chapter  3
18 Pages

Children's Modifications of Their Human Figure Drawings

The Introduction of the Torso The inclusion of the torso below the head is a particularly important "milestone" and occurs in most children's drawings by the age of about 5-6 years. This addition has the effect of making the figure more "normal", if still childlike, in appearance. In fact, the presence of the torso is probably the main criterion of what is known as a conventional human figure drawing (Cox & Parkin, 1986). When I collected 454 figure drawings (Cox, unpublished data) from children between the ages of 2 years and 7 years 6 months, I found that 404 were recognisable human forms; the majority were conventional figures, although some were tadpoles and transitional figures (see Chapter 2). The mean age of the 60 tadpoledrawers was 3 years 11 months, the 14 transitional-drawers 4 years and the 330 conventional drawers 5 years 6 months.