Canvas Shoe Art - Step by Step

Recently I painted my first pair of canvas shoes. In the past I’ve painted on stretched canvas, panels, cardboard and wood but never shoes. My client commissioned a Nintendo racing theme. She supplied the checkered patterned shoes and reference photos of the Mario and Luigi characters. The materials I used were acrylic paints and small brushes. 

To keep the surface stretched, I left the paper stuffing that comes with the new shoes. I drew a sketch with red color pencil, arranging the characters so they would fit into the front top of the shoes. 

Then I started blocking in all the colors of the images. It took about 3-4 coats of paint to cover the surface of the shoes. I worked on both shoes simultaneously - while one dried, I worked on the other. 

Then I added the shadows on the faces, watering down my acrylics. The last part was adding the highlights. After I decided they were done, I sprayed acrylic fixative (in this case gloss but I hear mat spray is better). I worked on these over the span of one week, totaling about 5 hours or so.

Hope you enjoyed seeing the step-by-step photos. I had fun working on these.


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