Let’s take a break from our regularly scheduled cosplay update, and talk about my newest project. It all started when I noticed holes in my Zelda Vans.
It was high time to get some new slip-on Vans, amirite? I went shopping, hit 7 different stores, and I couldn’t find anything I liked. Star Wars Vans? Gone. Nintento Vans? Gone. I ended up with some okay but boring suede Vans that were on sale, but as I drove home, I decided I never wanted to be in a geek-less Vans world again. I decided then and there to become a Vans painter.
I did a lot of research, and decided to start out with the cheapest method I could find, basically, gesso, acrylic paint, and seal. If that didn’t work, I’d move on to special shoe acrylics. I decided the best way to experiment was to find some shoes for one of my kids, and make them wear them for a month to see how the paint wore. I also didn’t want to spend an arm and a leg on experiment shoes, so we went to the discount store. They didn’t have a clearance slip on Vans in anyone’s size, but I found a pair of cheap Toms, not as cool, but fine for an experimental purpose, in Jubilee’s size.
She requested Wind Waker shoes.
First step: tape off and gesso. I just did a thin layer of gesso, I figured the less paint, the less cracking. Maybe. We’ll see.
Second Step: sketch my design. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of this step, so we’ll include step three: block in the big chunks of color, starting with the background.
And then fill it in:
And then outline:
I sealed the left one with Scotch Guard, and the right one with Polyurethane. We’ll see which one works best, over the course of the next month.
A few things I’ve learned so far:
- The shoes I picked out have a bit too much texture in the canvas for this purpose. That’s why the lines are fuzzy. Vans are going to be much better.
- I need softer painting tape. The tape I had was too stiff to properly protect the soles.
- I need a different yellow acrylic. No matter how many coats I put on, I couldn’t cover up the green, it was too transparent.
Jubilee loves them. Really, for my very first attempt, I’m pretty pleased, too. I hope they hold up pretty well and I can start cranking them out. If not, then it’s back to the drawing board.