A couple of days ago I posted one of my better nail art efforts, a stained glass design done with a clutch of rainbow hued polishes outlined in black. They proved to be pretty popular (fact: designs done in rainbow colours are always everybody’s favourites, always) and blessedly easy, so I was more than happy to oblige when a reader asked me to post a tutorial laying out exactly how I worked my lacquered magic. And so I have! Not only that, but it’s my first tutorial. Welcome to the dream factory, friends. 😉
However, as I’m not a huge fan of duplicating my designs (I like to keep it fresh, yo) I didn’t use the same colour-saturated polishes and black outlining as I did with the stained glass nails, instead opting for a pastel, almost gemstone-esque look. And though the technique didn’t change one iota between the two designs, I don’t think the white outlining is as successful as the black (truly, these wound up looking more like Milla Jovovich’s bandage suit in The Fifth Element than I care to admit.) Still, it goes to show that this is a design that can be easily modified to take on variety of fun and different effects through nothing more complicated than a polish change.
Now on with the show!
1. Choose Your Weapon – Begin by rounding up your supplies. For these nails I used a (sort of tattered) fine point detail brush, a white nail art pen and four pastel cream polishes. (Note: for the rainbow stained glass nails I used 20 different polishes, four colours per nail, which really helped contribute to the overall look of etched, coloured windowpanes.)
2. Lay a Foundation – Next, brush on a base coat. Here I used a sheer white polish in lieu of a more traditional clear base coat simply because my nails are so discoloured through an abundance of nail art-ing, the white brings them back in line with my natural nail colour.
3. Dive Right In – After choosing whatever colour you’d like to begin with (I dab a small amount of polish out onto a clean, empty DVD case, actually, instead of an artist’s palette), take your detail brush, dip it into your polish and then, working one nail at a time, outline and fill in the geometric shapes of your choosing. I find triangles and lopsided squares the easiest to execute, but two isosceles triangles forming a rhombus would be good, too (sorry, lame The World’s End joke there.) The bottom line is there is no wrong shape. Anything with an edge will do.
4. Movin’ On Up – Repeat the process with your second colour, either snugging the geometric bit up against a neighbour or afloat on its own. Try to have a vague idea of how you’d like your design to work out, if only so the same colour doesn’t touch. This is less likely if you use four (or more) colours, but if you’re only using three, it’ll require a smidge of advance planning.
5. Fill in the Blanks – Continue to repeat the process with your third and fourth polishes. Don’t worry about any little overlaps or slightly wobbly lines – they’ll be covered up by the outlining. Depending on how many polishes you use and how big you make your random geometric shapes, you may need to fill in a spot or two with a previously used colour.
6. Seal the Deal – When everything has been nicely filled in, top with a high shine top coat like Seche Vite to smooth out any lumps and bumps.
7. The End of Our Tale – Finally, taking your nail art pen, outline each of your little geometric shapes. Voila, you’re done! Now stand back and admire.
2 thoughts on “Stained Glass Gemstones: A Tutorial”
Thanks for the tutorial! I’m going to have to try this, love these stained glass designs! 😀
You’ll have to let me know if they turn out and if my directions were even halfway understandable!