Personalized Gift Wrapping Paper

Little boy eating pink ice cream

The pink ice-cream eating kid doodled above is my adorable nephew Chase.

I drew Chase and his baby brother (my other nephew, Maddox, not shown) licking their ice cream cones onto brown packaging paper using markers last Christmas. I then used the doodled packaging paper to wrap their Christmas gifts.

Needless to say, the doodled wrapped gifts were a huge hit with the two boys.

My sister, the kids’ mom, said the kids enjoyed seeing their own faces on the gift wrap so much that she and her husband didn’t have the heart to toss the paper out after the gifts were opened.

In fact, many months AFTER Christmas, the doodled gift wrap prominently hangs from their kitchen fridge door where they share it visibly with family and friends.

So now that Christmas is looming around the corner, I’ve been thinking of decorating a new roll of brown packaging paper with updated images of Chase and Maddox to surprise them again this year.

And this year, I’ll definitely take pictures 🙂 because last year, I didn’t even think to photograph my artwork … something I now regret as I have no way of sharing how lovely it all turned out beyond the single photo I took of Chase’s doodled face, which I’ve shared above.

Let’s see how it goes for this year.

I’ll share more at some point in the coming weeks as we get closer to the holidays.

~ Mayra

Chalk Marker Wall Doodle

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chalk marker wall doodle by Mayra Ruiz-McPherson

So if you’ve not physically yet drawn with chalk marker on any of your home’s walls but are planning to, here’s something you should know:

No matter how smooth you think the wall looks beforehand, the moment you start using chalk marker, you’ll realize the wall is hardly smooth.

I recently painted 3-4 coats of chalkboard paint onto various walls in our home, intending to draw murals on all of them (well, most of them).

After the chalkboard paint was dry

I waited several days for the chalkboard paint to cure before I started my wall doodles.

Yet within seconds of wall drawing, the chalk marker began to repeatedly bump into super tiny wall imperfections, which kind of made it challenging to draw perfectly smooth lines.

I was thinking maybe I should go get a sanding block and try to smooth out the teeny bumps but eventually decided to just continue drawing, doing the best I could.

Which is what I did.

So you can see here one of my quick wall doodles of Charlie, my 8-year old daughter.

I purposefully wanted the wall drawings to look like doodles and am so happy with the outcome. I may keep tweaking and adding but initially, I felt I was off to a good start.

My kids got into wall drawing as well and so I’ll be sharing some of their chalk marker masterpieces in a future post.

Mayra Ruiz-McPherson



Quick Marker Art Doodle

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Marker art doodle of young girl by Mayra Ruiz-McPherson

This was a super-speed marker drawing of a young girl waiting in the lobby our our local movie theater.

I was really rushing to draw her, trying to get what I could before she darted off — which of course she did.

Given how quick this marker rendering was drawn (initially in blue ink), it’s super messy but still so much fun to share.

Mostly, I’m loving drawing with markers and hope to do more marker art over the summer.


Mayra Ruiz-McPherson

Drawing Animals

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Chinchilla drawing sketch by Mayra Ruiz-McPherson

I have nothing against drawing animals and will draw them if I have to.

But generally, drawing animals is not something I typically seek out to do.

However, in a recent children’s book illustration assignment for grad school, our class had to:

  • (a) realistically draw 20 animals, then;
  • (b) create three animal characters for a children’s book.

I’ll share the latter in a future post but for now, here is one of the 20 realistic animal drawings showcasing a furry chinchilla.

You can see several other animal drawings here.

Mayra Ruiz-McPherson