Monday, September 6, 2010

Nail Art Mockups In My Sketchbook

Eek! This was supposed to post and didn't. I'm going to backdate it and put it up anyway. Sorry for the weirdness you may have to deal with!

I've kept a sketchbook for years. It goes back to when I was in art school. Those teachers made us buy a sketchbook every semester, the fancy hard-back kind with the special paper inside. I was always so intimidated by those books that it was too hard to let go and let myself doodle in them. We didn't have a lot of money back then, so the idea of spending $25 on a sketchbook to doodle in and goof off? It felt like sacrilege! Hardback sketchbooks deserved actual art on their pages, things that were more finished. My poor doodles and scribbles felt as if I was defacing the pages instead of building my skills!

Even now, 12 years later, most of those books are mostly empty. I still feel weird putting my strange rambles and doodles into them, because it feels like my scribblings aren't worthy of such a quality book. The good news is that I've found a way around that idea. Instead of using the giant, expensive sketchbooks I go to Office Depot or one of the big-box stores and get cheap notebooks. Some have unlined paper, some have lined paper, some even have graph paper! Because they're so inexpensive, I can write grocery lists or poetry on them, I can sketch things that are bizarre and silly. They're my sketchbooks, and I'd be lost without them.

I don't just sketch in them. There are lists of things to do, ideas for stories, ideas for nail art,  character studies. I'll list quotes from the moment, observations from daily life, descriptions of events that made me laugh. Sometimes I'll jot down funny things that happened to me along with a sketch to convey information. It's a small, working record of my life, both creative and not, that I can flip through for inspiration for for reminders to do things I need to do.

One thing I've recently started doing is creating mock-ups of nail art designs. My sketchbook works perfectly for this, since the nail polish doesn't seep through the page. It sits nicely on top, dries quickly, and creates a permanent record of nail art inspiration for me! I'll also jot down where the idea came from, like in this picture to the right. Luxuriousnails on youtube does wonderful nail art. Check her out!

Not all of my nail art mock-ups are done with nail polish, though. Sometimes I'll be sitting and doodling, playing with variations on a theme. In this photo, I was playing with variations on bold graphic visual elements, like concentric squares and varying sizes of circles. I very much enjoy bold elements like these, although repeating them with nail polish can be quite a chore. I have plans to try out my gel pens with a pale polish, or my opaque gel pens with a darker polish. I love the idea of neons on black... I think neon bubbles on black could be lots of fun!

I have more pics after the jump...

So tell me, do you keep a sketchbook? What sort of things do you put in yours?


  1. I used to keep a journal book like you have going on right now. I would doodle/ write in it everyday while I commuted on a bus to my sons daycare then work and then from work to daycare to home. I love the idea of jotting down nail ideas... pardon me while I steal this awesome idea and start to use it again. I have had nail ideas swirling thru my head alot lately. Never even thought to map them out/ write stuff down about them for future use. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! You just inspired me to go back to my journaling roots.

  2. Mistress Zombie- You're absolutely welcome to steal it! I really, really enjoy my sketchbook, and I try not to leave home without it!

  3. I have a sketchbook for my nail arts ideas too because sometimes I get an idea but if I don't write/paint it on a paper, I completely forget it. I also keep track of my to-buy list and financial status in that notebook. I like to keep such things under control :)


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