Thursday, 18 October 2012

October nails "Halloween Cat Style"

I promised myself I would write a post about nail deco, and I never got round to it, typical that. However I felt like it was time I used my illustration skills to do something more fun than sketchbooks and drawings :D Not that long ago, for freshers week I fiddled around with some nail polishes I found in my room, and one night whilst watching Fresh Prince on tv I painted a cute little halloween style cat on my nail. Within a week I'd done the whole hand with little black cats and yellow stars. I took a photo of it and uploaded it to facebook and lots of people seemed to really like it, so here I am to share it with you :)
 My natural nails! They're quite long at the moment, and I made sure to clean them and get rid of that little bit of skin that grows over the tops of the nail.
 I purchased these nail art pens off Ebay - they were pretty cheap and I think they came all the way from Hong Kong. The quality is alright, considering how cheap they were, but you can get more expensive, better ones here in the UK. Anyway, for the nails I'm doing, you need white, pastel yellow and black.
 Not only do these nail pens have a brush but obviously the thin metal 'pen' part! It takes a little practice to get the hang of using them. I think the only problem I had with these is the nozzles kept getting blocked up, but luckily they came with a thin piece of metal designed to clear the nozzle.
 So to start, you draw an outline of a cat in black nail art pen - remember the ears and use the curve of the nail to shape the face. Once the outline is done, colour in.
 Whilst I am waiting for the face to dry, I begin with the star. Using the pastel yellow nail art pen I draw an outline of a star. Drawing the outline for this is rather tricky so I reccommend drawing a pentagram star first, as this makes the star look better, and then filling it in with colour afterwards.
 Once the face has dried, its time for the eyes. Using the white pen, draw rounded rectangles for the eyes, being super careful not to smear this. Then once this has dried, use the black nail art pen again to create the little pupils for the cat eyes.
 Again, I know there are some super fancy, expensive nail varnishes out there, but mine are all cheap birthday gift ones I received years ago, and they do the job pretty well still. Once the cat face and star have dried its time to use a clear, top coat of varnish.
You have to act fast with this one, or else it smears the design! To make it easier, make sure the clear varnish is added generously in one or two strokes, so you dont have to keep adding more and more layers which only smudges the design. You don't really have to use a top coat of clear varnish, I just think it looks prettier and shinier, and it also makes the design last longer :D
So the final product!
WITH FLASH
WITHOUT FLASH
WOOOO. So there you have it. Some nice cat nails for Halloween.
I might make this nail tutorial thing a regular monthly post as I rather enjoyed doing this. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did :)

Sunday, 7 October 2012

The First Week!

It's finally Sunday, and I have completed my first week at Camberwell - I am officially knackered, having been living on about 5-6 hours sleep a night. Aside from lack of sleep, I've walked/jogged over 15 miles over the progression of the week and my weight has dropped to 7.11 stone due to all the exercise and work. I can't complain. I'm happy, but its been a really busy, and slightly full on week.
So I've been getting the train to Peckham Rye Station everyday this week, and walking 0.7 miles through scary Peckham high street to this building. Its a bit of a rectangle. However the building my course takes place in is next door, in this much older, prettier one:
For the first week we had to attend university basically everyday. We even had our first lecture, on postmodernism, just up the road in the other Camberwell building on Wilson Road. It wasnt a bad lecture. It's just on my Foundation Diploma at UCA last year, thats exactly what our lectures were on for an entire year. I'm a little sick of hearing about post modernism :')
So thats my timetable for the week...ticking off the days. We had to be there for 10am most days this week and left in the evening around 5. Although after the first few weeks apparently we only have to be in 3 days a week, so its not too bad.
For our first project we had 2 and a half days to complete what was called "DIY guide to London". We were then put into groups and given an area of London to visit, and we had to create a guide to the area in any format, media, style etc that we desired. I was put in a group with a really nice group of people, Kareem, Kanako, Grace, May and Sophia, which definitely made the project much more fun. And on a plus side, we got to visit Shoreditch for our project!
For anyone who has never been to Shoreditch, then you must go. I had never been there before, so my friend Kareem had to show us all round as he knew the place really well having worked there previously, but the shops were pretty awesome. They even have the worlds first pop up mall, known as BOXPARK, which had really dinky yet really good shops.
Well anyway, in our group we all decided we would draw/illustrate/design images of our favourite places from Shoreditch. One member of our group, Kanako, decided to use photography and photoshop to design her work, whilst the others did drawings in a variety of styles. I decided to illustrate using my sketchbook:
For my illustrations I mostly used fine liners and marker pens in a variety of colours, and I used Letraset to write the titles of each page. Letraset is great by the way :)
My idea was to make it literally like a mini guide to the creative areas of Shoreditch. However as a group, we had to present this project somehow to the entire class, but we had no idea how we were going to do this, and putting it in a book just sucked really. So we thought for a while, and for a day we were convinced we were just going to scan the images we had done into a computer and present them in a slide format. Then the day before the presentation I had an idea to present our work using a website via tumblr.
I came up with a little logo:
And then set up the account on tumblr:
The web guide still exists by the way, so if you want to see the site for yourself you can type in that address and you will arrive at the page.
The next day I came into uni and spoke to the group about my idea and the page I'd made, and out of sheer luck they loved it! So we all got scanning in our work to the web guide and uploaded it all, and in the end it looked like this:
It looked really awesome and we were all really pleased with it. It had titles at the top too so you could select and navigate through the site depending on what area of Shoreditch you were looking up:
Well anyway it came to the day we had to present the work. It went on for nearly 3 hours as the entire class had to present everyones work. There was also a mini competition going on, so whoever the students thought was the best got a prize. The teachers really seemed to like our website idea, especially as it was hosted on tumblr which according to them is a pretty good idea because everyone has a tumblr these days. They also commented that we had done alot of hard work, which we had, so that was really great to hear.
When it came to voting, the students voted a group who had mainly gone for humour as opposed to lots of work, but we still managed to bag the runner up prize! What really mattered to me however, is the fact that all three of the teachers watching the presentations voted for our group, which they hadnt done for any other group, so they must've really liked what we had done :) So we won a prize each...

We each won a design book worth 10 pounds from the company Its Nice That, and so far I've enjoyed reading it..anyway. We start our two week project next week, so I guess I could say that the real hard work starts next week. Hopefully I'll have some time to do a little more than sleep eat work :D
 

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