Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Geek Nails: Swamp Thing Edition

Ever since Sammy of The Nailasaurus did her Week of Geek featuring nail art tributes to various topics of geeky fandom, I've been brainstorming ways to do some theme nails of my own. Since I'm not at all handy at freehanding nail art, I have to think of ways to use color and stamping to reflect my favorite characters.

Today's geek nails are inspired by one of my favorite comic book characters: Swamp Thing, created by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson. In comics, Swamp Thing is both a human soul seeking to find a life in an inhuman body and an earth elemental with a deep connection to life of all kinds. I could wax on about the character for an entire post, but this is the wrong blog for that, so on with the nails!

I started with a base of OPI Stranger Tides, which is a murky, light olive green. The formula on this was a little tricky, as it was thin and runny. It badly wanted to pool around my cuticles (which is pretty obvious in some of these pictures). It took three coats to be opaque and even. That said, it is a great color and dried quickly despite the three coats.

On top of Stranger Tides, I used a makeup sponge to add random dabs of Revlon Hot for Chocolate to give the background some texture. Finally, I stamped a cluster of flowers from Bundle Monster plate BM15 three to four times to cover each nail using the slim brush dark green from KleanColor Nail Duo Bright. This polish comes in a two ended bottle that has a base color with a regular brush on one end and a nail art color with a thin brush on the other. The polish worked great for stamping, but the shape of the bottle was a pain, as there was no easy way to put the brush down between stamps.For my accent nail, I stamped a rose using Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Ton of Bricks. It didn't really pop as much as I wanted, so I added a red rhinestone on top.

Finally, I used Essie Matte About You topcoat (over my normal Out the Door topcoat) to give my nails a matte finish, since neither swamps nor swamp monsters are well known for their glossiness. It also seemed to change the color a little, minimizing the yellow undertones.


The roses on my accent nails are a reference to one of my favorite Swamp Thing story lines. In issue 52, Swamp Thing's wife Abby has been arrested in an attempt to trap him. Using a rose that Abby has carried into the courtroom, Swamp Thing grows a new body covered in roses and puts Gotham City on notice that he's taking over until she's released. He then covers Gotham in impenetrable plant life until she is, in fact, released. This story was written by Alan Moore, who's run on Swamp Thing is the best in the series. If you want to give Swamp Thing a try, I highly recommend reading his take on the character, which ran from issue 20 through 64 and is available in trade paperback form.

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