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Find your favorite art form in education format by either browsing the galleries on the right or visiting #projecteducate's 2013 Roundup. To find out what's coming up in 2015 check out the schedule.

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Customised Painting of Shoes

Fri Nov 27, 2015, 2:57 AM by Khallandra:iconkhallandra:

Community Week


Customising shoes has become a fun and trendy thing for artists to do. Whether it be an interesting fan design or a cute original, anything goes on the shoe canvas! Artists often use marker pens and paints to make their creation, as well as adding other elements like jewels and gems - customising shoes is no longer limited to the hard-to-work-with tube type fabric paints. This article has some of the starting points for customising a shoe.

9c669605f1592f8f54e22d5d7af113e1130593c8 Hq by Khallandra

Shoe Types

The most common shoe type to paint on is the canvas shoe, Converse All-Stars or Vans are common choices for this activity. There are also cheaper varieties that an artist can practise on before forking out the cash for the expensive brand names.

Any fabric shoe is quite suitable for drawing and painting on. Leather shoes and suede shoes are also an option, but are far more difficult and restrictive, and may take some effort to be comfortable with. Once comfortable, leather paints are available and can look just as great!

First of all, decide what material to work with and start hunting up some shoes and paints to try. Standard acrylic paints are not likely to work very well on shiny surfaces and may peel off, there are better media that bond to the fabric in those cases (leather-specific acrylic paint or dye). Here are some examples of different shoe material types and the awesome works these artists have done:
Sunshine Hi-Tops by marywinkler Fantastic World Chuckz by BobsmadePainting Music - Custom Shoes by artsyfartsynessCustom Painted Galaxy Heels by dannyPs-customsCustom painted mountain vans by dannyPs-customsDeadpool Doc Martens by GamerGirl84244

Practising Techniques

It is a good idea to practise painting skills on a similar fabric before tackling the shape of a shoe. Cotton linen or drill is a similar fabric type that is thick, has canvas-like texture and isn't that expensive. It comes in plenty of colours, so it can be easy to match with the colour of the final shoe that will be used. Draw out the design and practise the colours and techniques, writing down what works and what isn't so successful.

If practising spray-paint effects, try on an old t-shirt to see how the spray patterns work and how to blend effectively. For leather items, try finding a similar colour or thickness from a second hand shop (eg. a handbag or belt) to test out how the paints work.

Try wrapping the test fabric of choice around a cylinder to get the hang of painting on a curved surface. Leaving it sitting upright to dry may also show any bleeding or streaking as the fabric and paint dries. This can also give the test fabric a bit of a stress-test to see if any sealing or additional protective measures need to be used.

Finalising the Artwork

After practising for a bit and coming up with a unique technique and style it is now time to apply the design to the shoe. First remove any laces or mask any items that should not have paint applied, then start working on whatever transfer method worked best onto the test fabric, carefully apply to the shoe and start painting.

Once completed take some photographs of the new shoes in a well-lit location (bathrooms are great for this if they have big windows to let lots of light in). Overall and detail shots are useful when displaying the new creation.

Tutorials and Groups

Here are some tutorials on this topic that better explain potential techniques and processes that have worked for other artists.
Sneaker customising tutorial by minikikiart Painting Shoes :: Tutorial by ToastsShoe Painting Tutorial by tehevilbatdogShoe Painting Tutorial Part 1 by blissfulthinkingShoe Painting Tutorial Part 2 by blissfulthinkingPAINT YOUR SHOES by c200631Tutorial On How To Paint Shoes by muselinGalaxy Shoes Tutorial by MirandaPavelleCustom Sneakers-step by step by Axel13-GalleryNintendo All-Stars Kicks by Cmr8286How To Paint Amazing Shoes by Night-Sky13Shoe Painting Tutorial by CosplayCousinsShoe Altering Tutorial - Craft Foam by TerminaCosplayGrell Sutcliff Shoe Tutorial by AlaleinShoe painting tutorial by ArlequinneElsa's Coronation Shoes Tutorial by pisces219320Rage Comic Shoes Tutorial Walkthrough ThingyMajigg by artsyfartsynessTutorial: Painting Canvas Shoes by NeocriddersCupcake Mountains Shoes 2 by FufuriaTutorial for Anna Boot Embroidery or Other Cosplay by MomoKurumiShoe Painting Tutorial by CosplayCousinsPainting Shoes: Video tutorial by Toasts Repurpose Shoes Tutorial by Sparklegirlmagic

:iconcustomizersalliance: :iconcustomshoes: :iconcustomkicks: :iconwalk-out-loud:

Questions for the Reader

  • What is your favourite type of shoe to paint on?
  • Any tips and tricks for newcomers to this art medium or pitfalls that you have experienced?
  • What subject would you love to get the opportunity to paint on a shoe?

More Journal Entries

CRCP Award Winners

CRCP Award - March 2015 by DMD-CT

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