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Present Drawing: Gift Box Cartoons in an Easy, Cute Style

In the world of holiday drawings, what is more festive than gifts? Let’s learn how to make a present drawing in an easy, cute cartoon style.

First, some background on the person creating this lesson. My name is Ms. Marshall, and I am an artist and teacher who loves explaining art — even including a mushroom drawing! I lovingly hand-draw each and every illustration on this site, for your enjoyment. Ready for the tutorial? Let’s go!

Gift drawing black and white
Start our gift drawing in black and white

Present Drawing

As I explained with our snowman drawing, please feel free at any time to alter these instructions. Art is about making your own creative choices.

Step 1: Sketch a 3D square.

I highly recommend starting this art piece with a pencil sketch that can be erased, because a gift box has a number of complicated 3D elements and layered parts that need several tries before getting them right (unlike our much easier candy drawing). As you can see from the time-lapse video of my drawing process, below, it took me a while to fix all the angles!

Add bright and festive colors.
Add bright and festive colors.

Step 2: Don’t worry about perfection.

Let go of obsessing about getting every angle perfect, because part of the charm of this style of cartoon drawing is not having exactly straight lines. If the sides of your gift box are slightly curved, that’s not only more endearing, but it also sort of makes it look like the present is bulging out of it’s wrapping. Cool! Christmas drawings can be very forgiving.

Step 3: Pick a bow style for the present drawing.

There are several different ways to draw an easy bow at the top of the gift, and we’ll examine a second one later in this article. For this first method, notice how I’ve used a simple poof (like our cloud drawing edges) to give the suggestion of multiple loops of ribbon.

Present drawing
Our present drawing, complete!

Step 4: Add contrasting colors to our present drawing.

The opposite of green is red, meaning they’re complementary colors that look great together — and also reflect the festive season (be it Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, or a birthday gift). For the background, I used warm a warm yellow to evoke a cozy fireplace.

Step 5: Put in shadows and sparkly highlights.

Gifts are all about sparkle, so add light yellow highlights throughout your background, plus lighter touches to show the wrapping paper and ribbon’s shine. As we saw with our holly drawing, festivities are all about shine.

Incorporate some shadows around the edges and under the gift to pull focus to the center, as we did with our Santa drawing. Congrats — you’re done! Now let’s try another method.

How to draw a present
How to draw a present by another technique.

Drawing a Gift Bow

Ready to learn another easy way to show a gift bow? Check out my drawing above. Instead of the poof we used in the first sketch to indicate a bunch of ribbon loops, this second method features two big loops (like a bow tie), then two ribbons draped down below — each of which I inked in with azure color.

In this second version our present drawing, I’m also showing how to create a gift of a different shape than the standard box. What do we think is in this semicircle? Maybe an octopus??

VIDEO: How to Draw a Gift

See a time-lapse video of my art process.

Present Drawing, in Sum

I hope this lesson on how to make a present drawing has given the gift of artistic joy. What should I illustrate and explain next with our winter drawing ideas? Do share!

Want more? Pop over to my Christmas tree drawing tutorial for an idea of where to put your gift drawings!