Lord of the Rings
The Two Towers End Scene
So, over Christmas and New Year, I’ve watched Lord of the Rings so many times. I’m one of those people, if I like a film and I’m really in the mood for it I can watch it over and over again. I don’t know why I equate Lord of the Rings with this time of year, maybe it’s because the films were released at cinema in December time and I can remember going to see all three of them. My one purchase in the Boxing Day sale was from Amazon and it was the extended edition of Lord of the Rings on blu-ray, and I thought it was pretty much a steal for £22.99.
Once I started to watch the films again, I knew I really wanted to do some nail art. I done a quick google search and there are a few designs out there which other people have done, especially so recreations of the One Ring using home made decals, but that was way too complex for me. So I decided that I’d come up with my own design. The inspiration behind this design is the very end scene from The Two Towers, as shown on this screencap I took:
This wasn’t exactly the picture I worked from when doing this design. I did actually pause the film on my TV while painting the majority of my nails, but I couldn’t get it to pause in the exact same place on my laptop. Some of the lightening was in slightly different places, as were the Nazgûl, but you can get the basic idea. Now if anyone had asked, I would not have said that The Two Towers was my favourite of the three Lord of the Rings films, if fact I would probably had said it was my least favourite. But nevertheless it is the Two Towers which I have enjoyed watching the most recently.
So anyway, on to how I created this design, which, incredible as it may seem, was actually pretty easy. As always, I started with my normal base coat, A-England’s The Knight. Then I painted all my nails black using A-England’s Camelot. Then over the black I painted all my nails with the darkest crème grey nail varnish I have, which is Accessorize’s School Skirt. My original plan was just to paint all my nails with School Skirt, but it wasn’t quite dark enough for what I wanted so by layering it over the black it really did make it that shade or two darker as I wanted. On a side note, if anyone knows of a good dark grey nail varnish please let me know.
Then I took a makeup sponge and applied black to the corner of it, I used A-England’s Camelot again, and then I sponged the black randomly to the top of my nail. Then I painted a bright orange onto another corner of the sponge, I used Essie’s Fear & Desire, and sponged that onto my nail slightly underneath the black. Then I repeated this step a couple of times, alternating between the black and the orange until I’d got it blended in as I wanted it to. I also sponged a tiny bit of yellow on my nail, I used New York Color In A Minute’s Lexington Yellow, underneath the orange and black as well. I also sponged some black over the yellow to blend and fade it all together as well. At this stage I wasn’t sure if this design was going to work, my nails looked to be a bit of a mess if I’m honest. But here’s a tip if you are ever doing a manicure that involves sponging; wait until you’ve added a topcoat before you make your mind up on it. At this stage I added a quick coat of my regular topcoat, A-England’s The Shield, which helped smooth everything and blend it all together and suddenly the background for my nail design looked amazing.
Then I sponged School Skirt onto the very tip of my nail as I wanted a slightly lighter background at the bottom for when I started to paint on my design. I should probably mention at this point that on my thumb there is some lightening, on my index finger there is the Tower of Barad-dûr, on my middle finger there is a Nazgûl mount (if you squint hard at it), on my ring finger is Mount Doom and on my little finger there is more lightening (again, only if you look closely). I began on my index finger with the Tower of Barad-dûr. Using my black nail varnish, A-England’s Camelot, and a small dotting tool, I drew a triangle shape on the tip of my nail, with a thick vertical line coming out the top of it. I then added two shorter, thinner, vertical black lines coming out of the triangle on either side of the thick line. Then using my smallest dotting tool I drew a small circle in a light orange colour on the top of the Tower (the thick black vertical line). I deliberately wanted this orange to be lighter than the orange I had used for the sky in the background, so I used Illamasqua’s Optimist. I then added some yellow to that small circle, using New York Color In A Minute’s Lexington Yellow, to add some depth. And that was my index finger complete.
Next I moved onto my ring finger, and Mount Doom. To make Mount Doom I basically drew a large triangle with a flat top on my nail in a dark grey colour. I didn’t have a grey dark enough for what I wanted so I mixed Accessorize’s School Skirt and A-England’s Camelot and that is what I used. Then I used the sponge and the yellow again to make a smallish yellow dot type shape on the top of the mountain/volcano. I also sponged some more orange in the sky on this nail, in particular using my lighter orange, Illamasqua’s Optimist, as well. And that was my ring finger finished.
My thumb, middle finger and little finger are fairly plain in a way, but in no way look boring. On all nails I painted some random small dots/bump shapes in the dark grey I mixed up on the tips of my nails to represent the rocks/mountains in front of Mount Doom. On both my thumb and little finger I added some lightening. To create this I used my smallest dotting tool and a light, almost white, sparkly silver nail varnish, I used Topshop’s Moonstone, and drew vertical, slightly shaky, wiggly lines coming down from the top of my nail. These initially seemed way too bright for me, so I ended up sponging black over them very lightly to help fade them in.
The only extra detail on my middle finger, apart from the dark grey splotches for rocks at the tip, is a Nazgûl’s mount in the distance. I originally thought that I wasn’t going to even attempt a Nazgûl’s mount, but in the screenshot I was working from on my TV it was really nothing much more than a curved line in the distance. And a curved line in black is pretty much all I drew on my nail, with a little dip in the centre, so it’s a little bit more like an m shape. And that was my design finished. The only thing left to do was to seal it in with topcoat and as always I used A-England’s The Shield.
I think this is one of the favourite nail art designs I’ve ever done, and I’m really eager to share it on my blog. In an attempt to post every other day I have at least five posts scheduled and I’ve rearranged them all so I can fit this one in earlier. I often post photos on my nails on Facebook so my friends can see them and usually I get quite a few comments and likes, but with this design I barely got any and I was quite disappointed because I’m so proud of it and I absolutely love it. I’m hoping for a slightly better response on my blog (please?). With attempting to post more often I’m thinking about doing a series of posts called Film on Nails, with nail art inspired by different films. Let me know if you’d be interested if seeing something like that. And if so let me know if there are any particular films you would like to see nail art for, or even any particular scenes from films you would like to see. I have an idea for another Lord of the Rings design, but that one is really ambitious and I’m not sure if I’ll be able to pull it off. We’ll see.