1x Pair of Canvas Shoes (Mine had no laces thus making a larger working canvas but any canvas shoe will work)
1x Pack of non-washable permanent markers (I personally used a multi-color pack of Bic markers from Wal-Mart $7)
1x Can of "Water Proofing" spray (I obtained a great deal at shoe show in my local mall for about $6 -- SOFSOLE SILICONE WATER PROOFER)
Now like I said my shoes were damaged badly so I don't know how long the overall shoe will last me but my first step was to wash/bleach them to a clean surface. (This took me about 3 good times because again, they were almost black.) If you just bought the shoes you won't need to do this but if you have wore them several times outside or for yard work you might want to go ahead and clean them just so that when you start the design process you will have a clean slate free of chemicals or oils.
Step 1: Cleaning
For those who are still with me at this point lets get started. We want the shoes to be as clean as possible so that the markers can have a nice even color and that the actual drawings will hold up better. If there are outside contaminates present such as grass, mud, oils etc... the marker will not hold to the canvas thus ruining the entire project. This could very well be the most important step in the process.
I recommend using a empty bathroom or kitchen sink because using a washing machine can separate fabric from the canvas. I put the canvas shoes in my kitchen sink with about half a cup of bleach and dawn dish washing liquid. I let them soak in the water for roughly 30 minutes. I then proceeded to clean them off with an old dish rag. I did this process twice and my shoes were bad so normally the 1 time would take care of any normal wear. Let them dry naturally.
***in the picture here you might see that my insole fabric has separated from the sole of the shoe, thus don't use a washing machine or drying machine --- I speak from experience***
This is my results. There are some "faint" staining still present but as long as you can get them close to white as possible is all that matters. Trust me this is impressive compared to how they looked.
Step 2: Planning/Drawing
*Don't jump straight into marker usage. Use a pencil to lightly sketch your characters into position
*I recommend using a limited color pallet. We want them to look like a matching pair. The pack of markers I used where only a 10-Pack .
*Don't worry about messing up with the pencil - THEY ERASE FROM CANVAS!
*Don't try overloading your focus points. For example my "Focus" points where the toes. So I knew I could only put 2-3 Characters tops.
*I am no artist with markers but if you have a pair of those cardboard shoe inserts (you know they often come in shoes when you first buy them.) THEY WILL BE INCREDIBLY HANDY. Insert them in the shoe.
*If you don't have the above cardboard inserts I just used my hand to support the canvas from the inside while I drew on the outside. My girlfriend suggested using small hand towels and stuff them into the toe, this might work well but I preferred the hands on method.
*Here is one of the shoes as I sketched it with pencil. Batman and the Joker!!! :)
Step 3: Coloring
Step 4: The Finish
Any questions or comments just leave in the comments box :)