Rubik’s Cube

Tonight, I needed something fast to doodlewash as I’m still running short on time. For some unknown reason, this made me think of Rubik’s Cube as I remember people competing to see how fast they could solve it, also known as speedcubing. For my version of the speedcubing challenge, I had to see if I could doodlewash wash one in less than 20 minutes and this is what came out. Invented in 1974 by Hungarian sculptor and professor of architecture Ernő Rubik, the little cube reached the height of its mainstream popularity in the 80’s.

I mentioned in a previous post that I actually did solve the Rubik’s Cube a few times, but I neglected to mention that I also had a little book that walked me through the concept. David Singmaster developed a notation to denote a sequence of moves, referred to as “Singmaster notation”. Its relative nature allows algorithms to be written in such a way that they can be applied regardless of which side is designated the top or how the colors are organized on a particular cube. So yeah, I was a big geek.

Regardless of the help of this particular book, it was still ridiculously complex. This caused many of my friends to discover that you can also carefully peel off the colored stickers on the side and just jab them into the correct spot, alleviating hours of frustration. Of course, this was cheating, and had none of the incredible satisfaction that comes with actually solving it, but that didn’t stop them. And honestly, this was a maddeningly disturbing “game” so I can’t really blame them for searching for a quick fix.

I haven’t tried to solve one of these since the 80’s and I doubt I could still figure it out today. My brain got older and less patient for such grueling endeavors. Either that or I’ve simply gotten dumber over the years and can’t grasp things with this level of complexity. Either way, I have fond memories of that moment years ago when I briefly mastered what is now called the world’s most popular puzzle.


About the Doodlewash

M. Graham watercolors: Pyrrol Red, Cobalt Blue, Cobalt Teal, Azo Orange, Azo Yellow, Permanent Green Pale, 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

Profile photo of Charlie O'Shields
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! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!
Published in By Charlie
42 Comments
  1. debiriley 1 year ago

    LOVELY painting! and your post has me laughing! cheers, Debi

  2. Teri C 1 year ago

    Your painting looks as complex as solving it. I like the changing the colored paper. Lol

    • Author

      Thanks, Teri! 💕😃Hehe…it wasn’t nearly as complex…but I thought it would be much easier! Lol I was scrambling for time begging something like looking vaguely like a cube to appear! 😊hehe

  3. Jill Kuhn 1 year ago

    Looks like you’ve mastered the puzzle once more in your doodlewash, Charlie! 😄👍 Looks great! 🌟🌟🌟 I was never had the patience for this puzzle or maybe it was my short attention which seems to be getting shorter each year…lol! 🙄🎨💜

    • Author

      Thanks so much Jill!! 💕😃 haha!! You’re like me…I’ve always had a short attention span, but I swear it’s getting worse with age!! Or maybe I’m just realizing not everything is as important to pay attention to. Lol 😉🎨❤️

  4. Jodi 1 year ago

    Ok – I couldn’t read anything past the fact that you did this in 20 minutes. Oh Charlie! How do you do it? I tried painting this evening. Wanted so much to create beautiful skies and landscapes. Argh! NOT! And, in 20 minutes, you create this??….!!! …. SIGH! Good think I love you! 🙂

    • Author

      Thanks Jodi!! ❤️😃 Having no time is how I do it…I just go for it and don’t think about it…at all really! Lol And I just saw he amazing pear you created so, yeah…you made awesome happen still! 😉👍🏻

      • Jodi 1 year ago

        I need to try to think less about it too! 🙂

  5. Teresa Robeson 1 year ago

    Brilliant choice! My dad still has the one that my sister and I played with but I was never able to work it out. My engineer cousin could do it really well. I’m actually not sure why I can’t work this because I am really great with changing Transformers from robot to vehicles and back.

