Practicing Ellipses with Oil Paints

Practicing ellipses with oil paints

I really want to thank master oil painter Elizabeth Floyd for being a fantastic and inspiring teacher.

She helped me to better understand how to improve my ellipses, which are still a work in progress but slowly improving.

Warm thanks also go to the fantastic staff at The Art School in Great Falls.

They are always there when I need tutoring, mentoring, and extra support.

Mayra Ruiz-McPherson

A Doodled Girl

A pencil sketch doodle of a girl wearing studious glasses

Here’s a doodle of a young girl quickly sketched while attending a webinar today.

She’s got thick, studious-looking glasses and a half-baked grin on her face.


Mayra Ruiz-McPherson

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Female Face Doodle with Special Attention To Head Proportions

Female face doodle with head proportions practice

I have a quite extensive selection of used drawing books.

Some books explain how to create realistic portraiture and human anatomy, while others walk you through more stylized characters and body shape approaches.

When drawing the face, most books suggest using grids or lines — both across and up and down the face — -to create symmetry. 

You can see my vertical and horizontal lines across this woman’s face as I was following one of the drawing lessons from one of my vintage drawing books. This pen ink doodle on yellow lined notebook paper is one of my first practice drawings of the human face.

More than 24 months later since this doodle was first penned, I’ve continued to practice drawing faces and figures either on my own or as part of grad school illustration assignments.

I’m still learning but feel more knowledgeable and confident when drawing the human figures or portraits today compared to this earlier drawing.

Until next time,

Mayra Ruiz-McPherson




Unfinished Exploration Using Chalk Pastels

Tall Trees And Scenic View In Reston, Virginia Using Chalk Pastels

I recently began to explore drawing with chalk pastels.

They’re a lot of fun but pretty messy to use — almost every single stroke leaves chalk dust just about everywhere!

Still, I especially enjoy using my fingers to add or spread color.

While the drawing shared here is very much unfinished, I’m excited about working with chalk pastels and will continue to explore drawing with them, as time permits.