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Running Head: A Childs Drawing Analysis

A Childs Drawing Analysis


Mariah Perkins
University of Missouri, Columbia

Running Head: A Childs Drawing Analysis

A Childs Drawing Analysis


Child development is a fascinating study that places children in categories starting
even before birth. Intelligence, behavior, motor skills, cognitive ability, artistic ability,
and much more are being observed to set basic mastery goals by a certain time in each
childs life. The study of these behaviors in multiple children over many years have let
researchers set a time period at which each milestone should be met. A popular theory on
development is Piagets Stages of Cognitive Developments discussed in Harry Wachs
(2001) journal article. This set of developmental stages starts grouping individuals into
categories based on how they see and understand the world.
Mary Erickson and Bernard Young (1996) discuss Lowenfeldian stages to explain
childrens ability to create drawings and to understand art development in a parallel
fashion to changes in cognitive, emotional, social, and physical growth (Pg. 41). Though
a child may be in the age range for a category, their skill is the main factor in deciding
what artistic level they are placed into. Lowenfeldians Stages of Art is how we
determine which stages a child is categorized under. Brittain and Lowenfeld (1970) give
characteristic and age groups to stages such as the Scribbling Stage (2-4), Preschematic
Stage (4-7), Schematic Stage (7-9), Gang Stage (9-12), Pseudo- Naturalistic Stage (1214), and Adolescent Stage (14-17)(Pg. 47). Each stage has a distinct set of skills the artist
has to portray in their work in order to change stages.

Running Head: A Childs Drawing Analysis

Description and Analysis


The piece I have chosen to analyze is a picture of a girl, a cat, and a flower all
standing on grass underneath the sun. The person I will assume is a girl due to her
triangle shaped dress, she has four lines coming out of the dress to represent two arms
coming from the sides and two legs that stick out from the bottom with two round circles
as feet. The girl has strands of hair that sit on top of her circle head, her face is made up
of one huge smile, a triangle nose, and 2 dots for eyes that stare at the viewer. The cat is
another object in the picture that is made up of geometric shapes. The body is a box shape
with 4 lines coming from the bottom to make legs and one thick line leaving from the
back to show a tail. The cats head is a circle shape with a triangle nose connected to its
mouth and the eyes are staring at the viewer with two pointed triangle ears and scribbles
as to show black fur. Other than the two characters in the picture the young artist set a
scene using the background. A large flower consisting of a stick with one full circle and
multiple half circles is next to the girl. Along with the flower is grass that the characters
are standing on and a scribble for a sky with a happy smiley face sun at the top of the
picture to add to the scene to show the viewer the happiness portrayed in the drawing.

Running Head: A Childs Drawing Analysis

Figure 1. Example drawing in preschematic/schematic stage


I believe this drawing places the student at the end of the preschematic stage and
beginning of schematic stage. The age range suggested by Lowenfelds stages for this
drawing is six to eight. Some of the aspects of this picture that represent preschematic
skill levels are geometric shapes drawn in sizes unproportional to fit in the given space.
Other details that show preschematic stages is the girl in the picture who is shown
looking at the viewer, smiling, with inclusion of body parts from the dress such as arms
and legs that have round circles for feet. Other details that lead me to believe the student
is at the end of the preschematic stage is the charts stating hair and clothes will be present
at end and later on into other stages. The schematic stage is prevalent in the students
understanding and knowledge of the environment in the background. Though the objects
in this picture are unproportional the image has a baseline and skyline with space in the
middle representing air. No overlapping is present in the drawing and the bodies of the

Running Head: A Childs Drawing Analysis

figures as mentioned in the preschematic stage are made of geometric shapes. One stage
cannot be chosen with the information given in the charts and the details that are seen in
the picture.

Conclusion
Children develop artistically in different stages as they do when learning any
other skill. It is important for teachers to take into consideration each students individual
level of learning and skill while incorporating both into the classroom. Pink(2006) states
that life is focused around not just function but design(Pg. 65). Being only left brained
and information smart will no longer suffice in the classroom, right brained is beautiful
and the ability to create meaning plays a major role in schools. The idea is to teach
students to use both sides of their brain and become well-rounded individuals in the
classroom and in life to come.

Running Head: A Childs Drawing Analysis

Wachs, H. (2001). Visual implementations of Piagets theory of cognitive development.


Maryland.
Pink, D. H. (2006). A whole new mind: Why right-brainers will rule the future.
New York, NY: Riverhead Books.
Brittain, W.L. and Lowenfeld. (1970) Creative and mental growth. New York, NY.
MacMillian Co.
Erickson, M. and Young, B. (1996). Art advocacy: What every educator should know.
School Arts.