Tuesday, September 17, 2019

New kicks, stencilled street shoes by Sue Plumb

Hello stencil lover!

It's Sue Plumb here to share my latest project created for the StencilGirl® Creative Team. For this piece, I was tasked with the theme "dress it or wear it". After a bit of thought, I decided to dress up a pair of shoes so I could wear them all over town! (Who doesn't ever need a pair of new shoes, right?!)

I picked up a pair of plain white canvas high top shoes from Kmart (which were only $10 - bargain!) and removed the laces. (I was actually in need of a new pair of high tops after my last pair that had served me so well were recently retired to the bin.) This type of shoe is ideal for a makeover as the canvas provides a perfect blank slate just calling for layers of paint and ink to be applied.

Before I began, I decided I wanted my shoes to be street style - urban and a bit grungy; so I started by brushing my shoes with some grey Flutter Colour paint from Flutterby Designs to tone down the stark white. I used a "dry brush" technique - whereby the brush is relatively dry but still holds paint, to give scratchy-style brush strokes. This provided a perfect background to begin building my layers on.

Now it was time to add some patterns! I chose the Crazy Quilts Calm & Frenzy stencil designed by Andrew Borloz to start with. This versatile 9x12" stencil features a variety of bold patterns arranged into a quilt style design. This is ideal for creating entire backgrounds, or like I did, for using a small section to add specific details to a piece.

I paired the stencil with a darker shade of grey acrylic paint and used the circular pattern from the top left corner to add some circles to my shoes. I used a stiff, flat brush and a stippling technique to add the paint through the stencil then dried the shoes with a heat tool so I could move onto the next layer.

For my next layer, I again stuck with the circular theme; this time choosing the Collage Textures and Patterns, Circles designed by Gwen Lafleur. 

I chose the section of the stencil that features scattered circles with X's in the centers to add the next layer of detail to my shoes. This time, rather than acrylic paint, I chose to use black StazOn ink and a sponge dauber to apply it through the stencil. (Be prepared for some messy hands when you do this!)

With layers of grey and black already in place, it was time to stray away from neutral tones and add a hint of color to my shoes. I switched back to acrylic paint, choosing one of my favorite shades 'Night' by Dina Wakley and to add another layer over the top.

This time my stencil choice was Organized Chaos designed by Cat Kerr - which happens to be one of my absolute favorite stencils (probably not hard to guess judging by how well used it looks in my photos). I love the random, organic design of this pattern; which Cat says was inspired by Van Gogh's iconic painting, The Starry Night.

Again, I used a stiff brush and stippled the paint through the stencil; using a small section and moving it around the surface of the shoes.

Now it was time for some fun! With my background largely complete, it was time to add some focal points and color to bring some real personality to my shoes. The stencil I chose that I thought would fit with my own brief of urban and a bit grungy, was the Go Your Own Way Mini stencil designed by Mary C. Nasser.

I used the 4x4" size stencil for my project, but this same design is also available as a 6x6" stencil here if you prefer larger sized arrows. 

Again I reached for a Dina Wakley paint - this time in the vibrant purple shade called 'Blackberry'. (I was inspired to use this color so I could match my shoes with my nails and the streaks of color in my hair.) I immediately loved the way the purple arrows popped against the neutral tones of the background!

After drying the paint with a heat tool, I decided to carry the arrow theme further by stenciling arrows around the edges of the soles of the shoes. Again I used black StazOn ink and a sponge dauber to stencil an assortment of arrows right around each shoe.

At this point my shoes I decided my shoes definitely needed an extra pop of color to give them a bit more personality, so I grabbed my Dina Wakley 'Turquoise' paint. I squeezed out a small amount of paint and then added water to thin it down before dabbing it onto my shoes randomly using a soft, round brush.

Once that had dried, I noticed how dirty the edge line of the soles had become due to small paint and ink smudges. My answer? Cover it up, of course! I took a large black Sharpie and colored over the rubber edge all the way around the shoes. Not only did this do the trick covering up those dirty smudges, but it also added an extra cool detail to my shoes - winning!

I still thought my shoes needed a little extra colour; so I watered down some more Dina Wakley paint (this time I used the deeper colour 'Ocean') and took my round brush and shoes outside to add some splatters over the top. I was really happy with how the extra splatters "grunged" my shoes up even more. 

To finish off my shoes, I wanted to draw more attention to the purple arrows, as they were the focal point of my design. To do this, I used a Faber-Castell correction pen to add extra white detailing over the top of the purple paint, which I thought really made them pop!

And with that my shoes were complete! Once dry, I added the laces back in and stood back to admire my handiwork - I had one pair of super cool, unique shoes that cost me little more than $10 and some time!

And of course I HAD to put them on and show them off to my family right away...now my kids are all lining up for a pair, so I guess I will be busy stenciling some more shoes soon!

Thanks for stopping by so I could share this with you. I hope I have inspired you to perhaps try stenciling your own pair of cool shoes - or even another item of clothing. Until next time, happy creating!

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