Sunday, 5 June 2011


Alright then! Here's a list of exciting developments:

The blog is finally up, complete with a sexy gallery of all my shoes (here)
, I'm still trying to harvest likes for my Facebook page, I manged to sell my first pair of trainers this week (the Red Robot ones), I'm closing in on a couple of bona-fide commissions and I've put the Boba Fett pair on ebay. (Here's a proper link for the auction if you're interested).

All that with only one full stop.

As a special inaugural blog treat (assuming your idea of a treat involves a number of jpegs and a dry text commentary), there now follows a quick how-to guide on trainer customisation:


Firstly you'll need a design, I went through a couple of Boba-Fett designs in pencil before I settled on this one. I realised from the off that his head was too big, but I knew that could be fixed with computer jiggery-pokery.

Computer Jiggery-Pokery

For the sake of prescision, and to correct any hydrocephalic looking heads, I like to redraw everything on the computer. I will also print these out to use as sizing guides / templates for certain details when drawing on the actual shoe. I like to use GiMP, the excellent not-as-rude-as-it-sounds-and-also-free graphics software to draw over the original photo.

I then add a bit of colour to create a definitive reference when mixing my paint.

The Shoe

This is where shit gets real, as Will Smith would presumably say (his real name is Willard, can you believe that?). Anyway, I print out a black white template onto card, cut it out, apply it to the shoe and draw round it in white pencil to create an outline. I then fill the area to be painted with a beige base coat and allow this to dry (a neutral colour such as this makes a great foundation). In this case I added a layer of white as I wanted the final design to have a white outline. I then sketch a rough version of the design onto the base coat as a guide using technical pens (staedler pigment pen with a 05 nib, stationary fans!).

Living Colour

Colour is the added in acrylic paint, the nature of acrylics requires that you work in layers, each of which needs to dry fully, unless you're blending which is another story, this picture shows the base colours (and my rack of 360 games, 'Lego Harry Potter' isn't mine, I swear).

Inks, and other sexiness 

I then add lots of blended texture to the final paint job and spot paint some extra details (Boba Fett's armour is covered in little dents and scratches for example). Once this is dried I can add the inks / outlines, once again I use staedler pens for this, but a bit of bog-standard marker pen or sharpie comes in handy here as well.


With that all done, I apply a layer of varnish (Prism Clear Glaze, which isn't bloody cheap, I can tell you) which gives a nice glossy finish and seems to flatten out and bind the final image. I let this dry overnight and apply another layer, this not only holds the paint in place to prevent flaking etc. but also makes the design more flexible and resistant to wear.

Well, that's it for now, my eyes hurt and it's getting late, if we've learnt anything at all, it's probably Will Smith's full name.

Check back soon for more custom shoe-shenanigans.


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