Nail Art (drawing+painting) of Dr Shekhar Chandra Joshi is a new kind of painting developed by fingernails. Visuals in the painting either realistic or abstract are composed by embossed line with the pressure of two fingernails, thumb and middle finger. Paper mostly smooth, neither thick nor thin is the best for the Nail Art. Holding the paper in between two nails of the hand, the artist gives embossed impression moving the sheet in different direction to seek designed shape. By applying different pressures of the nails on the paper surface it is very easy to get different vartana or delineation of depth on a flat surface.

There are three types of nail paintings. One is without colour. The second is monochrome and third is fully coloured.

In the first style, which without colour, it is complete drawing on paper executed by the finger nails. Embossed lines on paper are shown due to proper direction of light. Falling of light on embossed lines and its shades produce an amazing impression on the viewers.

In the second type, only one colour is applied on the surface of embossed paper with out any brush. Transferable coloured sheet or pad is rubbed on the surface of the nail drawn paper. Carbon paper in different colours is very helpful for monochrome nail painting, though drawn paper can be rubbed on an abstractive coloured surface. Using coins, cotton and cloth it is very easy to make various coloured pads of different shapes. Embossed lines observe colour.

In the third type, the same procedure is adopted the only difference being that a number of colours are used.

The initial art of colour is light and gradually darker tones are applied. It is very important to keep in mind its preliminary stages of colouring, when the effect of one colour over the other, the the contrast, the balance, the tone and many other details are to be handed properly. The artist Dr. Joshi used almost all the colours.

In the context of colour work it is indeed amazing to find the exact coincidence of the terms for the use of the brush, which is not used in this technique. His Nail Art Paintings are a perfect blend of colours to the subject matters depicting the rhythm of melodious music. The colours have a certain appealing transparent quality. Colours obviously very according to the demand of the subject or theme, the ambience of music-ridden atmosphere are recreated by the strokes of the artist paints on the paper in various hues and designs. Most of the paintings reveal the subconscious of the artist.

As a loving artist and caring teacher, Shri Deshpande explains how to create a nail-drawing, “It is a unique art form. Like any other art form, one needs patience and constant practice to learn the basic principle and master it. There is no short cut; one has to go through the stages. First, grow your working hand nails only; then middle and ring-fingernails, maybe 2 to 3 mm long. As these nails are delicate, this length is more than enough. The thumbnail can be 4 to 6 mm length. This nail is quite strong and can stand the strain. It is necessary to keep at least 1 mm gap between the thumb and fingertips so that the paper can move smoothly as per the direction of the line. The point of the thumbnail should be smooth and not very sharp. Do not work when the nails are wet.

“In other art forms, usually the drawing paper is fixed on the board with drawing pins or tape. The paper remains static and the hand moves according to the direction of the pencil or brush-stroke. But in nail-drawing, the paper also moves or rotates in the other handgrip. For practice, the size of the paper may be 10 cm x 15 cm or even smaller. Even a small strip of paper is good enough for practice. There is no hard and fast rule. Maximum size can be of 20 cm x 30 cm but this is for the advance stage. Up to this size, one can hold the paper conveniently between the thumb and fingernail grip to reach the centre of paper without making any folds. For practice, use any writing, xerox, duplicating or thin handmade paper, which can stand the strain and is easy for drawing lines with the nails. Handmade paper is recommended as it has rag content and is not machine pressed.

“When you grow nails long enough, start drawing straight lines. To start with, one may not get good results, but don’t get discouraged; keep it up. Once you learn to draw sharp straight lines, switch over to curve lines. This will help you to maintain a firm grip on the paper (position of nails). Press the paper up with the fingernail from the back side and down with the thumbnail from front.

“Start with drawing forms, designs, etc. Nature is the best teacher to draw flowers, leaves. One gets lots of line drawings in magazines or art books or even KG/nursery/primary-level books. To reach some stage, it may take time. It depends on how serious you are. Make it a rule to practice to draw three to four sketches per day, during your leisure time. Put date and signature and keep each in a folder or a box. This way you will know your progress.”

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