I’ve never considered myself to be a good painter, so I knew that I was going to be suffering to complete a Star Wars collaboration with my sweet and talented Instagram friend Bev @thehumblebear. She was inspired by some R2D2 nails that I reposted from Star Wars Day 2015 and suggested that we paint a different character from Star Wars on each nail. Lucky for me, I insisted that we only paint our left hand nails for this, and she agreed.
My goal was to try to make the characters look as simple as possible yet have them still be recognizable. The Lego collection was great inspiration as well as the Funko Pop series.
As for which characters I wanted to do, it was a hard choice. We were thinking of doing the same ones for a twin mani, but the more I searched for inspiration, the more I kept wanting to change it up. I considered doing the Cantina band (too alien), Boba Fett (crowd favorite), a storm trooper (too cloned), Chewbacca (too furry!) and even joked with Bev about wanting to put Jar Jar in there, just because he was so hated. What I settled on were the human characters Darth Vader, Han Solo, Leia Organa, and Luke Skywalker… and Yoda. He was modeled on Albert Einstein, so close enough!
I had to use a ton of different polishes and acrylic paint for this one, most of which are listed in my galaxy nails post. I did have to use a few other colors as shown below.
From left to right: What’s A Tire Jack?, Pale is the New Tan, and Read My Palm all by Sephora by OPI.
I did a modified galaxy nail art base on all my nails to provide an interesting backdrop for my characters.
Step 1: 2 coats of Estelle from Julep.
Because the galaxy is just a backdrop for heads of characters, I modified the layout of the colors. For a full galaxy nails tutorial, you can reference the post I did for my right hand nails. I have all the polishes that I used listed there.
The making of the most involved nail art that I have done to date!
First, I sponged on a blue color, focusing on the middle top half of each nail. I also sponged on some purple to add more of a gradient effect. I then applied a little bit of a white highlight with a sponge to where I thought the tops of the heads would be. This was done to make it easier to see the hairlines of the characters with dark colored hair and to give them a halo effect. It’s Star Wars according to the gospel of finepolish!
I painted a rough outline of each character with white acrylic paint from craft smart. This made it easier for colors to show up over the dark galaxy base.
I used the brushes straight from the bottles of Pale is the New Tan and Read My Palm to color in the skin tones of each character accordingly. After the polish dried, I went back with white acrylic paint and fixed the necklines for each character’s clothes.
The hair was added in next along with Yoda’s robe. I used brown acrylic paint for Han and Leia’s hair and light brown for Luke’s hair. Conveniently, Yoda’s robe was also done with brown and light brown acrylic paint.
The last part consisted of painting in the facial and clothing details. You can see subtle wrinkles in the white areas of the shirts of the guys and the cowl of Leia’s gown, achieved by mixing white and gray paints to get a lighter shade. Yoda of course has a lot of wrinkles and has huge eyes, so that’s why he looks a bit bewildered. Han came out looking fatter than I intended, too. Oops.
I love how top coat makes everything look so smooth in the end!
Where’s Darth Vader, you might ask? He was outcast to my thumb.
Darth Vader is too O.G. to be with the other characters.
Darth Vader is so dark that I used gray acrylic paint for his outline rather than white. It was easier to see than painting with black, and it allowed me to leave a slight outline of him to help him stand out from the background when I painted over it with What’s A Tire, Jack?
Darth Vader is many shades of gray… and white and black.
Before you start criticizing how crooked my lines are, let me say that the canvas is way smaller than you think, and the macro shot blows it out of proportion. My detail brush probably needs to be thinned out some more, too. I also saved Darth Vader for the end because the color palette was so different from those of the other characters, so I was also tired at this point. That’s the power of the dark side.
The final look!
While I complain a lot about not having any painting skills, I guess I might have some. This could have been a total train wreck! I really pushed myself beyond what I thought my limits were thanks to Bev, but I guess that’s what good friends do! She believed in me the same way I knew she would rock this collaboration as well. Speaking of…
Bev’s attention to detail is just insane. She can legitimately paint, and it shows!
I got pretty burned out on nail art after all the time I put into painting this, so that’s why I had to take a break from the blog. I’m hoping to get caught up by the end of the week now that my schedule is a bit more calm. In the meantime, happy polishing!