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A Childs Drawing Analysis Lindsay Gilliland University of Missouri-Columbia

Running Head: A CHILDS DRAWING ANALYSIS A Childs Drawing Analysis The four Lowenfeldian stages break down the development of the childrens

drawing progress. There are multiple characteristics listed that help determine what stage the child is at. Also, along with the characteristics there is an age range identified for each of the four steps. The ages range from four to fourteen. The drawing stages will start with scribbling to where over time the scribble slowly starts to resemble a picture. Although there are ages listed and characteristics defined, a child can be in between stages. While discussing in class with Kelly, we had determined that her drawing could be in between stages along with mine being close to transitioning as well. I had chosen a childs drawing that had characteristics in the preschematic but seems to be making the transition into the schematic stage. Throughout my paper, I will be discussing the childs drawing and its characteristics along with how it will benefit my future teaching strategies. Description and Analysis Observing the childs artwork was challenging determining what stage the child was in. When discussing in class, Kelly and I decided that this drawing represented the preschematic stage. This stage is represented in four to seven year olds. I interpreted the drawing as a monster and comparing his size to the building that was drawn next to him. There is not much variation with the different thickness of lines in this drawing. The building that is drawn next to the monster was drawn with thinner lines, where as the entire monster and the ovals were drawn with the same thickness. The facial structure is round, where most beginners start. However, the mouth is overpowering which shows that the child does not understand proportion. The most difficult part of interpreting this drawing was the ovals underneath the monster. I interpreted them as the community that


the monster was attacking. There is no indication of the child understanding the knowledge of the environment. However, it does appear to me that the child established the characteristic of having a base line. This child does represent a base line in the drawing but it is very surfaced and is not at the depth of the schematic stage. Although we could make out what the drawing was of, or close to it, it was difficult pointing out the features and placing the child in a specific stage. I noticed the shapes the most. The child mostly uses triangles, ovals, straight lines, and circles. The triangles are used for the fingers, toes, and teeth. Using triangles in these situations give the monster a more dangerous feel. Bang discusses the relationship of shapes and how the same shape connects to each other throughout the whole piece (Bang, 2000, p. 12). In this drawing, the child drew triangles for the fingers and toes. This relates back to what Bang states because the child is drawing the connection between the hands and feet and incorporates the same shape between these two characteristics. The arms and legs are disproportionate to the monster and to one another. Which makes the monster overpower the people below. Although they are disproportionate, this shows that the child transitioned from the scribble stage into trying to draw more realistic body parts. In the article, Ten Lessons the Arts Teach by Elliot Eisner states, The arts teach children that problems can have more than one solution and that questions can have more than one answer (Eisner, 2002, p. 3). Since the people are just ovals in this situation, I made the interpretation on my own. Im not sure if the child was going for a village of people but basing off the rest of the picture, that is what Im interpreting. Based on this, I think the child was drawing for himself and his own interpretation only and not thinking of his audience. Therefore, he knows what those ovals are supposed to be. If the ovals were removed, it would remove meaning from the drawing.

Running Head: A CHILDS DRAWING ANALYSIS Which draws me to another characteristic and reasoning behind the preschematic stage. Although these characteristics are recognizably in the preschematic stage, based on Brittain stating a child can draw a triangle at the age of five leads me to believe that this

particular child is almost at the end of the preschematic stage and into the schematic stage (Brittain, 1970).

Figure 1. Childs drawing in the preschematic stage.

Conclusion Understanding art development can help with understanding my students. Art is like words for children. They are always learning and growing and sometimes the best way to see what the child is thinking is through their art. Art helps children express themselves and use their imagination and creativity, especially at a younger age while they are still developing the various characteristics. Having this knowledge as a teacher can benefit my


students through the different content areas. Knowing the different stages can help tell the teacher where the students are in there learning process. It gives the teacher insight that they might not have seen before through their Art. Especially in the primary grades when they are still learning words, and putting together sentences, pictures are a big part of the learning process. These pictures can show and tell the teacher what the child is thinking and how that child interpreted. Overall, I believe that this activity was beneficial as a future educator. In the article Making Theories of Childrens Artistic Development Meaningful for Preservice Teachers by Mick Luehrman and Kathy Unrath expresses, It is important for art teachers to understand how children develop artistically. This kind of knowledge is essential for choosing age-appropriate teaching strategies and content for the units and lessons that the art teacher develops (Luehrman & Unrath, 2006, p. 66). Although this article is speaking mostly to preservice art teachers, the Lowenfeldian stages are not only for Art, but can help the teacher distinguish where the child is at in the learning process in any of the content areas by integrating Art.

Running Head: A CHILDS DRAWING ANALYSIS References

Bang, M. (2000). Building a Picture. Picture this: how pictures work (pp. 1-41). New York: SeaStar Books. Brittain, W., & Lowenfeld, V. (1970). Creative and mental growth. New York, NY: MacMillan Co.. Eisner, E. (2002). The arts and the creation of mind. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Luehrman, M., & Unrath, K. (2006). Making theories of childrens artistic development meaningful for pre-service teachers. Art Education, 59(3), 6-12.