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Footwear Design Sketch Tutorial: Unveiling the Intricacies of Drawing a Shoe from an Underside Perspective


The allure of footwear design lies in its intricate balance between aesthetics and functionality. To effectively translate your creative vision onto the drawing board, mastering the art of sketching shoes, particularly from an underside perspective, is paramount. This comprehensive guide will guide you through the nuances of sketching a shoe from this distinctive viewpoint, empowering you to capture the essence of your designs with precision and depth.

Materials You'll Need:

  • Paper (sketchbook or drawing paper)
  • Pencil (HB or 2B hardness recommended)
  • Eraser
  • Ruler or straight edge (optional)

Step 1: Laying the Foundation

  • Begin by sketching a long, horizontal line to represent the shoe's outsole. This line will serve as your baseline.
  • Next, draw two perpendicular lines intersecting the outsole line at equal intervals. These lines will form the shoe's length and width.
  • Mark the center point of the width line. This will be the apex of the shoe's heel.

Step 2: Shaping the Heel

  • From the center point of the heel, sketch a curved line towards the outsole line, creating the heel's inner contour.
  • Repeat this step on the other side to complete the heel shape.
  • Connect the heels with a straight line across the top to create the heel's upper edge.

Step 3: Outlining the Forefoot

  • Return to the width line and divide it into three equal segments. The middle segment will form the ball of the foot.
  • From the ball of the foot, sketch a curved line towards the outsole line, forming the inner contour of the forefoot.
  • Mirror this curve on the other side to complete the forefoot shape.

Step 4: Adding the Toe Cap

  • From the forefoot's tip, draw a short, horizontal line to represent the toe cap's edge.
  • Connect the ends of this line to the forefoot curve with two slightly curved lines, creating the toe cap's shape.

Step 5: Defining the Midsole

  • Draw a slightly curved line inside the forefoot and heel outlines, offset from the outsole. This will represent the midsole's inner edge.
  • Follow the same curve to sketch the midsole's outer edge, leaving a small gap between the midsole and the outsole to create depth.

Step 6: Enhancing the Sole Details

  • Draw a series of parallel lines perpendicular to the outsole to represent the tread pattern.
  • Add small cutouts or perforations along the midsole's upper edge for decorative elements.

Step 7: Adding Structural Elements

  • Sketch a curved line from the heel's upper edge to the midsole's outer edge, indicating the heel counter.
  • Draw two parallel lines extending from the heel counter towards the toe cap, representing the eyelet rows.
  • Add a small, rectangular shape at the center of the eyelet rows to represent the tongue.

Step 8: Refining and Detailing

  • Use the eraser to refine the lines, smoothing out any rough edges.
  • Add shading to create depth and accentuate the shoe's contours.
  • Incorporate additional details such as stitching, buckles, or laces to enhance realism.

Tips for Success:

  • Observe real shoes from an underside perspective to study their proportions and details.
  • Practice regularly to improve your accuracy and confidence.
  • Experiment with different angles and viewpoints to explore alternative perspectives.
  • Use a variety of pencil weights to create shading and depth.


Mastering the art of drawing a shoe from an underside perspective empowers you to capture the intricate beauty and functionality of your footwear designs. By following the steps outlined in this tutorial, you can develop the skills necessary to bring your creative visions to life on paper. Remember, practice, patience, and a keen eye for detail are key ingredients for success in footwear design sketching.

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