Shoe Sketches


shoe study, acrylic on paper, 9x12 in.

shoe study, pastel 9x12 in.

As an art student, one of my favorite assignments was to draw a pile of shoes. We were all asked to contribute a shoe to the pile and then we had to draw them in charcoal.  I’ve also always admired Andy Warhol’s shoe illustrations, there is something about the form of shoes that is intriguing.

I’ve used a variation of that art school project with my own students and often bring in pairs of my own shoes for them to sketch. In this case, I used some red silk stillettos (and yes, I do wear them on occasion). Drawing a shoe is challenging if you draw it the way you “think” it looks. But like anything else, if you draw the shapes you see after carefully studying the form, you will get a more accurate representation of what the object actually looks like.

I always try to capture the gesture of the objects I draw and paint. In these quick studies, I’ve used pastel or acrylic to produce quick (under 1/2 hour) demo sketches with minimal strokes making each one count. Try not to fuss with brushwork, put the strokes in the right place confidently and leave them there, you will get a much stronger sketch if you do.


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