    Despite your saying you did this quickly, it really turned out fabulously! And I loved your story to go with it, as usual! <3

    • Author

      Thanks Teresa!! ❤️😃What?! I figured you’d tell me you could solve it in under a minute!! 😉 Hehe…this thing was so hard …and honestly, Transformers were WAY more fun!! 👍🏻

      • Teresa Robeson 1 year ago

        I agree! With Transformers, you got 2 toys in one! With a Rubik’s Cube…it’s always just a cube. 😉 I’m just saying that because I couldn’t figure it out. LOL! <3

      • Author

        Haha! But it sounds like a perfectly good rationalization! 😉👍🏻

  6. I loved my Rubik’s cube! Omg I was so addicted! Lol we really are siblings hehe. This is a wonderful rendering, Charlie! I love how it’s in motion too, not just a cube. Really love this, it may be my favorite of all of the toys! 👏🏻🎨🖌🙇🏼😊

    • Author

      Haha!! I think we must have been separated at birth!! Thanks Sis!! ❤️😃 I’m glad you liked this…I actually liked it too…maybe I should try going crazy fast more often! 😊

      • YES! Do it, preciousssssssssssssss lol

      • Author

        Haha! Done! I have like zero time lately, so I think crazy fast is my new norm! 😊

      • Sometimes the best paintings are the quickest! Especially for me as I tend to overwork. I don’t get that sense in your work though Charlie. I hope things loosen up for you soon. 😘💜🖌

      • Author

        I just think I’m meant to add dimension…hehe…I get something that looks like a lovely watercolor and then I want to make it “more real” ugh! Guess I’m whatever the exact opposite of an abstract painter is! 😊

      • hehe! 🙂

  7. Sharon Mann 1 year ago

    I never was able to figure out the Rubik cube. 😁 Your doodlewash is perfect, thanks for sharing this fun memory, Charlie.

    • Author

      Well, I had to cheat with a book… It was just too difficult! Lol So glad you liked the doodlewash version Sharon!! ❤️😃

  8. Snehal Kank 1 year ago

    Great illustration Charlie! Ohh wait you painted it in 20 mins 👍🏼
    I never able to solve Rubik 🙊

    • Author

      Thanks Snehal!! 💕😃I expected it to be much looser in style, but I can’t seem to do that…I guess I should have stopped at 10! Lol And yeah…the cube was just too challenging. I liked my other toys much more! Hehe

  9. Deb Breton 1 year ago

    Seeing this brought back memories Charlie! This is a GREAT image and I love how you note the colors used!

  10. itsmyhusbandandme 1 year ago

    Awkward angles. This one must have been difficult! Well done.
    JP

    • Author

      I thought it would be easy!! 😊It wasn’t too bad really… I was moving too fast to worry about it much! 😉Lol Thanks! Glad you liked it!

  11. memadtwo 1 year ago

    Grids! Always good. (K)

    • Author

      I didn’t even think about that Kerfe!! 💕😃Yay! I tried grids…it was really fun. Now I see why you like them!!

  12. Cathe 1 year ago

    Very cool Charlie! Sadly I would probably have to peel the colored panels to “win”…but I would never do that.

  13. Jacob 1 year ago

    I can’t believe you got such neat angles in under twenty minutes! Ridiculous! I remember forcing my father to buy me a Rubik’s cube when I was a child – I had no idea what it was, I just liked the colours. Needless to say, I never came anywhere near solving the thing, but I had fun just twisting it about and hoping for the best. It was much the same more recently when I had a Rubik’s cube app on my iPod. I guess I just don’t have the brains!

    I love the idea of peeling the colours off – haha! How adorably desperate!

    • Author

      Hehe…the angles weren’t need at all as you can see from the ink sketch underneath. Lol I just smoothed them as I painted. 😊 the sketch looked like a madman attached the page but I was able to sort it out with paint. Lol Yeah… I liked the colors too! Hehe… But so maddening!! Ugh!! 😉

      • Jacob 1 year ago

        Sorted like a professional doodlewasher, clearly!

      • Author

        That why I love doodlewashing…I’m really just a sketcher but not a good fast sketcher yet and the painting sort of fixes my mistakes. Lol

  14. Susan Feniak 1 year ago

    The cheat book was truly a wonderful thing!! 🙂

  15. […] the 80’s kicked off, the hottest game to start the decade was the confounding Rubik’s Cube. This launched a whole new trend of puzzle games including a pyramid version of Rubik’s cube, […]

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