Summer’s in the air — flowers everywhere, birds chirping, and bees buzzing. For a lively look, capture the moment of bees in motion on your clients’ nails. All it takes is a little know-how and time to paint colourful, creative bees. Once you become familiar with the basic shape of this bee, you can do many variations of the design, such as showing the bee sliding down a vine or playing with another bee.
To see where certain steps could be difficult for the novice nail artist, I asked my hand model, Linda Anderson, who has never painted a nail, to follow the steps for the beginner’s bee. She did, with great results. The colours you need to paint the beginner’s bee are pink, yellow, brown, black, light and dark green, and sheer white or silver. To paint the advanced bee you need pink, black, brown, yellow, gold, white pearl or sheer, yellow pearl, and two or three shades of green for double or triple loading.
Step1. First apply a base coat and your client’s choice of pink polish. The beginning shapes (circle and triangle) in this step may be difficult for the new nail artist. I’ve found that it helps to paint tiny dots at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock.
Step2. Connect the dots to form a circle to create the bee’s head. To create the bee’s body, paint three more dots (to make a triangle) just under the bee’s head. Connect the dots and round off the corners. Outline the head and body with yellow paint.
Step3. Fill in the head and body with yellow, and add a small yellow ball to create the nose.
Step4. When the paint is fully dry, use a tiny detail brush and brown paint to paint a backward C in the center of the head. Beginning at the top of the head (within the backward line), paint tiny brown vertical strokes from side to side until you get to the bottom of the head. Skip a space, then repeat the same strokes on the entire body.
Step5. Using your detail brush and black paint, paint an eye, mouth, antennas, and legs. To create the wings, paint an upside-down pointed U on each shoulder. With white sheer, pearl, or silver paint, paint the inside of the wings. When dry, using black paint, paint two upside-down Ws inside each wing. Add a small yellow dot of paint on each end of the antenna, then paint two larger yellow dots on the end of each bottom leg for feet. Outline all four dots with black paint. You may add little accent lines to indicate movement around the bee as shown.
Step6. Using yellow paint, paint a sunflower at the bottom of the nail (underneath the bee). Begin by painting eight teardrop-shaped petals in a circular pattern. When dry, paint a large brown dot in the center. After the dot has dried, paint tiny yellow specks in its center. Add a green stem with two teardrop-shaped green leaves. When dry, paint a light green line in the middle of each leaf for highlights. (I chose a sunflower because the colours are the same as the .bee.) To finish, use a nail art sealer to complete your design. I suggest that each time you do this design, you try one or two steps from the advanced bee. Before long, you’ll be painting it like a pro.
Step1. With yellow paint, paint a circle to create the bee’s head. To make the bee’s body, paint a triangular shape with rounded corners.
Step2. Fill in the head and body with yellow paint. When dry, paint over the entire body with yellow pearl paint. This creates a fuzzy, more realistic look. Add a small yellow ball to make the nose.
Step3. Using brown paint and a detail brush, paint a half circle in the center of the head. Then double-load your brush with brown and yellow paints. Beginning at the top center of the head, paint tiny strokes jetting out around the outline of the body, skipping every other space. Alternate yellow and brown strokes around the complete outline. Fill in each empty space with a stroke of gold paint, leaving a tiny space beneath the row of lines so only yellow shows.
Step4. Using the detail brush and black paint, paint an eye, mouth, antennas, legs, and feet. Outline the nose in black and paint the outline of a wing on top of each shoulder. Fill in the wings using pearl white or sheer white polish. When dry, paint two upside-down Ws inside each wing to add detail. Paint accent lines beneath each leg to show movement.
Step5. Using the small end of a marbleizing tool or your brush, paint small yellow dots on the end of each antenna. Paint two larger dots at the end of each bottom leg for feet. When dry, paint an even smaller dot of black inside the yellow dots on each antenna.
Step6. Using yellow paint, paint a sunflower at the bottom of the nail (beneath the bee). Paint as many flowers as you wish or have room to do. Begin by painting continuous petals in a circular pattern. When dry, paint over the flower using the yellow pearl paint, as with the bee. For highlights, paint strokes of white pearl paint on each petal. When the entire flower is dry, paint a large brown center. While the paint is wet, using your brush, pull out tiny lines of brown around the center. When dry, place tiny flecks of gold in the brown center. Add a green stem with leaves. When dry, paint a light green line in the middle of each leaf for highlights. Use your darkest green to paint veins in the leaves. Finish your design with a nail art sealer.