How to draw shoes

An easy to follow method that you can apply for any shoe-style


It's all about the right method

As an illustrator I am sketching a lot of different motifs.

And I am also drawing shoes quite often - for example, for an Austrian shoe manufacture (Paul Green).

Additionally I am doing LIVE fashion sketches of people in street wear within minutes. Which means that I need to define the human body very quickly with some decisive lines.

(Which is challenging but really fun, by the way.)

Due to these shoe drawing experiences with and without time pressure, I have defined helpful methods to draw shoes in an expressive but very quick style.

I am sharing one of these methods here with  you:

One decisive line

Don't feel over-whelmed by all the details of a shoe. Don't look at the laces or the entire shape of it. I'd suggest you to only focus on the sole.

The sole defines the entire shape of a shoe. As soon as you define this sole, you will get a picture of the entire shape in mind. Because this sole has a very decisive line.

how to draw shoes step 1

Let's try it out

You are not sure, if this will really work for you?
Let's draw together this pair of shoes by using the sole as our starting point.

Look closely at the shape of the sole.
It's not an even line, but it has a bow.
A little part of the sole underneath is visible this way.
I'm shading it roughly to make a difference between the upper side and the under side of the shoe.

After having defined the basic shape of the shoe by using the outlines of the sole, it's important to get clear about the height of the shoe before you go into detail and draw the rest.

Another perspective

Using this simple guideline for drawing shoes is the basic for any perspective.
As soon as you know the shape of the sole, you can draw any shoe (and any shoe-style) this way.

Here's another example:
the right shoe is slightly turned to the side, the left one is nearly seen from the side, but not entirely. Which is usually a challenge to draw, but in this case, we simple draw the line of the sole and everything else follows exactly this shape.

No matter which shoes you are drawing - sneakers, high-heels, sandals, ... they all have soles, you can therefore always use the same method for sketching them.

I'd love to see your sketches and what you think about this method. Feel free to share your drawings and thoughts with us - you can post a picture on Instagram, for example but please don't forget to tag me so that I know about it (@baumann-illustration #drawinggang).

Enjoyed these simple guidelines?
When you sketch a human figure, shoes play a big role most of the time (unless it's a nude drawing class 😉 ) 

It's therefore very decisive, how you draw those shoes in order to explain a pose. 
Is the person walking?
Standing still? 
Directed towards us or more turned the side?

Shoes explain here A LOT.

You'll find a lot of essentials about different kinds of shoes in this Mini Class here, so that you can absolutely feel at ease when sketching them. 

You got this!

Interested in learning more tips how to draw humans?

The basics of Figure Drawing

54 pages full of inspiration,
easy to follow guidelines & precious references
to learn how to draw a human figure from scratch. 

+ Free resources

Workbook: Learn more HERE

Figure Drawing Class

In 9 modules containing 61 lessons we are focusing
on all relevant topics for drawing humans

+ Free resources & Bonus material

Learn how to draw:
- human female & male body in correct proportions
- realistic & natural poses full of dynamic
- feet, hands & expressive face with simple methods

Barbara Baumann Illustration

About the Author

Hallo, I'm an award-winning illustrator and drawing tutor from Austria. After great experiences in the Marketing and Database sector, I finally realised that I simply need to follow my enthusiasm and fascination for drawing and illustrating.  

What fascinates me most, is this way to communicate without using any words. So expressive, so global. And this leads me to my second fascination about drawing: the exchange with others, with you! In my drawing courses I simply love to see the enormous developments of each participant - initiated by exchange and practice. That's what I like to do here, too. 

The idea for this blog comes from the bottom of my heart: to get you close to drawing and to show you that you too can draw #drawinggang  It's all about learning to feel the drawing!

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