Watercolor Shoe Designs


When creating lessons for my 8th grade students I try to put myself in their shoes… No pun intended 😀 I actually came up with this one when I was an intern at a high school. It was time for me to teach my first lesson and I was baffled at what to do. I knew I wanted to create something new and wanted it to be something that my high school freshman students would really enjoy. As I looked around the room of teenagers I noticed on thing… Very unique shoes.  Shoes that all looked different and almost had personalities of their own! With that came my lesson. Students would design their own shoes.

As art teachers one of our jobs is to inform kids about possible jobs they can pursue. One job that always thrills my students is shoe designer! To get them excited, I show a video of a Nike designer creating a new shoe for Lebron James. This video entices my 8th grade gentlemen which is always a tricky task.

What you need:

Let’s get started!

If you google “Shoe Outline”, you will see many options for easy to draw shoes. I print out about 5 different shoe types per table. These are just for inspiration and not for tracing… I tell my students to start by drawing the bottom of the shoe, make it almost as long as the paper but we want it to float in the middle a bit. I tell my students, this is their opportunity to create a bizarre, different shoe inspired by whatever they want! It doesn’t need to even be functional, just be as creative as possible.

Step 1:

I demonstrate how to start with the sole and move up the sides then the laces. Once the shoe is outlined move to details. I circulate and help when I am needed. Remind students to start by drawing very light in case they need to erase.

Step 2:

Once fully drawn use micron pens to trace, then watercolor! Have fun!

Student Examples:








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