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

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


Oil Painting: Toast for Breakfast

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Oil painting of toast breakfast dish by Mayra Ruiz-McPherson

In the fall of 2017, I took my first-ever oil painting class as part of my MFA in Illustration with the Academy of Art University.

Needless to say, I had never oil painted anything in my life before the class.

But since having taken the class, I’ve become really interested in the medium (more about my oil painting interests in a future post).

This painting was done for a still life assignment.

Our class had to paint an object with a reflective light on it, hence why the knife takes center stage here.

While far from perfect, for not having painted much of anything before this class, this came out much better than I had hoped.

Thinking back on it ….

While there are some definite tweaks and improvements I could make to this, I was and still am pretty happy with how this turned out, given my then-limited oil painting experience.

What do you think?

~ Enjoy! 

Mayra Ruiz-McPherson