Every once in awhile, I’ll have a friend request that I do specific nail art. At the beginning of October, I was approached by Sung Jin Hong, the conductor of One World Symphony, with the idea of doing some Hannibal Lecter themed nail art to commemorate the October 25 world premiere of his Hannibal opera. You can find the details of the upcoming concert here if you are interested in attending. I kind of love the challenge of coming up with a look to fit the theme as it always gets my creative juices flowing, so I agreed to it even though I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to pull off a good looking mani.
The first order of business was to watch Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal, and Red Dragon to see what would inspire me and what I could paint to represent Hannibal Lecter. The only thing that really made sense to me was to paint his face in the mask, which appears in the first two movies. I could have painted some of the finer things that he adores, but I felt like nothing would stand out as distinctly Hannibal unless I painted the man himself. That’s when I knew I was going to be working for a long time on this manicure.
The plan was to paint Hannibal’s face in the mask across both hands because my nails are too short and small to be able to give him enough detail on one hand alone. I’ve never considered myself a real artist, and I’ve definitely never had to paint a realistic looking face before, so I wanted to give myself some room. I figured 3 nails would be sufficient for the width, so I put him in the center and planned to do a bloody splatter on the surrounding nails.
But first, I had to pick some colors. Nothing is worse than digging through your nail polish collection when you haven’t finished a design, so I always try to plan ahead.
With this design involving two hands with differing elements, there are twice the number of photos. Let the slideshow begin!
A few notes about the mask. I realize that in the movie, the mask is more of a flesh color, which is what makes it look that much more terrifying. I don’t own many polishes in that color family, and I didn’t want to have to paint an entire nail with acrylic paint, so I went with the khaki color.
Also, were I to do this again, I would have made the shape of the mask less chunky. Anthony Hopkins’ face looks much slimmer through the jawline. But as I said before, I haven’t had to paint a realistic looking face… on my nails… with my left hand (I’m right handed, FYI). So I think I’m allowed a few concessions. 😉
I wanted some time to gather the courage to finish the rest of the face, so I went on to do the blood spatter (or splatter) portion of the design next with Tip Your Hat by China Glaze. You can read the tutorial on how to create this murder scene look on my previous post.
With that much done, I decided to try to finish the right hand details. I always like to paint with my non-dominant hand first whenever I’m not sure if I can pull off a design or not. The theory is that if I can get my right hand painted, then my left hand will look even better. 🙂
One hand down, one more to go.
I love how I can use my left hand alone to add some creepiness to everything.
The finished look is just as disturbing.
This was an amazing thing to paint, at least for me. I know it looks cartoony, but considering that I have no experience with portraiture, I’m impressed that I got some of the resemblance down! It was nice to have the challenge, and now all that’s left is to premiere the opera on Sunday. Wish me luck!
Happy polishing! 🙂