Monday, November 10, 2014

Tiff's Guest Post Series: Poppy Nail Art for Remembrance Day

Hi guys, so here in Canada we are celebrating Remembrance Day tomorrow and I wanted to do some nail art featuring poppies.

In case you don't know, we wear poppies because of the famous poem "In Flanders Fields" by John McCrae. John McCrae was an artist, poet, surgeon and soldier in the First World War. And he was Canadian. According to popular folk lore,  McCrae wrote "In Flanders Fields" while sitting on the back of a medical field ambulance after presiding over his friend Lieutenant Alex Helmer's funeral. Poppies were abundant in the fields of Ypres. McCrae died of pneumonia in 1918 ten months before the end of the war.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

So I grew up hearing this poem read every year and I know the words almost by heart. I always get a little emotional reading it. If you're curious about John McCrae and his poem, all the information I wrote about was from Wikipedia and there is more there if you're interested.

Ok on to the nail art. I've seen a lot of poppy nail art before, but there was two really looked at as inspiration: Will Paint Nails for Food Freehand Poppies (here) and Set in Lacquer Popping Up With Poppies (here).

So I started with 3 coats of OPI My Vampire is Buff. This one has been a lemming of mine for a while now and I am really excited to finally get my hands on it. I will have it swatched alone sometime this week. I did the poppies using polish mixed with acetone to give it a water-coloured look. The poppies are primarily Sephora Cherry Popsicle (swatched here), with Sephora Dangerous (swatched here) as a shader. The stems and greenery was China Glaze Exotic Encounters. I used Essie's Matte About You as the matte top coat. There's a step by step at the end!!

Check out my new friend!!

Its actually a fly! Not a bee! You can tell because it has 2 wings, not 4
and the antenna are aristate (wrong shape for a bee) 

This is a poppy husk! Find one and shake it all over your garden
 and you'll have poppies galore the next spring!

1. Draw general poppy-ish shapes in red, water-colour with acetone for easy shading
2. Add stems to each poppy and then fill in gaps with grass and leaves
3. Add shading to each poppy using a darker red (try to make each unique!) and add oval black dots for centres
4. Add tiny white dots to black centres (1-2 each) to add shine and pop!

I hope you guys have a good Remembrance Day if you celebrate it, and take a minute to remember the people who have sacrificed for our countries.

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