French Bread-Themed Sketchbooks

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mixed media sketchbooks covered in french bread packaging by Mayra Ruiz-McPherson

Call me creative-crazy but I’ve been collecting product packaging I consider pretty for over a year or more.

To me, “product packaging” is literally ANYTHING that is used to cover a box, wrap food, grocery bags, and the like.

Most of my product packaging stash has been just sitting in a box, collecting dust. For months.

Yet every time I’d bump into my stash, I’d think:

“I need to do something with this.”

Finally, just yesterday, I bumped into my stash once more while searching for a notebook and that was it. I’d had it. I decided I had to do SOMETHING with at least one of the packaging papers.

And so there I was, sifting through the stash when I saw it:

French bread wrapping paper 🙂 “European Style.”

Don’t ask me why this particular food product wrapper was calling my attention but it was.

I immediately found myself with scissors in one hand, glue in the other.

Before long, my two mixed media sketchbooks were completely wrapped in this once-french-bread-covering paper.

Honestly, I know it may sound ridiculous (for those that are unfamiliar with the joy paperie projects can bring) but I was beyond giddy-happy with the visual outcome. I kept staring at my sketchbooks all evening long feeling so excited to draw in them over the weekend.

Perfect timing to feel so drawing-inspired as it’s a long Labor Day holiday weekend 🙂

~ Enjoy

Mayra Ruiz-McPherson



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



Human Anatomy Drawing Assignment

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Human anatomy rendering in charcoal pencil by Mayra Ruiz-McPherson

My grad school MFA program‘s summer term this year includes a human anatomy class that is blowing my mind.

The class spent the first few weeks drawing skeletons; so much so I often felt I was drawing and designing Halloween-themed greeting cards 🙂

I’m poking a bit of fun but the reality is that the class has taught me so much about how to better render the human figure.

I feel like the class is really helping me improve figure drawing details.

Even though I admit I can’t remember all the Latin muscle names and groups, I do feel more prepared and confident when drawing the human form.

Another side benefit beyond improving my technical drawing techniques: I find myself visually appreciating, more than ever before, the unique shapes and beautiful forms that together compose the ultimate masterpiece that is the human body.

You can see more of my human anatomy drawings here in my portfolio.

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