For the second year in a row, the extraordinary talent of nail tech Dawn Minton won over the judges of NAILS’ annual Mini-Masterpiece Contest. In fact, Minton, a tech at A New Beginning Salon & Spa in Rensselaer, Ind., took third place as well. Amy Butler of Paradise Hair & Nails in Casper, Wyo., earned a second-place win. Both Butler and Minton chose a work of Pablo Picasso as their inspiration. SEE ALL THE ENTRIES IN OUR PHOTO GALLERY HERE

Meet the Winner

“It was challenging to say the least,” says winner Dawn Minton, who spent seven hours capturing the complex detail of Picasso’s “Girl Before a Mirror” on a nail tip. A good friend who is an artist suggested Minton take a look at the painting as the two were browsing the Internet for subject matter. “As soon as I saw it, I was drawn to the vivid colors and the challenge all the detail would present,” she recalls.

She printed a roughly 4” x 3” image of the painting and got to work. “I used the smallest detail brush you can get,” says Minton. “Most of the time I was using just one hair.” She didn’t use any magnification. “I just used bright light,” she says.

Minton also placed third with her exquisite rendering of Leonardo DaVinci’s self-portrait.

A big thank you and a round of applause go to everyone who entered. You can enjoy a sampling of past Mini-Masterpiece contests here.

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