Monday, September 18, 2017

'My Canvas Has Laces' (2) progress report

I've agreed to 'paint' a large pair of canvas shoes for Shoe Bank Canada's fund-raising project 'My Canvas Has Laces', so that "no Canadian should want for a decent pair of shoes".
Unisex shoes: men's size 12, women's size 14
I let some ideas percolate in my brain before I set pen to shoe and thought about other aspects of the project.

I made a list of tangles I might like to use. They included some of my own such as Skye, as well as some that are favorites like Tipple and Crescent Moon, and tangles that I thought would offer good 3D-look possibilities, just for fun, such as Paradox, Cubine, Romanancy, and Dex.

I also assembled the supplies I expected to use, mainly black Sharpie paint pens. I had wondered about color, but decided to go with black, white, and gray, and perhaps include iridescent or sparkle paint.

Deep black
Mmm, all those tangles where it seems you're looking through to somewhere else, tangles like Cubine, Dex, Skye, Hollibaugh, and so many more. I'd been thinking what fun it would be to give the impression of cut-through work in the canvas. On paper I frequently use Sakura's Clear Glaze pen over the black which gives the effect of a much deeper space.

Fortunately... unfortunately...
Unfortunately, I don't want use Clear Glaze ink on shoes, for durability issues.
Fortunately, there is a really, really black paint called Vantablack which absorbs 99.965 of visible light. Paint a ball with it and it looks like a portable hole. I looked online to see if I could buy some.
Unfortunately, no it isn't available except to one artist.
Fortunately, there is Black 2.0 from Culture Hustle (Stuart Semple) in the UK. It's an extremely black paint - just a smidge not-so-black as Vanta, and it's actually more convenient for artists because it doesn't require special locations or technicians. I ordered some.
Unfortunately, it will take at least a week to get here.
Fortunately, the shoes don't need to be sent back until early October.

Gathering my courage
I looked at the shoes from this side and that, wondered about drawing on the rubber parts, thought about the red and dark blue highlights, and then decided to follow Lady Macbeth's advice to "screw your courage to the sticking place" and just do it.

The eyelet holes are interesting design elements and could be incorporated into tangles. So, of course, the first tangle I put on the shoes is one that wasn't even on my list! A variation of Posh from Suzanne Macneill.

I did two more eyelet places.
Tangle: MySwing from Simone Menzel
Tangle: Snugz from Terri Brown;
also known as Crossover from Suzanne Macneill
Then, both my Extra Fine paint pens ran out!


  1. A good start. A friend of mine has done that to a pair of shoes for herself. They look great.

  2. That is beautiful. I can't wait to see how they turn out. I'm still a newbie and hope that I'm able to get as good as you are.

  3. I love hearing how your thoughts progress!! Wonderful so far. Looking forward to seeing more WIP photos!

  4. "screw your courage to the sticking place"... I'm gonna have to remember that. :D hahaha

  5. These look great so far and I salute the efforts you go to to find the perfect black paint. Thanks for the tip about the Glaze pen over black ink - I tried it and it really does work wonders!