Wednesday, January 5, 2011

It's Another Doodling Day- Experiments With Lines and Dots

As anyone who reads this blog knows, I'm a doodler. I doodle in my sketchbook, I doodle in my notebooks, I draw in my planner and on scrap paper. I also love setting up a set of false nails on bamboo skewers so I can doodle on them with my various polishes as the urge hits me.

I generally keep 10-20 nails on sticks at any time, so that I can hopefully get right into it whenever the urge hits me. I get annoyed if I'm hit with a creative burst and I have to spend 15 minutes prepping. This time I ended up with three nails in similar styles, and I really like them all. They're all very similar, and yet pretty darn different, too.

First, I painted some backgrounds. I wasn't going for any look in particular, so I picked three different base colors to work with: a deep blackened emerald (Hard Candy Envy, YUM!), a deep red, and a brown taupe (Milani Bare Necessity¹). I let those dry while I killed a few minutes on the internet, looking at random stuff. I decided I would use the Milani Nail Art Lacquer in White Canvas I'd been sent to see how it works.

Once they were dry enough to continue, I started with the Envy nail. I wanted to practice painting lines and experimenting with curves, so I started a basic scroll pattern. Once I got going, I really liked what was developing, so I left a diagonal section of negative space between the two bold design sections. Believe it or not, the white curls were really simple to do... it's just a matter of making a swirl, then another swirl. Add a bit of a line, etc... Once I got the basic lines down, I used some envy on the brush to clean up any booboos I made, then used my new dotting tools to fill in the few empty spots with dots. If there's any interest, I can put up an animated gif showing my process.

I really like this one, and I can see doing this in a variety of shades. The bold contrast between almost black and white really draws the eye, and the bold graphic pattern is fun and whimsical. What can I say, I'm really drawn to bold patterns!

Next, I wanted to explore a similar idea, only using geometric shapes instead of organic swirls. As you may be able to tell, I had problems with my line thickness on these. I'd switched to a different brush and I just didn't like it as much. However, wobbly lines aside, I think this is a fun pattern as well. The concentric lines are very graphic and fun, and I'll definitely revisit this as a full manicure.

I started out with the square. I painted the large partial square, then filled in the smaller one. I wanted a third smaller one, but it was just too small! I figured dots would fill in nicely, though. Then I added the partial triangle at the top left, and filled in the smaller ones. Finally, I did the partial circle at the bottom, then filled in the smaller one. I added white dots in the negative space between the shapes, and then for fun I added dots in a brighter red on top of the white negative space dots. I think I should have cleaned up my edges on this one too, though.  Again, if you want an animated gif, just ask.

Finally, I went for the taupe. My husband and I have been kicking around the idea of circuit boards as an inspiration. This is much more open than a traditional circuit board, but it still has a vibe that makes me think of them. I started with the white lines, then added a few red lines. I didn't want a crowded nail, so I then went for some dots in various sizes.

I felt like something was missing, so I pulled out some black to add to it. Much better... the black helped add a punch of contrast that really did energize the whole design. I'm not sure how I feel about this one. It has potential, but I don't think it's really where it needs to be yet. Ah well, it's a good start. Again, just ask if you want the animated process.

Some thoughts about the Milani Nail Art Lacquer: I'm actually pretty impressed with it! The brush is an odd color- both the brush and stem are a sort of yellow color, so when you wipe down the excess it looks pretty strange! Still, the brush is very nice, and the polish is very nice! Opaque and creamy, and easy to control. The brush tends to pick up a lot of polish, but that's how it goes with most nail art polishes I've used. Also, call my crazy but I think the little bottle is adorable! Plus, this one came with a set of rhinestone stickers that are just too darn cute! You'll definitely see those before long...

So there we have it, the results from my recent nail doodlings. I think I'm pretty content with them... what do you think? :D

¹ While I was unsure about the Bare It All collection from Milani, I find I'm reaching for those darker neutrals fairly often! Teddy Bare and Bare Necessity are both cool as heck!

Milani White Canvas, Hard Candy Envy, Milani Bare Necessity were
provided by the manufacturers or their PR firms for consideration.
See my disclosure statement for more information.


  1. I especially love that first one! Gorgeous designs :)

  2. I LOVE that first one!! great job Laynie! :)

  3. I just tagged your blog an award for it's awesomeness. :)
    Check it out:


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