Drawing pictures for gifts

When a friend turned 50 recently I decided to draw her present – fifty trees, one for each year, as we live near inner-city woods.

I remembered how fun it is to personalise a gift. And there are so many factors you can include in the artwork:

  • What colours do friends like?
  • Where do they like to spend time?
  • What do they value?
  • What numbers are relevant to the gift?

Here was my end result, weaving in woods, family life and a journey:


But before parting with it I tried an experiment (below), photocopying my drawing and adding pen to see which version I preferred. I framed the pencil version in the end, but it was great to play with the photocopy as a layer to build on. (I gave my friend both versions so she could choose!)


This ended up being an intricate picture but drawn gifts can be simple – just a flower, one tree or a smiley face.

Here are some ideas for drawings for friends or family:

  • A flower with the relevant number of petals for a birthday.
  • A sketch of a pet, or of family/friends together
  • Someone’s favourite flowers
  • Their favourite place
  • A simple drawing of a leaf
  • Something that represents the time of year – spring flowers, the sun in the sky, autumn leaves or a starry winter night.
  • Don’t want to draw? Then write a picture! If your friend is, say, 30, how about 30 beautifully written words that you treasure about that person: kindness, funniness, loyalty etc. One word for each ray from a sun? Or on each petal of a flower?

It can be nerve-wracking giving a homemade drawing (I was very nervous handing mine over as it felt like a risk!) but it can also be very rewarding.

And it’s good practice in enjoying art for the process and letting go of the result.¬†Hopefully they’ll love it, and if they don’t at least you got some drawing enjoyment and experience out of it!

Get scribbling! (If you want!)

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