Contour Shoes

Fifth Grade- Contour Shoes

I know these are not new in the art room, however they are still a favorite.  We break these shoe drawings into several basic steps to ensure student success.  Every students is amazed with how well they do.  This is a big confidence builder!
  1. Students are asked "what is a line?"  Kids take turns coming to the board drawing a line (different from the person before.)  We played up the "serious straight lines" as being mathematical and the curvy ones as being organic, free and artsy.   
  2. After a discussion on contour lines, we start planning the basic scale of their actual shoe which will be outlined.  (I would recommend putting the shoe on the opposite side of the table for a clear side view.)
  3. We begin the contour drawing...not stopping, but being careful to see and exaggerate bumps, edges, fabric changes and other wrinkly details that add interest.  Students are asked to try to keep their eyes on their shoes as much as possible...barely look down- only for directional checks and guidance.
  4. I do allow students to add internal contour outlines of basic shapes and fun details.  No shading!
  5. I love these in a simple permanent marker outline; however, a touch of more than 3...also makes a classic finished effect.


  1. I also love having my 5th graders do contours of shoes. Last year we used colored felt tip pens, and then when they were done, we transformed them. Shoes became sharks in the ocean, mountains with hikers climbing over them, race cars, snowmobiles and jet skis, dragons,and more.

  2. My fourth graders are drawing contour line drawings of shoes now. I like the idea of transforming them into new objects and might give that a shot since they weren't too happy with their drawings.


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