To express timeless love and beauty on nails, Omaha, Neb.-based nail tech Harold “Buddy” Sims looked to a classic painting to find his muse. “I really went out of my comfort zone with this one, using Gustav Klimt as my inspiration. His abstract, romantic, Art Nouveau style really spoke to me, specifically his painting The Kiss,” he says. “Though I chose to challenge myself with the entire painting, the smaller patterns and details could stand out on their own for a quick and easy design.”

When it comes to creating a set that challenges your repertoire, Sims suggests that baby steps coupled with a bit of confidence will improve your skills. “Using the knowledge you have and mixing it with something new can produce wonderfully surprising results,” he says. “Tying in only one new technique or tool into a nail project is a great start!” Follow these steps to paint the golden embrace.

1. Apply a yellow-to-gold base color.

2. Using a hunter green acrylic paint, gently sponge a thin layer over the entire nail. Follow the sponging technique with a brush dipped in alcohol to remove areas of green to expose the yellow base color underneath.

3. Use a dark green shade to paint the base of a whimsical meadow and use an opaque yellow to paint the base shape for the couple. Pro tip: An organic, imperfect shape will add to the final details.

4. Start building the shape of the couple’s faces with a medium skin-tone shade. Use a dark shade to add hair and garment details.

5. Add the highlights and lowlights of the skin before adding the facial details. Add bright colors to the garments and paint flowers over the meadow.

6. Cut tiny pieces of metallic striping tape and apply them on the same side the male is painted on to add a geometric pattern. Use gold polish to paint a bit of shine and shimmer over the female’s garments.

7. Apply top coat to seal the design and to bring the lovers to life.

Follow Sims on Instagram: @buddysimsnails

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