wearable art 1: the shoe painting project

One of the greatest things about painting is the variety of surfaces available that can be decorated with paint. Some of them are inappropriate. It’s probably not a great idea to decorate the living room wall with crayon drawings. Interpretive signs at parks, road signs, etc., are also probably not the best surfaces for artistic expression.

There are, however, other surfaces that are great for decorating. I’ve painted on rocks, aprons, hats, and a chair, and, of course, paper and canvas board. Last week, I started decorating a pair of plain white tennis shoes. I drew a floral design on both sneakers.
My first step (pun intended!) was to paint the negative space or background. I chose turquoise for the background.

Here is another view of the tennis shoe with the negative space painted in.

This is a closer view of the shoe.

In my second painting session, I added color to the flowers.

A work in progress.

This is the underpainting. An underpainting is the first coat of paint in a painting that is done in layers.

Once the initial layer is dry, I add details and shading.

There’s nothing like a little bling to dress up a pair of shoes. Glitter paint provide that bling to these sneakers.

Details continue to be added.

View of one side of the sneaker.

This is a view of the other side. At this point, the tennis shoes are finished. I take them outside so that I can spray them with a fixative so that the color is set. 

My last step is to add shoelaces. A few years ago, I purchased these shoelaces, just as a lark. They didn’t match any shoes that I had. I decided to try these shoelaces with these tennis shoes and…

… they are a matched set!

It would be cool to set a fashion trend with these tennis shoes!

Stay tuned! I’m working on a hat and plan on sharing images of the hat project when I am finished with it. I am open to doing other “wearable art” projects and I am open to your suggestions. Suggest clothing items that could be decoration in the comments section and, who knows, there might be a future blog post featuring that item.

6 thoughts on “wearable art 1: the shoe painting project”

  1. I'm going to try to prevent that by wearing them inside. Also, they were copiously sprayed with a fixative, which should prevent the colors from running. That might make me run faster, lol.

  2. These are adorable. What do you spray them with after you paint them? I would like to have my daughter try her hand at this.

  3. So colorful! Wonder if, even with the sprayed on fixative, if you could spray them with waterproofing spray. I love doing crafty projects.

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