Head, Body Legs

Head, Body, Legs is a drawing game. You can play it with as few as two people or with a whole roomful. You can even play it through the mail – preserving social distance while making playful connections.

by Julie Paschkis and Zoe Paschkis

How does it work?
Fold a piece of paper into thirds.
Draw a head of any kind – human, animal or other – in the top “head” section of the paper.

Draw two tiny lines that extend from the bottom of your drawing into the middle “body” section of the paper. Fold the paper so that the head is hidden.

Pass (or mail) the paper to the person next to you,. They will see only the little lines and not your drawing.

The next person draws a body of any kind in the middle section, adding tiny lines that extend into the bottom “Legs” section of the paper.

They fold and pass (or mail) the drawing to the next person so that only the little lines are visible, not the head or the body.


The next person draws the legs.

Unfold the paper to reveal the creature that you have co-created.

In a group everyone draws at the same time and then passes in the same direction.  You work on the head of one drawing, the body of the next and the legs of a third. The process sounds complicated but it is actually simple: Fold, Draw, Pass, Repeat.

Here are some Head, Body Legs that were drawn at a table. All the generations of my family often play this game.

by Julie Paschkis, Joe Max Emminger and Amy Kaye

By Julie Paschkis, Benji Kaye and Eric Kaye

by Benji Kaye, Julie Paschkis and Joe Max Emminger

by Lucia Santos, Julie Paschkis and Jennifer Kennard

The drawings themselves can be as simple or complicated as you like. The finished pieces look more coherent if all of the participants use the same media – pencil, ink, markers or paint.

Here are some recent HBL passed through the mail instead of around a table.
I started these at home and then sent them to Margaret Chodos-Irvine, who sent them to Deborah Mersky.

by Deborah Mersky, Margaret Chodos-Irvine and Julie Paschkis

My niece Zoe and I did these three piece drawings  through the mail:

by Zoe Paschkis and Julie Paschkis

Then we realized it made more sense as a two person collaboration to create two part drawings. Head Bo/Dy Legs.

I drew these:

And mailed them like this:

Zoe finished them:

 

Exquisite Corpse is another name for Head, Body, Legs.

Whatever you call it, I hope you will give it a try.

Joe Max Emminger, Julie Paschkis and Daisy Emminger

P.S. I am continuing to post free, printable coloring pages on line every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Please click HERE for a link to those pages.
Here are some pages that people have colored in.

Benji Kaye

Mary Ann Landmesser

Eric Kaye

After you have spent some time playing Head, Body Legs, or coloring in the printed pages, perhaps you will be inspired to keep drawing, or to invent your own games.

Benji Kaye

12 responses to “Head, Body Legs

  1. Cathy Bonnell

    I love this drawing game! If I ever get to have another dinner party I’m going to try it after we eat. Thanks for he fun! Cathy Bonnell

    • Julie Paschkis

      HBL does make a good non-edible course for a dinner party. And I hope those parties return to our lives!

  2. dusty huxford

    I so enjoy your post and your beautiful art. This game sounds so fun even though I’m not very good at drawing. But I do love to color and appreciate you sharing your art with those of us who can’t draw. Thank you so much in sharing your talent and telling us about the great books out there.

    • Julie Paschkis

      Thanks for your message! The fun thing about HBL is that even the wonkiest drawings look great. The sum is always better than the parts.

  3. This is one of my favorite BATT posts ever – I’m definitely doing this by mail with family – thanks, Julie!

    • Julie Paschkis

      I would like to see them! Have fun. As you probably know, this game can be played with words too.

  4. These are WONDERFUL!!! I want to do more!

  5. Great fun Julie. Do you have any jigsaw puzzles left?

  6. These are absolutely brilliant! We’ve been looking for a new game to play in our household. Will be doing this with the family this evening. Thanks!

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