Mini Masterpieces: Nail Art Inspired By Real Art

Andy Warhol-inspired nail art.
Photo: Courtesy of

OK, so, we’re OB-SESSED with nail art. I mean, who isn’t these days? It’s like having 10 mini blank canvases just AWAITING the touch of an artist. Actually, come to think of it, have you ever treated your nails as mini masterpieces? Like, actual art? (Think: Those old timey people you learn about in your high school art class that you always see in museums.) Well, lately we’ve been spotting this everywhere—ladies are trying to re-create actual masterpieces on their fingertips. *gasp* It seems prettttyyy tough (if not impossible), BUT thanks to the interwebs, extremely talented artists, and our stealth sleuthing, *brushes shoulders off* we found some absolutely KILLER nail art inspired by some of the most famous artists in the world. I KNOW, I KNOW, it sounds incredible, and it is. So let’s dive into this week’s nail art trend to try:

THE TREND: Mini masterpieces on your fingertips!

THE CHALLENGE: Re-creating famous (and giant) pieces of art on your itsy bitsy nails.

LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: Um, on a scale from 1 to 10, this is like a 12.



Above, you’ll see an Andy Warhol-inspired design that HAHAHA WE WILL NEVER HAVE THE ABILITY TO DO, but listen, there’s hope for us feeble-fingered ladies! Pop art on your nails can be simplified—check out what’s happening behind Mickey Mouse and that (absolutely insanely perfect) Warhol banana. Those are pop art patterns that don’t rely so much on detailed artistry—in fact, imperfection is applauded, and we are SO into that. Even the skilled nail artist that did this artwork said doing the letters was tricky, so don’t feel like you have to master everything in one step. Work on stripes and simple colorblocking first and work your way up! Let’s check out even MORE beautiful mini masterpieces, shall we?


Keith Haring-inspired nail art.
Photo: Courtesy of

Oh my gahhhh, these Keith Haring nails are UH-MAZING. Since Keith’s artwork was all about bold outlines, we suggest painting a plain white base coat like she did here. The nail artist said she used a toothpick and craft paint to get more control of the lines (genius!), but if you want to make it REALLY easy on yourself try using a Sharpie! We know it sounds crazy and tacky and all sorts of wrong, but seriously, a marker is SO much easier to control than a paint brush. We’d even suggest filling in the heart with a red permanent marker as well to make it easy on yourself. Finish it with a glossy top coat, and you’ll look like a million bucks (we promise!).


Roy Lichtenstein-inspired nail art.
Photo: Courtesy of

Re-creating Roy Lichtenstein’s artwork on your fingers is BASICALLY like re-creating a comic strip on your tips. There are tons of colors, dots, and words you’ll need to know how to do, and in a word, this shiz is HARD. While Andy Warhol’s work had a hint of imperfection, Roy’s pieces are all about being absolutely perfect with your lines and dots. So, basically, this is where we stare at these nails with our mouths gaping open and give a niiiice long slow clap to artist Madeline Poole, who should NEVER quit her day job.


Vincent Van Gogh-inspired nail art.
Photo: Courtesy of

Vincent Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” painting is one of his most well-known (and beautiful!) pieces from his career, so we were stoked when we saw Cristina from Let Them Have Polish re-create it on her teeny fingertips! Cristina used six colors to copy Van Gogh’s masterpiece, including a glittery base (smart!). She also used a sponge to blend the colors together perfectly, and painted swirls over the top to give it the same flowing movement as in the painting. Since this is all about imperfect blotches of colors, we’d go the Van Gogh route if you’re a beginner nail artist.


Piet Mondrian-inspired nail art.
Photo: Courtesy of

Ummm, WAT. This Piet Mondrian nail re-creation is so cool. The blog Hapsical snapped some pics of their friend, who got this 1930s “Composition II in Red, Blue, and Yellow” done at the infamous Wah Nails in London, and we loveeee it. The re-creation of this design is pretty straightforward if you’ve got a steady hand and lots of patience for drying time. We’d suggest starting off with a base coat of white and layering the more vibrant colors (red, blue, and yellow) on top as you go. Make sure it’s COMPLETELY dry before putting the final lines in on the design. Good luck, fellow nail lovers!

NEXT WEEK’S NAIL TREND TO TRY: Play with your nail shape!

Like us on Facebook so we can be friends and follow us on Twitter @MTVstyle to talk.