New Theme: Shoes and Feet

I did this preliminary drawing for a new theme I am working on: shoes and feet.  As I mentioned on the “Wendy’s Artwork” page of my website, I became interested in shoes and feet as the subject matter for artwork while waiting at the Canadian Consulate for three hours to process our final immigration paperwork. I had my sketch book and pencils with me, so I  started sketching people.  I noticed a couple of people with some interesting looking sneakers, so started sketching. What I found interesting was how people’s shoes and the way they positioned their feet expressed mood and personality.

I’ll be doing this study in oil pastels, but will be also be using oil on canvas, and perhaps watercolor for some of my work in this series. I’ve been sketching and taking lots of reference photos of interesting shoes. I’ve even asked people if they mind if I take photos of their feet, and then explain what I am working on when I get blank, puzzled stares. Most people are quite happy to oblige, some are flattered, and some just appear to figure that artists are a weird bunch, but they’ll humor me.

I’ll be posting more images and works in progress as I continue with this series and would love to hear comments.

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Wendy Malowany

Wendy Malowany earned her B.F.A., majoring in Painting, and her M.S. in Art Education. She has been drawing and creating since her childhood in the U.S. and Scotland, creating art at a professional level for over 25 years, and teaching art to children and adults for over 20 years. Painting has been her preferred medium since the beginning of her artistic career, particularly oils, but she does sometimes work in other media. Her artwork is inspired by the objects and scenes she encounters daily, in an expressive realistic style. Architecture, animals, landscapes, and nature in general, are the predominant themes of her artwork. She immigrated to Canada after marrying her Canadian husband in 2010, and works in her studio on their 8 acre hobby farm in Wainfleet, Ontario. Wendy sells her work locally, online, and her work is in collections internationally.


    • Thanks, as usual, I’m working on more than one piece of artwork at once, so will be posting some finished images soon.

  1. Shoes and boots are a great theme for oil paints. I watched a woman on a PBS quilting show who made quilts using shoes. Artists are not weird, just artists! I came all the way from CED to see your art, and I love it.

    • Thanks for visiting and sharing your thoughts! I ended up using oil pastels and watercolor for my boots drawing and will be posting an image of it almost finished, and then finished soon.

  2. This sounds like a fascinating project. Shoes and feet are all so unique and fascinating particularly when they become worn and comfortable from living.

  3. Hi Wendy I am looking forward to seeing the series as it progresses and think this sketch is great… drawing and painting feet is my nemesis but I will happily cheer you on in your efforts!!!! Better you than me…happy CED xx

    • Thanks Tracey! When I was at university I had a friend who always had trouble painting hands and feet. Sometimes I would fix them for her, lol. I think what makes hands and feet challenging is that just the slightest incorrect proportion or angle seems to be emphasized, perhaps because they are smaller than the rest of the figure. Try gesture drawing lightly to get the proportion, movement and angles correct, then build them up.

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