

Step one.  Paint your nail:
I've chosen blue because we're doing fish, and I'm very literal.

Step two.  Paint a leaf/teardrop shape on your nail using white nail nail polish.  I used OPI Alpine Snow and a small nailart brush:
Step Three.  Making more leaf shapes, draw in the tail, and some dashes for the fins:
Step Four.  Wait for that to dry, and go over it again with the white:
It's lumpy bumpy, but that doesn't matter.

Step Five.  Make some orange blobs.  I did dots with my brush.  You could definitely use a dotter or a cocktail stick at this point.  I'm using the same orange as she used on the YouTube tutorial.  Essie's Orange Its Obvious, which was perfect for it:
Step Six.  Now we're onto the black bits.  I used the scented black from the Simple Pleasures Halloween collection I reviewed a while back (link), but of course you can use any black you have.  We're making small dots for the eyes, and a black line down his spine:
I think the eyes really bring him to life.  Now, you could leave it like this if you like, but I think it looks better if you do some black in his pattern:
So, now all you need is a topcoat:
All done!  As you see, it didn't matter about the lumpy-bumpy-ness.  I decided not to do an ombre on this hand.

Here's a pic of the blues:
Barry M in Cobalt and Cyan Blue, 2True in shade 2, and a random unnamed Color Club:
And for the fish I used OPI Alpine Snow, Essie Orange It's Obvious, Simple Pleasures black, and Seche Vite topcoat.

As you might have noticed, I did the tutorial painting with my weaker left hand.  I think that's always a good test of how hard a nailart design is.  If you can do it with your wrong hand, there's a good chance that alot of people are going to be able to give it a go.

And there we have it, do you think you would give it a go?  I'd love to see your creation if you do.

What do you do when you lose your mojo?

Until next time...



  1. I'm sooo going to try this, you made it look so easy!

    1. Please do, i'd love to see your design! :)

  2. This is really great. When you put the stripe on his back it came to life! : ) I also love the ombre idea, it does distract from any nail imperfections! I forgot you had a broken nail until you showed it!

    Thank you for the shout out ! I am so pleased that you were able to find my information of use! : D

    I love koi fish, nails and art, so this is a triple threat. I want to try these soon! Great job, thanks for sharing!

    1. Your teabag trick is a good one! So far so good, the break is holding :)
      I hope you do give the fishies a go! x x x

  3. Oh no, that break - owwwww!!! I had a similar one last year and it hurt so much. Your nails are amazing! I wish I could get mine to grow like that without snapping or peeling. Love the nail art x

    1. I got relatively good results with Perfect Formula gel coat, although i still did get a little bit of peeling. My nails seem to grow faster in summer, don't think i'd get them that long in the winter! Thankyou for the lovely compliments x x x

  4. I hate it when that happens! In spite of da tragic break, your nails look fantabulous dahling. <3

    1. Awww thanks inky! Your nails are always fabulous so you sure know what you're talking about! x x x

  5. This is awesome :) All your designs are fab xx


  6. Oh wow I love your nails! I had this long nails only twice... Then they started breaking and whatever.. :(

    1. Thank you! Mine are shorter again too now, oh well, we can only make the most of what we have! :-)


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