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A Childs Drawing Analysis Britne Bugh-Wheeler University of Missouri-Columbia

A CHILDS DRAWING ANALYSIS A Childs Drawing Analysis The artwork of a child is very telling in their stage of development as well as a very important aspect of their psychological development. Researchers such as Lowenfeld and Kellogg have done extensive research on childrens artwork to create a series of stages that children pass through at some point in time. The stages are as follows: scribbling stage from two to four years old, pre-schematic stage from four to seven years old, schematic stage from seven to nine years old, gang age from nine to twelve years old, pseudo-naturalistic stage from twelve to fourteen years old and the final stage being the adolescent art from fourteen to seventeen years old. Although the stages are in a certain order, children can pass through or skip stages. After the analysis of a piece of student artwork, I have concluded that the child artist was in the preschematic stage. As described by Lowenfeld (1970), the pre-schematic stage displays various geometric shapes that lose their meaning if separated from one another and often do not relate to one another, the placement of these shapes is determined upon what the child wants. Students

in the pre-schematic stage develop their artwork in a communication with themselves that often showcase their own experiences. Most children between the ages of four and seven are in this stage, due to the fact of the basic shapes that they use in the artwork, along with the lack of detail as well (Lowenfeld, 1970, p. 474). Description and Analysis When viewing the childs artwork, you can see that he or she create a person. However, the only section of the artwork that resembles a person is the head and facial features. The lack of body features, such as the body and hands makes me think that the child is just beginning the pre-schematic stage. The artist has not yet focused on the details of a person, and according to Lowenfeld (1970), in the pre-schematic stage if a person were to separate the geometric shapes

A CHILDS DRAWING ANALYSIS of the picture, the viewer would not be able to tell that the shapes are related. Another point that Lowenfeld brings up is that clothes, hair, and other details as such are present in the end of the stage, which gives us an indication that the child is in the early stages of pre-schematic. One of the first things that became apparent to me was the proportion of the legs compared to the rest of the individual drawn in the artwork. The legs are extremely long compared to the head of the person. When you look at the face of the person, the ears, lips, nose, and eyes are also presented in a large manner. Additionally, a lot of the same shapes and techniques are used in the drawing. The student uses circles, scribbles, and straight lines only. There is not a lot of variety in the geometric shapes that were used and at this age the student should have already been shown various types of shapes and the attributes of those shapes.1. Scribbles exist throughout the artwork in what seems to look like hair, what should be clothing, and ears. In, The Basic Scribbles chart written by Kellogg (1970), I recognized various types of scribbles that they child did in their artwork. There are twenty different types of scribble starting from a dot (number one) and ending with an imperfect circle (number 20). I matched up the types of scribbles that are shown in the artwork to a picture that looked similar to the scribble in the chart that Kellogg created. For example, scribble number fourteen is a multiple loop line which I interpreted as the ears in the artwork. The nose and hair are represented with scribble sixteen which is a multiple-line overlaid circle. Scribble eighteen, circular line spread out, is shown as the body of the person drawn and scribble number twenty, an imperfect circle is the eyes and maybe even the head. These scribbles are located at the bottom of the chart, indicating that the child is more detailed in their work rather than using dots for the eyes and nose and a line for the mouth. Scribbles play a major role in this piece of work, which also is another indicator that he or she is just beginning the pre-schematic stage.


Figure 1. Example drawing in the pre-schematic stage According to the article, Ten Lessons the Arts Teach by Elliot Eisner, The arts celebrate multiple perspectives. This lesson was my favorite in this particular case. As a future educator, I do not know how every child perceives things. I have come to a conclusion after viewing this students artwork that the reason the legs are so long is that they have seen a very tall individual with long legs. Given that student that are in the pre-schematic stage show basic attributes of art, when the student transitions into the next stage it would be interesting to view their artwork. Another aspect of the drawing that is very noteworthy is the fact that there is no background for the individual to live. A background may give the viewer a little more to knowledge of what the

A CHILDS DRAWING ANALYSIS individual is doing or where they are and I look for this student to begin this step in their art development quite soon. An example of how a background would be very supportive to their drawing is if the artist created a creature from another planet that has long legs and no arms, having a background may make it easier for the viewer to understand the picture. My Mizzou Media Packet has a chart named, Beginning Stages of Visual Expression of Young Children (1970, p 53-56). In this chart on page 55, the characteristic section of the chart explains that when children are comfortable with symbols and shapes they create a background in their drawing. Naturally, I have to think that the student that created the artwork that I analyzed was not yet confident in this area. I am also curious to view the drawing in color. The choice of colors that the child may choose may also tell the viewers about the piece of artwork. I refereed back to my reading of chapter one in Bang, Picture this: How pictures work (2002). The use of color was very effective in this chapter and explained the picture in a way that words could not explain. The use of color in this particular piece of artwork may be beneficial to both the artist and any viewer that comes in contact with it. Following the evaluation of the artwork done by this student I would interested in talking to them to discuss their drawing.

Conclusion After analyzing this artwork done by this student in the pre-schematic stage, it is hard to judge this childs artwork as imperfect because no artists work is perfect. Who defines perfect? So I have concluded that the only way I can analyze this artwork is by what I have read and learned from LTC 4240: Art for Children. It would be very interesting to me to be able to see a piece of artwork from the same child in the next stage, the schematic stage. In conclusion, analyzing a students artwork has been very beneficial to me in my studies to become an

A CHILDS DRAWING ANALYSIS educator. I now have the basic knowledge to place my students in the art stage that they demonstrate through their drawings in my classroom and in their art classroom. My goal as a future educator is to help my students grow, not only in their reading and writing, but in their artistic knowledge as well.

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. Kellogg, R. (1970). The Basic Scribbles. Analyzing Children's Art (p. 15). Palo Alto, CA: National Press.