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How to Customize your Shoes with Copic Markers

VanimeCustoms | May 8, 2017

Some of you may have seen his work on Instagram under @vanimecustoms. This tutorial will help you customize your own pair of shoes.




Products Used

  • Vans Classic White Authentics 
  • Copic Sketch Markers: T10, T9, T8, 110, N2, N3, N4, B000, B28, B02, BG01, B05, Y19, R65, YR23, E15, E29, E00, E000, YR27, V22, V25, BV13, BV11, V20, BV08, V17, BG13, YG41, G02, R39, R05, R89, R59, RV000, RV52, R20, RV42, R32, R83, RV55, RV19
  • Copic Various Ink Colorless Blender
  • Opaque White
  • Copic Multiliners black 0.05, 0.1, 0.3, and color BS Set
  • Copic Mini Pack Paper For Markers
  • Gelly Roll white gel pen
  • Lundmark Bee’s Wax
  • Pentel .07 Mechanical Pencil

Now deliver what you promised in the first section. This is the longest part of the post, so make it easy to read. Use short paragraphs, bullet lists, and 

Customizing Vans is a very tedious process that must be done correctly from start to finish.

Set up 

Before anything else, your work station must be clean. It is extremely important that all products are within easy reach throughout the customizing process; working while the ink is fresh is vital to having smooth blends. Organization is the key!

Step 1: 

Drawing out your design onto the shoes is not only the first step, but also the most important. During this step you cannot erase, so take as much time as you need, especially if this is the first time you’re customizing a pair of shoes. The outline must be as light as possible, any buildup in lead will create problems for your Copic markers during later steps. Complete your pencil outline on both shoes inside and out (left and right sides) before proceeding to step 2.


Step 2: 

After everything is drawn on, it’s time to outline with your Copic Multilners: 0.05, 0.1, 0.3, and color brush tip set. Do not force the tips onto the canvas, if too much force is applied, you risk breaking the tips of your multiliners as well as damaging your brush tip set. Be sure to outline everything before proceeding to step 3.


Step 3: 

During this step, we begin to lay down our first layer of ink lightly. This layer is done with a base coat of E000, very light strokes should be made. The goal is to have the area being filled ready to absorb the next layer for smooth blending.

The goal is not to stop the ink from bleeding into the shoes, but to control how much of the ink is bleeding in what direction. 


Step 4: 

Now that your base layer E000 is complete, you will want to use E00 to add in a bit of depth where a shadow would be.  Just like step 3, make light strokes until you achieve the tone desired.


Step 5: 

Quickly after finishing step 4, choose which colors you want to use to accentuate the lighting. This makes your work vibrant with all ranges of color. My personal preference is to use a number of light red and pink Copics with hints of blue. Pinks used in this process are RV000, RV52, and RV55. Just like step 4, pinks will be layered exactly the same as the two previous colors, E000 and E00. Areas to bring out are the cheeks, nose, and tips of the ears. In these specific areas, more pressure can be applied.


Step 6: 

Using techniques from the previous steps, color the hair in the same order as before with whatever colors you chose for lighting. Blues used in this process are B000, B02, BG01, BG13, and B05. After all layers are done, it’s time to make the art stand out. Use your white Gelly Roll pen to bring out any areas that you want to appear highlighted. Areas normally desired to be highlighted are the eyes, hair, nose, mouth, and cheeks. To avoid any mistakes, do this process in order. If you choose to color the hair before the face, you risk severe bleeding.


Step 7: 

Throughout all of these previous steps, you may notice your outline fading away; if so, you have done all of the steps correctly. This step has to be done quickly. If your setup is clean as instructed, finding all multiliners should be easy. You want to go over your outline with all the multiliners used in step 2. Doing this should hide any small bleeding that occurred and fix any lines that may have been damaged from the previous  steps.


Step 8: 

Using steps 1-7, repeat the process on all characters drawn. Be creative, mix and match colors to see what works best for you. Above are pictures on how these steps look when all characters are layered at the same time.



You may have noticed some ink that built up around the bottom sole and shoe lace holes; that’s okay, we have a simple fix. Pour a little Copic Colorless Blender onto a paper towel and rub off any ink that may have bled on to any unwanted areas of the shoes. Clean up is done in just a minute.



After the artwork is completed, let the pair sit untouched for 2 hours. Once dry, apply the Lundmark bees wax with force. The whole shoe must be coated, any areas left uncoated will bleed when wet. After the bees wax is applied, leave the shoes out in the sun dry for 2 to 5 hours. DO NOT BLOW DRY to speed up the process. Heat will cause ink to bleed into the wax. Now your work is complete and ready to be laced!

Not only is your work entirely customed by you, but completely unique, no one else will have your design. The finished product is eye-catching to anyone walking by. 


Optional Highlight: 

This optional step is for those who prefer the Copic Opaque White water based paint. Use a empty Copic marker and replace the chisel tip with a Copic fine tip. Dip the fine tip into the paint. This is a simple way to use the Opaque White paint without a brush.


You now have a pair of custom shoes that are completely weatherproof! If you have any questions feel free to contact me. My email is I hope you enjoyed this tutorial! 


If you want to buy a custom pair of shoes from the artist, go to the Vanie Cusoms webstie, and for more Anime/Manga related material, be sure to like the iii Academy Facebook page!


Topics: DIY, Copic

VanimeCustoms on May 8, 2017

VanimeCustoms is dedicated to custom shoes and loves to use Copic markers on vans.