October 1, 2016 marked the day that Tracy, a good friend from work, moved to New Hampshire. If you met her, you would know that she’s one of the nicest people ever to grace this planet, and I was so sad to see her leave New York. Knowing how interested she was in my nail art every week, I thought it only fitting that I do a manicure in her honor to send her off with some good vibes! I made sure to paint this during the week of her departure so that she could see the nails in person.
Tracy has a shihtzu puppy named Agatha who is as cute as can be, so it seemed an obvious choice to do a dog theme. After all, Tracy herself doesn’t have an Instagram account- only Agatha does! The plan was to do pink nails with paw prints covering them because Agatha once had a bed with a similar pattern and then paint Agatha herself on one nail. I find that I’ve been getting more confident about my painting skills lately, so I was ready to take on the task of trying to do something close to photo realistic resemblance.
I started by painting my nails with Eureka by Formula X for Sephora.
I used Craft Smart Acrylic Paints from here on out.
To make the paw prints, I used a small brush to paint a heart shape and then added four oblong dots around the sides. Accuracy is not so important here.
Alternatively, you can use black polish and a dotting tool to get the job done. I wanted to try that approach, but my dotting tools have mysteriously disappeared!
To start painting the shihtzu, I laid a foundation of light brown acrylic paint in her general shape.
For reference, I used this photo:
And after about 1.5 hours, this was my result:
I still have no idea how I managed this.
Basically, I blended custom shades of white, tan, brown, and black to do the shading for the fur. Plus I used a very tiny brush. What impressed me the most was the scale of this little portrait. My nail photos always make my designs look large, but my nails are pretty small.
Agatha measured no more than one centimeter when all was said and done! Her personality remains larger than life.
Here’s the completed manicure with topcoat applied.
Agatha inspecting my work. I think she approves!
The best part? I planned ahead to save the design, so I used a peel off base coat underneath it all. Before Tracy left, I made sure to gift her my little painting. Parting is such sweet sorrow! But I love that I will always associate this manicure with all the good times we had together particularly in the last week before the big move. I wish her the best of luck with everything and hope we will see each other still!
Happy fall, and happy polishing!