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So this week on She Who Does Nail Art Challenges the theme is reptiles and I was so excited – ever since I was a little girl I have been fascinated by these scaley creatures whether it was documentaries on Animal Planet (RIP Steve Irwin), the great tanks at the zoo or the tiny geckos sunbathing on rocks in Florida. I’d like to apologise to my Nan if she happens to look at the blog today, I didn’t mean to scare you with a giant snake picture but this was my inspiration, a royal python! (I’ve hyperlinked the image so you can see where I found it, it is not mine!).
Some information about Royal Pythons (from the ever trustworthy wikipedia): Python regius is a nonvenomous python species found in Africa. This is the smallest of the African pythons and is popular in the pet trade, largely due to its typically docile temperament. No subspecies are currently recognized. It is also known as royal python or ball python. The name “ball python” refers to the animal’s tendency to curl into a ball when stressed or frightened. The name “royal python” (from the Latin regius) is based in part on the story that Cleopatra supposedly wore the snake around her wrist. This species is particularly revered in the traditional religion of the Igbo people of southeastern Nigeria. It is considered symbolic of the earth, being an animal that travels so close to the ground. Even among many Christian Igbos, these pythons are treated with great care whenever they happen to wander into a village or onto someone’s property; they are allowed to roam freely or are very gently picked up and placed out in a forest or field away from any homes. If one is accidentally killed, many communities in Igboland will still build a coffin for the snake’s remains and give it a short funeral
There are a few different ways of doing snake print including using some netting to create scales, I tried and failed at this. So I went for popular method number two – stamping; rather than stamp coloured scales onto a plain background I decided to sponge my texture first. I started with a base of BarryM Cappuccino, I should probably have actually gone for a darker colour as the Royal Python does have that strong black contrasting with gold scales. Onto this brown base I sponged on a blend of colours (W7 Sheer Peach, NYC Lexington Yellow, Natural Collection White) to create the lighter patches – I used tiny chunks of makeup sponge and tweezers for this application alhtough you could probably also create this effect with a paint brush. I added a slightly darker custom colour mix around the edges of the light (W7 Roasted Chestnut, Natural Collection White and W7 Sunset Blvd). I just splodged a tiny bit from each brush onto my glass sheet and swirled with a cocktail stick – it was all done by sight and just trial and error #makingitupasIgoalong.
Once happy with the colours on my nail I waited for them to be dry enough to stamp and when used the criss-cross pattern from BM-209 to stamp on my scale lines using W7 Casa Blanca which is a black base with lots of tiny gold holo shimmer in it. I wasn’t sure how well it would stamp but it stamped great and wasn’t too harsh against the brown. I couldn’t get it to show in the picture but the micro shimmer catches the light really nicely adding a little bit of extra depth to the design. I wish I had added a little of the darker colour around the edges of the nail to really contrast with the lighter colour but overall I am really happy with how this turned out and it took me a total of 20 minutes for both hands so is a nice and quick design.
I used the Color Club Topcoat and it didn’t smudge the stamping at all and dried very quickly. I did have a bubble on my index finger which was a little annoying but nothing I can’t live with. I really want to do this look again with all sorts of different colours – I am officially sorted for whenever fish, reptiles or amphibians come up again in the future! What do you think of this scaley design, do you reckon this would work as a pedicure?? I’m not sure why but despite the autumn colours snake print always makes me feel summery and like I should be in an old western movie… or dancing on a bar… *shrugs*. Y’all come back tomorrow ya hear!