Saturday, June 21, 2014

Nail Art: FingerFood's Theme Buffet #24 - Cartoon/Comic - Dots

When I first saw the topic for this week, I was so excited.  I had so many ideas! Too many ideas!  I actually started planning out a Sailor Moon manicure that I've been wanting to do for forever.

Of course, I didn't expect to come down with some bug that would knock me out for most of the week. Even as I type this, I'm still hacking and coughing.

So I had a dilemma: What sort of manicure could I do that would simple and quick, wouldn't take too much effort or brain power, but would fit the theme?

For so many years, comics and color printing used a complex combination of three colors and black to create every color . Ben-Day dots and Halftones are two of the primary techniques used in printing to create the illusion of a broad range of colors while only using 4 colors of ink - Cyan (C), Magenta (M), Yellow (Y) and Black (K) (CMYK). Screens, on the other hand, use dots of light in Red (R), Green (G) and Blue (B)  (RGB) for the same purpose.

Ben-Day dots use dots of uniform size, whereas halftones use varying sizes and spacing. Ben-Day tends to have a very distinctive look that you find in comics from the 50s and 60s. Even if you don't know what Ben-Day dots are, you've definitely seen them before. Have you ever seen any of the comic book-styled art by Roy Lichtenstein? Yep, that's what he used.

So, I don't have anything nearly so complex here, but I did put together a manicure as an ode to the humble dot used in old pulp comics. See, there is a connection here!

This is actually a really simple manicure. I started off by painting all fingers but my ring finger with black. My ring fingers were done in a hot magenta pink color.

I took tape and taped off the top of the black nails, leaving the tips exposed. These tips I then painted magenta. For my ring finger, I taped the sides of the nail and painted the center area black.

Now comes the dots! I took a dotting tool and tried to make uniformly sized dots across the magenta tips with black and across the black center stripe with magenta.

Remove all the tape, top everything off with a coat of top coat (okay, and touch up one of the black areas because my tape screwed it up) and you're good to go! I love how this has an almost funky punk vibe to it.

Polishes / Items used in this manicure:
  • Black: Chanel - Black Satin
  • Magenta Pink: Julep - Raegan
  • Dotting tools
  • Scotch tape
Be sure to check out the amazing (and more obvious) comic and cartoon-inspired manicures by the other lovely ladies taking part in the theme buffet.  I really love the variations on the 2D cartoon style nails that several people did!


  1. Nice combination of colors here! I like it.

  2. These are gorgeous. Fuchsia and black are always such a striking combo.