W10-Activity-Student Choice-Nail Marbling

This week art 110 students were allowed to choose any art related activity to participate in. Since I learned about marbling paper from the artist I spoke to last week, I decided I would learn more about marbling art. However, instead of learning more about marbling paper, I decided I would to learn more about the nail marbling process.

The end result of the nail marbling process, just like the end result of the paper marbling process, is appealing and interesting.


The above photo is a piece by Amanda Ruiz made with marbling paper, pens, and colored pencils. In the case of the nail marbling process, your nails end up with similar patterns to the marbling paper. However, instead of paper, your canvases are your own nails.

With nail marbling you need:

an old bowl you don’t want anymore
water (which needs to be at room temperature)
a toothpick
clear nail polish
white nail polish
colored nail polishes that you want on your nails
and nail polish remover

First you prep your nails by painting your nails with two layers of white nail polish, to make the colors more vibrant, and putting vaseline around your nail to help make the clean up process easier.


Second you want to pour room temperature water into your old, unwanted bowl about three quarters of the way full. After you do this you should have your toothpick and multiple nail polishes, which should be fairly new (because the paint spreads easier in the water if the polish is new), handy.

Then what you want to do is hold the wand of your nail polish over the bowl, and allow a drop to fall in, and it should fairly quickly move across the water’s surface. Repeat this step as much as desired and make sure to drop the colors in the middle of each other so that they make a multicolored bullseye.


After you have done this, grab your toothpick, stick it in the paint from the outer most layer and move the toothpick toward the center of the nail polish bullseye. You can also repeat this step as much as desired and you should end up with a cool design.


Then you can stick any finger into the beautiful, colorful swirl of nail polish at an angle. After you place your finger into the paint, hold it in for ten seconds, and take the same toothpick to gather the unused paint around your finger and separate it from your finger.


As the end result your nails should have nice, multicolored swirls. In order to make your nails look nicer, just remove the excess paint around your nail and on your finger with nail polish remover on q-tips. The vaseline should make the clean up process a little easier, since the vaseline makes it difficult for the polish stick to your fingers.

Even though my nails didn’t come out as anticipated the first time, I did enjoy playing around with my nail polishes, and the multiple colors I have, and making interesting swirling patterns with toothpicks. This activity was fun. I would recommend anyone try this in your down time if you want to paint your nails in a new and interesting way.


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