I wanted to try something fairly complex for Day 9 of World Watercolor Month, so I chose a pair of old red roller skates. Half way in, I got exhausted trying to figure out which lace I was sketching and so I’ve no idea at this point if they’re laced properly. The other trick came with the many wheels as I always struggle with perspective when it comes to circles. So all in all, this packed a punch with lots of difficult elements that made me wonder if I really like details after all. I do. It’s still super fun to dissect an object and explore all its many little secrets. It’s strange I chose roller skates, because I’m terrible when actually riding on roller skates. I say riding because I’m better if I stand perfectly still while someone kind gives me a proper push.

As a kid, I never really liked going to the roller skating rink. Mostly because the other kids seem to have been born with some innate ability to easily spin around on four wheels. I was slightly overweight, not particularly athletic, and I just couldn’t quite figure out how to make them work properly. I did manage a few successful rolls around the rink, but as soon as the music changed and the dreaded “couple’s skate” was announced, I slammed into the wall to stop myself and half rolled, half stumbled away. I couldn’t skate properly alone, didn’t have a date, and wasn’t about to take a complete stranger down with me. Instead, I just pushed myself over to the video games and hoped the others would just forget I had come along in the first place.

Oddly, none of this was particularly traumatic. I’ve always been happy spending time in my own little world. And I’ve never felt the need to fit in with others, though sometimes is did feel like that would have been nice. They all seemed so happy in whatever it was they were doing. But I soon realized that just being ridiculous me was more fun than trying to act like someone else. Maybe I couldn’t navigate on four wheels, but I could do many other things they couldn’t and that was fine by me. I tried roller skating a few years ago, just to be sure and confirmed I totally suck at it. No worries, though, I’d much rather be painting.

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About the Doodlewash

M. Graham watercolors: Pyrrol Red, Perylene Maroon, Ultramarine Blue, Gamboge, and Neutral Tint. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink in a 5″ x 8″ 140 lb. (300 gsm) Pentalic Aqua Journal.

Posted by:Charlie O'Shields (doodlewash)

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world!

55 replies on “Day 9: #WorldWatercolorMonth

  1. Marvellous, Charlie! They look pleasingly worn and ‘vintage’, and I think the laces and wheels turned out great.

    Yay for being yourself! I would have joined you on the video games. E.T. on Atari > skating. My abilities as they are, I really wouldn’t fancy my chances on rollerskates. I went ice skating once when I was sixteen; when I wasn’t clinging onto the outer wall for dear life or being supremely brave by standing perfectly still, I was slipping over and knocking children over like they were skittles (Eep! Though I hasten to add this only happened because a friend yanked me from the wall!). It was a traumatic experience!

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  2. love your wheels……. Charlie! I gather that these, are not your skates? lol
    I hear you on the sports thing. NO Team sports stuff, for me, just not ‘coordinated’ that way. riding horses, skiing, I’m pretty good. but I’m dangerous with a ball. And you are right! There are so many other things, we can do… they’re not so great at! it evens out.

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  3. You don’t see these 4 wheeled skates much anymore…although come to think of it, I don’t see many roller bladers any more either. As to laces…when I’m doing sneakers I scribble them, so you can’t tell how they are supposed to fit. But I think you’ve done a good job of faking the details! (K)

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  4. Wowee, awesome beautiful sketch! So many details to enjoy.
    I have to share the story that your commentary brought to mind. The very first time I put roller skates on a boy asked me to skate before I even had time to try skating. Needless to say I not only fell I took him down with me. I was so embarrassed but it sure is funny now.

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  5. Great work Charlie. Super detail. The skates brought back some memories. I can skate. My butt hit the floor often in the learning. Tells me good thing art came into my life.🙂 sports ain’t my thingthing.

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  6. Thanks for the chuckle! 😉 I tried roller blades several years ago. It was quite hilarious if anyone in my neighborhood was watching… I think I made it 10 feet before I fell on my butt on the HARD cement! I broke my tailbone and I was in so much pain! 😬 I stay off of anything that rolls… Lol! Your skates are super AMAZING! YAY Charlie!!! 😍🎨🌟🏆

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  7. Your skates are magical Charlie. I found I just stared at them in amazement. As for skating and any other athletic activity…whatever, let’s just paint and enjoy all those wonderful details. Life is good!

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  8. I just kept staring at these, Charlie! The boots look SO real and lovingly worn. Brought back fabulous memories roller skating as a youngster — I flew like the wind! Loved it…if they’d had it as a sport, I’d been a genius at it…LOL.

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  9. Wonderful watercolour Charlie, and this brought back memories of roller skates as a child.. No boots then, just the skates that that clipped onto our shoes.🙂 with leather toe and heal straps.🙂 loving all of your paintings

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  10. Those skates are amazing. And your laces and wheels are perfect. I could never roller skate on 4 wheels. Once day I tried roller blading and since I could ice-skate I was able to roller skate on roller blades. Of course I haven’t done it in years and now I’m afraid I’ll fall and break something. So I will just gaze at your amazing skates and be happy with that.

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  11. Red roller skates – just WOW! I love red shoes, can almost never find them (I need shoe boxes, not shoes) but to see your wonderful red roller skates – I am so in love with your painting and am trying to fit them on my feet right now.

    For me it was ice skating, in Hawaii, no less. I was the lonely outsider also. Just didn’t fit in. But one thing I learned, after many years – all those kids who were so good at skating – they’d had LESSONS! I was doomed from the start – no lessons in skating, no lessons in how to make friends.

    Oh well, I now have friends and I still can’t skate.

    But I LOVE LOVE LOVE your red skates. They don’t fit me, but still, I LOVE them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awww I’m so thrilled you loved these, Sharon! 😃💕And what a great memory… you’re right… I never had lessons either so I guess we were both doomed from the start! But then again, I’ve had very little painting lessons, so maybe we’re all just meant to do what we’re meant to do! Hehe

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