Halloween nail art sneak peak and how I achieved that look

HALLOWEEN IS COMING (not that I actually celebrate it)! This year, I decided to do a Halloween themed “blood splatter” nail art, and I love the way it turned out! I’ll be posting the actual design another time, but here’s a sneak peak of it:

L4D inspired Halloween nails
I look like I just murdered somebody :O

And no, the actual design doesn’t look half as scary/disgusting as this image! Haha can anybody guess where I got the inspiration for the sneak peak from? It should be pretty obvious, especially for the guys :P Here’s a huge hint: it’s from an FPS. Still have no idea? No worries, the answer is at the bottom of this post (:

Anyway, a number of people have asked me how I achieved this cool effect, so I thought I’d share it with everybody. I used GIMP for the main photo editing, and the Pixlr-o-matic Chrome web app to add overlays for the background and hand.

It was pretty difficult to get the exact hand pose I wanted, and coupled with my lousy handphone camera, there wasn’t any one picture which I was satisfied with. My solution? Combine 3 of the “best” images to form one :D I took the index and middle fingers from the second joint up from 2 different images and stuck it on the base image of my hand. For the ring finger, I elongated and rotated it slightly. I left the little finger as it was. Finally, I used the burn and dodge tools to selectively increase the shadows and highlights.

Index finger handMiddle finger hand
The pictures which I took the index (left) and middle (right) fingers from.

Base handEdited hand
The base (left) and edited (right) image of my hand.

Next, I edited the colours of my nails (they’re the reason why I created this picture after all) and added a few more “blood” spots. I also erased the other stuff at the edge of the picture to get a completely blue background.

Done with the main editing!
Done with the main editing!

I then roughly cut out my hand from the picture (that’s why there’s still a blue outline around it) and saved it as a separate image. After that, I uploaded it to Pixlr-o-matic and used the overlay “metal” to get that really cool, diseased look. Haha I was too lazy to do that in GIMP :P

Cut out hand before editingCut out hand after editing
Cut out hand before (left) and after (right) editing.

As for the background, I erased my hands from it and added an oval vignette. If you’re wondering why the original background looks sort of fuzzy, for lack of a better word, that’s because it’s actually the pin board at my desk. Anyway, I uploaded it to Pixlr-o-matic and used the overlay “Scratches”. Again, too lazy to do it in GIMP.

Background before editingBackground after editing
Background before (left) and after (right) editing.

After that I stuck the hand back onto the background, blurring the edges slightly so you can’t really see the blue outline around the hand anymore. I added more shadows to the top and bottom to help to draw the focus of the image to the hand. And finally, the step so many people asked me about: how I changed the background from blue to green. First, I selected of the background as the hand had some blues and cyans in it and I didn’t want to affect that. Next, I adjusted the hue of the blues/cyans of the background till I got a green/yellow which I was satisfied with. Genius right! Haha Zhi Kai was the one who gave me that idea; can’t believe I didn’t even think of that and originally wanted to post the blue one! Anyway, the selection of the background was a very rough one, so if you zoom in (for Chrome, right click > Open image in new tab) you can actually see some parts around the edges of the fingers are green too ><

Blue backgroundGreen background
Background before (left) and after (right) I adjusted the hue.

And that’s it! I really need to start learning Photoshop and stop relying so much on GIMP, especially since I’ll probably be doing quite a far bit of photo editing for all the design stuff I’ve to do in school. As for those of you who are still wondering where I got the inspiration from, hope the picture below answers your question haha :P

L4D! Zhi Kai says I should pluck off my thumb so that my bone and muscles are showing too D:

Congrats to those of you who guessed correctly! This idea to make an L4D inspired sneak peak was given by Yong Jie (: Hope you guys liked it! I’ll be posting the actual design of my nails along with a tutorial soon, so wait for it :D

♥ sarrie


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