Though the first actual roller skate was likely invented in 1760, it did not include brakes, and its inventor, Joseph Merlin of Belgium, crashed into a mirrored wall during a London masquerade ball, skating while he was playing the violin. In 1863, American James Plimpton improved upon the earlier design by adding two sets of wheels under a platform, with straps on top. Skaters could turn and stop with ease. This was the basic prototype design for roller skates until the 1970s.
During the 1970s, roller skates became a popular form of entertainment. Traditional roller skates consisted of two sets of two wheels on the underside of an attached boot. Nowadays, modern roller blades are more common -- these have a line of four wheels on the boot. However, drawing a pair of roller skates is a great way to appreciate retro entertainment. To draw a good picture, you simply need to follow a few sketching rules.
Visualise the shape of the roller skates, if you do not have a pair or picture to draw from. Understand the shape of the boot and how the wheels are attached. This helps focus your attention on its formation, dimension and shape. Of course, if you are drawing from the real thing, have a thorough look to know what you are going to draw first.
Sketch the outline of the boot first. Draw the boot sideways so you can clearly see the shape of the skate. Pencil a large 'L' shape made out of two perpendicular rectangles. But, curve the edges of the 'L' to represent the curved surfaces of the boot.
Position the back wheel. Draw one circle approximately 2/3 the width of the rectangle below the heel of the 'L.' Leave a small gap between the wheel and the base of the boot to account for the metal plate that holds the wheel in place. Add two smaller circles inside the back wheel, to give additional detail.
Copy the back wheel shape onto the drawing to represent the front wheel. Add this shape where the toes would be inside the boot. Now, join the wheels to the base of the boot with a diagonal line protruding from each side of each wheel. Colour the wheels in red or black, as these are common colours for the rubber of wheels.
Illustrate the retro roller skates' laces by drawing a series of small rectangular shapes across length of the boot, where the laces would be positioned. Colour these in yellow to add brightness to the image.
Sketch a loop at the top of the boot, where the back of the calf would be supported. Roller skates are pictured with loops which are used to hang them up. This adds character to the design.
Complete the drawing by colouring in the main boot with colours of your choice. Roller skates often consist of a colourful design or graffiti type logo. Therefore, consider adding this pattern onto the exterior of the roller skate.