Nail Art Tutorial: Dark Shadows (Barnabas Collins)

It is not a secret that I am a fan of actor Johnny Depp. I think he's an amazing actor and he has established himself as one by successfully portraying colorful movie characters such as Edward Scissorhands, Ichabod Crane, Willy Wonka, and of course, Capt. Jack Sparrow. The last nail art I did that was inspired by him was this -- Nail Art: Pirates of the Caribbean. Last night, I was inspired to create another nail design for his current movie, Dark Shadows. I simply cannot watch this movie without a matching nail art. :)

This is what I came up with:

Dark Shadows Nail Art Design
Dark Shadows Nail Art Design by Simply Rins

I came up with one accent nail and used some sponging technique on the others to bring everything together.

Before I go on, I'd like to thank my friend, Pads. We were exchanging text messages the other night and the conversation fell into movies that we were both anticipating to see. He reminded me that Dark Shadows will be shown this week. This actually made me start brainstorming on possible nail art ideas. In the end, I challenged myself to draw the character of Johnny Depp and I was keeping my fingers crossed that I could pull it off.

Dark Shadows Nail Art Design
nail polishes used for this Dark Shadows nail art

I used 3 thin coats of Color Club Paris White as base color for the accent nail. Application can be tricky because of visible streaks. Most of my white polishes are. I am still in the lookout for a good white polish with fabulous formula.

That's Deborah Lippmann Edge of Glory on all my other nails in 2 coats. I felt guilty using it without it's partner polish (read about it here). But I realized I've used up 2 of the black polishes in my stash. I need to get one. Black is one of the colors I really like on my nails.

For the red tint I used on my nail tips, I used OPI Tazmanian Devil Made Me Do It.

I used acrylic paints and a detailing nail art brush to freehand a cartoon version of Barnabas Collins on the accent nail.

I based the cartoon from this photo of Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins that I googled:

inspirational photo for the accent nail

And here's a photo nail art tutorial of how I painted Barnabas Collins:

Step 01: Paint your accent nail white and let it completely dry before painting your design.
I first painted the hair. Make sure you have enough space for the face when you do this.

Step 02: Draw the eyes. Make the eyebrows and eyeliner prominent.
Add a small white dot for further detail.

Step 03: To paint the nose, draw a curve line from one of the eyes and
add a tiny line at the bottom.

Step 04: Paint the lips next. Barnabas' lips are edgy and
I exaggerated this a little for this cartoon version.

Step 05: Carefully paint over a red color on the lips, making sure you leave
some of the black paint visible to serve as outline.

Step 06: Don't forget to seal your design with your favorite top coat.

I initially wanted to do a video tutorial but it was hard as I was moving my hands a lot and I couldn't paint the character with my hand just sitting on the table. I hope this photo tutorial is enough for those who might like to try to recreate it. :)

Dark Shadows Nail Art Design

Initially, I wanted to just paint my other nails with black polish. But to make the design more interesting, I decided to tie my other nails to the accent nails by creating gradient look using black, white, and red polishes.

If you don't want an accent nail, I think this gradient look is enough to wear as a Dark Shadows inspired nail design.

Dark Shadows Nail Art Design

I first painted all my other nails with the black polish. I then sponged a bright red on my nail tips and a sponged a little white on top.

Dark Shadows Nail Art Design

I loved the fact that I was reunited with 2 of my favorite colors, red and black. I really like them on my nails. Hence, the many pictures I took of this Dark Shadows inspired nail art. Which reminds me that when I did the Pirates of the Caribbean design, I also used black and red!

Dark Shadows Nail Art Design

I wonder how this would look when matted. I'll try after watching the movie.

If you noticed, I didn't create an accent nail on my right hand. Initially, I wanted to paint a cartoon version of the witch. But I felt I would have a hard time working with my non-dominant hand for that so I just opted to give the entire spotlight to Johnny Depp. I know, excuses!

Dark Shadows Nail Art Design

This nail art will remain on my nails until I watch the movie. Tonight, perhaps? I actually have another nail design to post but I decided to post this first. I liked how it turned out.

What do you think? Did I pull off a cartoon version of Barnabas Collins? Do you think the gradient look tied the other nails together?


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  1. He looks fantastic and I LOVE your gradient, those colors are gorgeous together.

  2. This is brilliant! I love it :)

  3. Fantastic ^^

    Have a nice week :D

  4. woow...wonderful nail art

  5. awesome Rina, this is so-o-o-o-o-o good, love it *.*

  6. Everything is wonderful, how you made Barnabas Collins and all the other nails which I adore..! :-)

  7. I love this nail art and johnny depp is my most fav actor !!! By far. Ever seen cry baby?

  8. This is amazing! Can't wait to see the movie too!

  9. Thank you all for your nice comments! :)

  10. You have definitely pulled it off. You never fail to create so creative nail art. two thumbs up for you, Rina! :)

  11. Love this! I liked your other Johnny Depp tutorials too, I had a go myself when I went to see POTC. I think this will be my mani when I go see Dark Shadows too.

  12. Do you mind if I copy this? If I can?!
    I might give it a try. You make it look so easy. I'm a big fan of yours. I tell my friends about your blog. :)

  13. @KatieTe
    Why not? :) And thanks for letting your friends know about my site.

  14. i just watched dark shadows yesterday, and absolutely loved it! both you and johnny depp did a fantastic job (:

  15. Ohhhhh my Godddd that's awesome, I lookin for any example for my nayl art and I foun your blog, I really love it.... al my compliments!

  16. GREAT manicure!!! I LOVE the gradient look!! It really completed the manicure!!! I have yet to see the movie, but I want to! Also, I think the colors in this would be a great "Twilight" manicure. I am not sure if you are a fan or not...

  17. @Arlyn
    You're right, the gradient in this nail art would be great for the Twilight movie too! ;)

  18. this is really impressive! I love it!