How to draw a high-heel shoe

So someone asked me to show how I draw a high-heel shoe.
High-heels are not easy to draw. I’ve seen the most adept artist stumble over them. The problem is the subtlety of the curves and an understanding is needed of the shape of the foot which they cover.

(Understanding foot anatomy needs an article in itself-even a book -so that can’t be tackled here)

Let’s start with a simple sandal.

Find or buy – or beg for -a shoe and examine it.

A high-heel, like any shoe, is a platform for resting on a level surface.The foot rests mainly at two points – the ball of the foot and the tip of the heel.

These two points are a constant distance apart, in the same alignment and in the same plane, whichever position the shoe is in .

Understanding this is the key to drawing a high heel in any position.

The front area itself will be a roughly pointed oval shape, flattened behind following the shape of the foot . It is not symmetrical – rather flattened on the inner side following the shape of the foot.

The back area (the heel tip) is a much smaller round area often squared off in front.

Any drawing of a high-heeled shoe should start with a rough representation of these areas.


1)A line to indicate the direction of the shoe should be the first.

Then place in the two areas in a correct perspective (you don’t understand perspective?-come back when you do!)

2)Then you can decide on how high the heel is to be and draw a line roughly perpendicular from the heeltip, and begin to work out the shape of the heel itself. It tapers gracefully downwards at the back. Then you can start roughly sketching the area where the heel of the leg itself will rest – for now you can make this an oval. On higher-heeled shoes this will need to be steeper sloping.

3) Now connect each side of this oval to the lower ball-of-foot area.

Note that the resultant line is curved differently according to its being outer or inner side. Just like the foot itself , the curve is gentler on the outer, more pronounced on the inner.

So now we are almost there for the foundation. If we are drawing a high-heeled sandal the matter is almost finished-simply show a thickness to the sole.


Follow the same principles for court shoes and other but build up walls from the sole and a covering for the tip of the toes..

Observe the countless ways straps are employed – some very simple, others extraordinarily complex.

(Unless I become a teacher this is the only free lesson I can give – it was a lot of effort to put it together, simple though it seems.)

2 thoughts on “How to draw a high-heel shoe

  1. That’s fascinating … I’ve just given it a go, and it’s not to bad for a first try … I’ll have to keep practicing (it’ll certainly add to my repertoire of doodles during boring meetings at work!)

    Liked by 1 person

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