Cain’s house revisited and revived: extending theory and methodology for quantifying drawing accuracy

Article


Chamberlain, R., McManus, C., Riley, H., Rankin, Q. and Brunswick, N. 2014. Cain’s house revisited and revived: extending theory and methodology for quantifying drawing accuracy. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts. 8 (2), pp. 152-167. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0035635
TypeArticle
TitleCain’s house revisited and revived: extending theory and methodology for quantifying drawing accuracy
AuthorsChamberlain, R., McManus, C., Riley, H., Rankin, Q. and Brunswick, N.
Abstract

In 1943 Theron Cain studied art students’ ability to draw a series of simple two-dimensional shapes, and found this ability to be correlated with formal drawing assessments at art school. This provided evidence that some aspects of drawing ability could be quantified, and that performance on simple drawing tasks could predict higher level attainment. The current study sought to validate Cain’s findings by exploring the validity of shape analysis techniques for measuring drawing accuracy and by measuring reproduction of angles and proportions in a rendering and nonrendering task. Drawing accuracy derived from shape analysis methods was found to be correlated with subjective rating scores of accuracy. Subjective ratings were based upon holistic shape attributes for organic stimuli, and local shape attributes for geometric stimuli. The ability to represent simple angular and proportional relationships also related to higher level drawing ability in both rendering and nonrendering scenarios. These findings provide support for both the methodological approach and the theoretical implications of Cain’s early empirical study into observational drawing accuracy.

Keywordsart; drawing ability; procrustes analysis; angular perception; expertise
PublisherAmerican Psychological Association
JournalPsychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts
ISSN1931-3896
Electronic1931-390X
Publication dates
Online07 Apr 2014
Print01 May 2014
Publication process dates
Deposited05 Sep 2014
Accepted16 Sep 2013
Output statusPublished
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1037/a0035635
Web of Science identifierWOS:000345152500007
Related Output
Is supplemented byhttps://doi.org/10.1037/a0035635.supp
LanguageEnglish
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