Saturday, July 24, 2010

how to draw a shoe

Over the past few years I have worked through many different processes, when drawing from still life, to get to the one that I am happy with. As I'm self taught it's been a process of elimination to find the ways that work best for me. I have narrowed it down to a couple of methods actually. I'll show you both in the next two posts, and demonstrate with my favourite subject matter; shoes.

 Above are all the tools I've used. They are; a cartridge paper sketch book; tracing paper; pencil; rubber (I believe that means something different in the US?!); three blue ballpoints; one red ballpoint. I want to stress at this point, because I'm asked so frequently, I use ANY kind of ballpoint pen. No special makes or brands. Any. As long as they aren't blotchy I'll use them.

Method 1
Step 1. I am pretty obsessive about getting the shape 'right', so if I'm sketching something, for eaxmple an Adidas trainer, I will do the sketching stage on tracing paper. I realised, a while back, that I do not have any 'sketchy' books as such. I only ever produce finished drawings. I do, however, have huge amounts of roughs on tracing paper. Doing things this way means I can work on the shape I want to achieve and then transfer it easily to paper. It also means that, if I should want to, I can reproduce the same image (in different mediums). Which is something I do quite often.
Step 2. When I've got shape I want I transfer it to paper. In the image above you can see the ballpoint outline. I would obviously start with a pencil outline, but the scan I did for that was rubbish - you couldn't see anything. So when the pencil outline is put down on the paper, I go over it faintly with a ballpoint.
Step 3. I have started to add some shading (values?) to some areas. I work out where this shading should be by observing the shoe and where the shadows and light fall. Excuse me if all this sounds really patronising, it's not meant to. It's just how I have learnt to draw. Step by step.
Step 4. Here comes the cross hatching. This is the part where I feel I can really get into the zone with this drawing. I love this bit. The shoe is starting to come alive, and more texture is being added through the hatching.
Step 5. A continuation of the last step. More building, more hatching, more texture. Also at this point I'm starting to add the detail. That's another bit I love doing.
Step 6. The finishing touches. My most favourite bit. Details, a bit of extra hatching and a splash of red. In this drawing the final finishing touch was to outline the shoe with a bolder line, using a ballpoint that has a bigger nib.

I'm sure there are more sophisticated methods of creating drawings but when you haven't had the training you don't get to learn them. That's OK with me, though. I found my way of doing things through practice.

Check out THIS LINK to see the other method I use to make my shoe drawings. Hope it's useful in some way.


Murilo S Romeiro said...

Hi, I admire your work and your patience with hatchings.
Some questions about your method:
1 - how do you transfer the drawing?
2- How big is it ? natural scale?
3- Do you use some kind of "guide" to draw the hatching with that perfection?
My best regards.

Vicki Holdwick said...


Thank you so much for sharing the step by step.

I've admired your drawings for a long time now.


MrCachet said...

Like Murilo, I'm curious as to the transfer step. I use a light table, but I also start with an onion skin /light paper outline. Do you use carbon pencil on the back of the transfer paper?

MrCachet said...

I meant to say tracing paper...

andrea joseph's sketchblog said...

Thanks folks.

Hmmm. I guess I didn't explain it as well as I thought I had! I'm not so good with words.

Murilo and MrCachet, yes, I use pencil on the back of the tracing paper and transfer it that way.

Murilo, I always try to make them actual size, or natural scale.

And, no, I never use any kind of guide. I think I'd find that annoying. It's all freehand. I don't know how it amanges to look so neat. I think it's just practice. Or natural ability.

Thanks for your interest folks.

Cheers, Vicki.

Caroline B said...

Thank you for sharing the process - I love to see how other artists work. I'm pretty much self-taught too, so break 'rules' left, right & centre - if you get the results you want, I don't think it matters!
Freehand? You are the queen of cross-hatching!

fotowohl said...

Great result!
I love such sporty sport-shoes... höhö

Anonymous said...

Thankyou for sharing this.

(In the tropics, really cheap ball points seem to go gluggy more quickly than slightly dearer ones.)

Unknown said...

I love reading process posts! Thank you; yours has always been one that I've been curious about!

Murilo S Romeiro said...

Thanks for your answers.
I agree with Caroline B:
"You are the queen of cross-hatching!"
Have a nice week

ale balanzario said...

Great step bye step Andrea, thanks for sharing.
Will try it,
Have a nice week

Kyranthia said...

Thanks a lot for sharing your steps !
I'm waiting for your other method ^_^ !

Joan Y said...

Yes, very helpful! I love learning how you create your artistic magic! Thanks Andrea!

Michelle said...

What a great post! Hatching seems very theraputic...

You are quite a talent Andrea!


Alex said...

Thank you so much for sharing your methods Andrea! It's really interesting to see how you work your way to the final result with simple and readily available tools =) I sort of have the similar ideas about drawings too...since I use 0.5 HB lead mechanical pencil, and (teehee) rubber, as cheap as possible.
Can't wait to see the 2nd method!

Samarjit Roy said...

That's a great thing to share how you drew... I always wondered about the shape of the things and how u can draw them over and over so accurately. Now I know !!!

Dian said...

The post that I've been waiting is here, Yeay! Im very excited right now haha.. Thank you so much for sharing Andrea!..and I cant wait for your next blog post.


Cathy Holtom said...

It's always interesting to see how other people 'do' it, I like the idea of keeping your basic drawings on tracing paper then using them again.
Putting on the last bits of colour and detail is always the best bit for me!

E*phi said...

Wow, this is just awesome!
Just as (obviously :) ) many others, I always enjoy this kind of "art-in-progress" posts. Especially great to see one of yours!

I never thought of tracing paper, but it really sounds like a nice idea, making things a lot less messy. (Also, it's sort of comforting that even you don't start right off with ballpoint, with your perfect drawings etc ^.^° ). I like to use the cheapest material too. Only thing I'm a bit anal about are *giggle* rubbers. I prefere kneading erasers or those "dust-free" ones. Just because I'm terribly lazy and don't like to clean up lots of rubbery bits from all over my desk or floor. (But then, they're not really expensive either).

Anyway, I'm definitely looking forward to your next "recipe" post! <3

Sandra said...

Really appreciate the careful explanation. Your work is amazing.

Alissa said...

Thank you for sharing your work with us. The fine lines ad detail still amaze me.

andrea joseph's sketchblog said...

Thank you all, folks.

I'm very touched by the response to this post. I don't want to bore people, so I never know whether these posts are a good idea or not. However, you seem to like them!

Method 2, is now posted.

Cheers, my dears.

Dawn said...

Wow! Its like you are in my brain!! You drawing has inspired me SO MUCH to keep on trying to learn. I hope you don't mind, but I am learning/practicing drawing by drawing your "simpler" drawings. Fascinating...and then you are posting your step by steps. Amazing that you are self-taught.

Quilt knit said...

Ok, I am going to copy these step by steps and I am going to show you. I am of course and fully knew this by the powers of Telepathy that I am terribly angry at Converse. They had ditched the USA market for their Bags. I want the Pink Converse Bag. Someone has to find the store that has the Pink Converse Bag.

I am going to do my shoes in shades of Pinks.

It is of course all Your Fault.

Love you and all your work. Yeah! I am Ranting! enjoy the Ranting!

Sherrie Roberts ((( Circle of Hugs, does not include Shoe Hugs from Converse))

busyok said...

i always visited your blog and i really admire the way you draw using ball point.

Jules said...

Oh! We're not worthy-eeeeee.....

(in awe as always,)

Unknown said...

Is there a reason why you use tracing paper? Are you tracing the shoe image from something or do you just draw from observation onto the tracing paper?