When I first joined Jamberry, one of the features I was the most excited about was the Nail Art Studio. I had plans to put out my own catalog of Geek-Inspired nail art inspired by everything from Star Wars to Harry Potter. Well, I don’t have an entire catalog yet (it’s coming!) but I do have quite a few. And it is just as fun as I thought it would be.

The toughest part, really, is coming up with a color scheme that makes sense. Especially if you’ve never taken any classes or training (free or paid) in graphics design, colors are just hard for me. I can’t look at a blue and say “That’s Cobalt and it will go with a faded lavender.” I have no idea what cobalt goes well with, or even if it is cobalt.

Of course, there are plenty of color wheels where I can plug in the blue (or come really close if I can’t plug it in exact) and they will tell me what coordinates with that color. And that’s great too. But sometimes I want colors that don’t line up on that wheel. After all, life doesn’t always coordinate colors. Say I want to make a design inspired by Supernatural (one of my favorite shows). A color wheel won’t help me put anything together. What will help?

PicMonkey.

PicMonkey is one of my favorite new tools on the Internet. I’ve been using it for almost a year now (I think I signed up in October of last year… Somewhere thereabouts) and though it was a little slow going at first, it now handles most of my graphics needs in place of Photoshop.

So I am going to walk you through how I make my inspiration palettes, which I then use to create my nail wrap designs.

Recognize this scene? The Devil’s Gate.
Okay, first thing’s first, we have to find the picture, right? My favorite resource for all things Supernatural is the Supernatural Wiki.

 

Next, we search through the website to find that scene. It was a pretty big milestone within the plot of the story, so it doesn’t take long to find it.

 

Once you find a picture you like, check the licenses for use. Although we aren’t selling the picture, or distributing it in any way (personal or commercial) it’s still a good idea to check and make sure you can use it legally. It’s more than just smart, it’s respectful.
Okay — off to PicMonkey. Open up the website and choose Collage.”

 

Inside, go to layouts:

 

I tend to use the Biggie Smalls, but L-egant will work as well. I just have a harder time sizing up the corner piece to look right. Anyway, select the layout you want. You can always add spots or change it around later.

 

 

I also want the color palette part of the picture to be a little longer. Line up your mouse to the edge until the line is highlighted, then move it over to where you want it.

 

Since the picture I am working with has a horizontal layout, I am going to go ahead and rotate the collage until the picture would sit on top.

 

Time to bring in our picture! Click on images…

 

And we are going to add images from the computer…

 

Once it’s uploaded, take your picture and drag it over to where you want it to be in the collage.

 

Now to pull out the colors and fill out the palette. Click on background…

 

Switch over to Cell…

 

And select the little eyedropper tool.

 

Drag the eyedropper over the picture until you find the color you want, then click to select that color. I like to start with the darkest color and then work my way over to the lighter colors.

 

With your color selected, drag your mouse over the the section you want to fill. You’ll see the mouse change to a bucket. Click to fill.

 

And repeat! Use the eyedropper to select the next color, then fill the next tab. Until you’ve filled the entire palette.
That’s the great thing about this method. It would be easy (for me) to look at this picture and think several shades of grey and dark blue. But this method actually lets me pull out the burnt-orange colors and even the shades of green and blue.
Keep going until you’re happy with your color choices. You can always refill a palette if you change your mind.

 

Once you’re happy with it, you can do whatever you want with it. You can choose to save and download if you like. Since I am going to be adding letters to the collage, I want to export it over to the PicMonkey editor.

 

Once you export the collage, it’s going to flatten all the colors into one picture and you won’t be able to make any more changes to it (although you could always start over and make another one).

 

After I’ve added my text and my watermark, time to save. Choose the resolution you want, type in a name, and choose your dimensions.

 

And that’s it! Easy, right? The hardest part, really, is finding the picture you like 🙂
Here’s another palette I made using this method, and the resulting Nail Art Studio design I used the palette to design:
Supernatural - Castiel vs Crowley - Color Palette

 

Naomi's Jammin Nail Art Studio - Battle Within - Inspired by Supernatural
I’d love to see some of the palettes you make up!