And, without further ado, the next entries:
13. Richly detailed cormorant nails. I really like the texture, design and balance of these. Beautifully done.
14. Cute rising sun nails done in orange vs the traditional red. I’d like to have seen a bit more detail but it’s a good solid start.
15. Stunning traditional pattern in white- think it’s supposed to look like kirikko cut glass-topped off with orange maple leaves and a 3D kanzashi (traditional hair ornament). This work is top notch from the painting to the sculpting. I wish there was a wee bit more originality here since we’ve seen this type of design over and over, but I can’t fault the work.
16. Deer, shrine gates and a sunset, plus a few orange flowers for the deer to nibble on if he gets hungry. Animals, even really familiar ones, are surprisingly hard to render and the deer is done well. Don’t believe me? Try drawing Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck without looking at them first. The results are usually hilarious.
17. And here’s an example of animals being hard to render. I do love the rabbit’s hopeful expression, though.
18. Am interesting retro-ish take on the theme, but it’s a little hard to see what’s going on here. It reminds me of those wacky print leggings everyone seemed to be wearing when I first moved back to America. Hopefully these nails won’t rip in the wrong places like those seemed to.
19. Fantastic faux metal bronze detailing, but the flowers. Nooo! Please apply your prodigious talent to another theme, you could do magic.
20. Slightly creepy yet also cute caterpillars transform into well done butterflies. It’s a garden theme, not a straight floral, so it gets the thumbs up from me! Nicely balanced colors too.
21. Cmon, let’s not start our projects the night before!
22. This is the sum of all the fall decor at TJ Maxx, miniaturized and put into nails. Reminds me of a potpourri bowl, but in a good way, not as in, “He gave me a potpourri bowl for our anniversary.”
23. Another set of nails with a gray background and orange fish. Is there a famous reference here I’m missing? Seems odd to have two sets with black water and orange goldfish, but still nicely done. I’m surprised the artists didn’t choose blue water and both went with black, but a nice set.
24. I love me some iridescent Mylar flakes, but this one is a bit hard to sort out. A mandala? Also, no orange.
25. Heartbreakingly detailed kimono pattern with…no orange. Another very skilled artist who didn’t really go with the theme. I think we’ve got one group of artists who do flowers no matter what, and another emerging group who do Traditional Japan Stuff no matter what. Shame since the work is gorgeous, but has no Juicy Mandarin Orange going on.
27. Look at this detail! The black details on the gradated base are just stunning, plus thr orange bird makes for a very strong entry.
28. I’m not sure who the figure is (anyone into manga?) but it’s a very well rendered set with nicely done details. I’m just not feeling enough orange, but I like the way the dress flows across the nails.
29. A very astonished girl and two hungry cats take center stage in this set. I would feel the same way if I saw random flying goldfish and swirly marbles flying in the air. Unique, nicely done and does not include any flowers. Phew.
31. This is my favorite so far: it sticks with the theme, is very weird, and shows incredibly talent. We’ve got a scantily clad girl, a cat licking an orange, extremely detailed orange sections (and one orange with a scarily realistic eyeball), a teeny butterfly and a goblet of mandarin orange juice. A+!
32. Pretty beta fish…these almost remind me of teacups, or dinnerware. The border around the “pond” is a nice touch, but after the Eyeball Orange of #31, I must say my heart is elsewhere.
33. Kimono pattern. Kanzashi hair ornament. Bloobalas. Pretty, shows talent and used the orange, but I’m getting Traditional Japan fatigue.
34. Orange Buddha (not sure which incarnation since I’m not really up on the subject), beautifully rendered but I always feel odd about religious figures on nails. These would probably get you beat up in certain parts of Thailand.
All in all, some strong showings so far, plus a few folks who need to be banned from flowers and/or Traditional Japan themes. So far, #31 is my favorite, but I’m drawn to weird things, which is how I got into nail art in the first place anyway. What are your favorites? Tell us in the comments!