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Preschool Self Portraits

Jenna has been shocking my husband and me with her drawing in the past 24 hours. She is drawing faces with actual features, and bodies with the beginnings of limbs.

I’m not sure if this type of work is common at 32 months or not. Art has never been my son Bruce’s strong suit. So the only work I have to compare this to is my own preschool self-portraits from age 3.5:

Yes, I know what you are thinking: “Why does Jenny still have artwork she drew when she was 3?” Maybe I need to revisit my post about hoarding! But it is interesting to have this work for comparison purposes. Jenna is now drawing a face with features a full year before I did. Here are another two drawings Jenna did last night that include bodies:

To compare, here’s what I was drawing when I was four:

Keeping a record of your preschooler’s self-portraits is a really neat idea. I’m glad Ms. Ella did this with me when I was 3! As for Jenna’s ability level, I’m not sure if she is a normal two and a half year old artist, and I was really awful, or if this is something that is special about her. I think I might ask Jenna’s preschool teacher the next time we have class.


  1. Lia says:

    Definitely ahead of the curve. Ben is about a month older and only started drawing circles in the last couple of months. (Though to be fair to him, he’s not really interested in drawing very much.) He doesn’t seem to have any control over where his hand goes yet. I can’t even imagine drawing eyes, a nose, a mouth and hair all in their correct placement for a while.

  2. Jen says:

    My son started with circles and such around 32 months- but his first “person” drawing was 37 months http://jentilla-the-mum.blogspot.com/2011/09/august-2011-week-100-or-5-fall-is-in.html for a picture. I really enjoy your blog 🙂

  3. Kristen says:

    Have you looked into Drawing With Children? It’s a nice way to teach yourself while teaching your children. (I saw this while sadly admitted I keep pushing art to the side… I really need to get that book back out!) I have a post or two on it on my blog.

    • jenbrdsly says:

      I’ll have to look up the posts on Teaching Stars. I use to own Drawing with Children, but never really got into it for some reason.

  4. Jean says:

    Great drawing! Yes, I think a bit ahead of the curve, but not really weird. My older girl was drawing very early too and I didn’t know if it was normal or not–she was my first and I had no comparison (and anyway both girls drew early and often). When she was about 3, I think, I took a drawing in to her checkup and showed it to her pediatrician. “Is this normal?” “No.” But that was all I got! LOL

    I have saved a bunch of their drawings in my file. 🙂

    • jenbrdsly says:


      It would be interesting if Jenna ended up getting our family’s elusive “art gene”. My great-grandfather was an artist from Sweden, and my second cousin Noah is an artist who does work with Disney. Unfortunately so far, the art gene has bypassed my grandma’s descendants so far, and gone to my great-aunt’s side of the family.

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